80 per­cent of men­stru­at­ing people hide their dis­com­fort dur­ing men­stru­ation! That’s what Anna and Michelle, the ini­ti­at­ors of Men­strual Move­ment, write. Their goal is to con­trib­ute to the destig­mat­iz­a­tion of men­stru­ation through men­strual edu­ca­tion. In an inter­view, they explain how they came up with the idea for their pro­ject to break the taboo.

The Men­strual Move­ment for men­strual education

Men­stru­ation is not a taboo! That’s why we (Anna and Michelle) used our voices to make this clear through men­strual edu­ca­tion. As part of a pro­ject at the TH Cologne, we decided to talk about men­stru­ation without shame and with a lot of com­mit­ment. With the so-called scrolly­telling we tried to emphas­ize the spe­cificity of the topic in our pro­ject. You are wel­come to have a look at what came out of it!

But who are we? We are Anna (25) and Michelle (22). In Cologne, we both study online edit­ing and are not afraid of sup­posedly taboo top­ics. We think that there’s noth­ing to be ashamed of and that there are still far too many social issues where there’s plenty of need for cla­ri­fic­a­tion. That’s why we star­ted with men­stru­ation education.

Menstrual Movement, Vulvani, Menstruationsaufklärung, Periodenarmut, kostenlose Periodenprodukte, Berlin, Periodenaufklärung, Menstruationstabu, Periodentabu, Menstrual education, period poverty, free period products, period education, menstrual taboo, period taboo

How did you come up with the idea for your men­strual edu­ca­tion project?

Michelle: “I listened to a pod­cast about the freebleed­ing move­ment. When it came to find­ing a topic for the web pro­ject, it was soon clear that I would like to do some­thing about men­stru­ation. Without fur­ther ado, I told Anna about the idea and she was imme­di­ately on board.”

How did you go from the idea to the fin­ished project?

Anna: “In the begin­ning we thought about what aspects there are that lead to the stig­mat­iz­a­tion of men­stru­ation. We quickly iden­ti­fied far too many social and soci­etal struc­tures that make men­stru­ation a taboo even today. It was hard to part with ideas, but in the end we decided to focus on the top­ics that were per­son­ally close to our hearts. These were, for example, men­stru­ation and lan­guage, men­stru­ation in edu­ca­tion, and men­stru­ation in advert­ising. Each of us had our own small pro­jects and sev­eral great inter­view part­ners. Through reg­u­lar com­mu­nic­a­tion, we were able to do a great job on our men­stru­ation edu­ca­tion pro­ject – even though we unfor­tu­nately couldn’t see each other due to the cur­rent situation.”

Menstrual Movement, Vulvani, Menstruationsaufklärung, Periodenarmut, kostenlose Periodenprodukte, Berlin, Periodenaufklärung, Menstruationstabu, Periodentabu, Menstrual education, period poverty, free period products, period education, menstrual taboo, period taboo

What was your most beau­ti­ful moment dur­ing the real­iz­a­tion of your project? 

Michelle: “The best moment for me was that the pro­ject led to many open and taboo-free con­ver­sa­tions about men­stru­ation. Espe­cially through the exchange with men­stru­at­ing people, it became clear to me that we often still have the same wor­ries or fears when it comes to men­stru­ation. The con­ver­sa­tions with non-men­stru­at­ing indi­vidu­als were amaz­ing, as they actu­ally knew very little about men­stru­ation. Dur­ing the vari­ous con­ver­sa­tions, I noticed that we are mak­ing an import­ant con­tri­bu­tion to rais­ing aware­ness with our pro­ject. Thus, we ensure a taboo-free and relaxed approach to menstruation.”

What was your biggest “aha” moment dur­ing the project? 

Anna: “I found it very inter­est­ing to learn about the dif­fer­ent phases of the men­strual cycle. I had never really dealt with that before. After the pro­ject, I read up on the sub­ject again in detail and learned a lot.”

Menstrual Movement, Vulvani, Menstruationsaufklärung, Periodenarmut, kostenlose Periodenprodukte, Berlin, Periodenaufklärung, Menstruationstabu, Periodentabu, Menstrual education, period poverty, free period products, period education, menstrual taboo, period taboo

What are the reac­tions when you tell people about your project? 

Michelle: “Actu­ally, the reac­tions are rather dif­fer­ent. There are some who find the topic of men­strual edu­ca­tion super cool. These people are very happy that we dare to write openly about the taboo in this uni­ver­sity con­text non­ethe­less. On the other hand, there are also people who react rather irrit­ated. They don’t under­stand why we should talk about men­stru­ation in such detail and are then amazed at how extens­ive the pro­ject has become.”

For the future, we hope that such pro­jects will even­tu­ally no longer be neces­sary, so that men­stru­ation will finally be seen as an anxi­ety-free and destig­mat­ized topic. For our part, we see men­stru­ation as an unadorned beau­ti­ful part that belongs to us. So we hope it is the same for you!

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.