Men­stru­ation has not been an issue for the gen­eral pub­lic for a long time. And it prob­ably still is not really. How­ever, slowly but surely some­thing is chan­ging and the men­strual taboo is being act­ively addressed. Our soci­ety no longer com­pletely turns a blind eye to it. Per­haps one or the other is already, even though shyly, look­ing at the sub­ject of peri­ods. Because the removal of taboos and the nor­m­al­isa­tion of men­stru­ation has only just begun. It is worth tak­ing a look (and maybe even par­ti­cip­at­ing!?). There is a lot to do. Because the times when we talk about men­stru­ation in a bash­ful and embar­rass­ing way are over. In the clas­sic media and espe­cially in the social net­works, people are writ­ing and talk­ing about men­stru­ation in an increas­ingly pub­lic and pro­voc­at­ive way. And that is a good thing!

My per­sonal period high­lights in 2019

In the last year a few cool things have happened in the area of remov­ing the men­strual taboo. Here is a small over­view of the three best period moments in 2019: 

1. Men­strual blood is red and not blue

In Aus­tralia a TV com­mer­cial showed for the first time men­strual blood not in blue but real­ist­ic­ally in red last year. And it def­in­itely caused a lot of atten­tion and dis­gust! Per­son­ally, I find red more beau­ti­ful than blue any­way. So I am really look­ing for­ward to see­ing a lot of lovely red men­strual blood in advert­ise­ments, media and every­where else!

2. And the Oscar goes… to a doc­u­ment­ary about menstruation!

The doc­u­ment­ary “Period. End of Sen­tence” won an Oscar for best doc­u­ment­ary short film! And if that’s not won­der­ful, then I don’t know what is. To see real life on the big screens is beau­ti­ful. But when a doc­u­ment­ary about such a nat­ural, but often hid­den topic as men­stru­ation wins the most coveted golden film award, then that’s just great.

You can watch the trailer on You­tube or the whole doc­u­ment­ary on Net­flix

3. Ger­many lowers the tax on men­strual products

Nanna-Josephine Roloff and Yasemin Kotra launched the peti­tion ‘The period is not a lux­ury – lower the tam­pon tax’ together and found over 190,000 sup­port­ers on the plat­form change.org. The peti­tion demands that period products be con­sidered as basic needs and be taxed at the sim­pli­fied VAT rate of seven per­cent. The increased tax rate of 19 per­cent dis­crim­in­ates against all men­stru­at­ing people. The suc­cess­ful peti­tion and the tire­less efforts of these two men­stru­atal act­iv­ists were well worth it. Since Janu­ary 2020, men­strual products in Ger­many are only taxed at seven per­cent. Goodybe ‘tam­pon tax’.

What were your highlights?

When you think back to last year, maybe you can find of other espe­cially cool period moments? Which people really inspired you in 2019? Write us a mes­sage and tell us about them. Because we want to meet more excit­ing (men­strual) people and find out what moves and inspires you. May the year 2020 be full of even more won­der­ful men­strual high­lights and may we together break the men­strual taboo even more!

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
Co-Founder Vul­vani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-founder of Vul­vani. She loves research­ing, writ­ing and design­ing new art­icles or innov­at­ive edu­ca­tional con­cepts about men­stru­ation all day long. When she is not trav­el­ling the world, she enjoys spend­ing time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.