Menstruation, social taboos and discrimination

Menstruation is a topic that affects all people worldwide, regardless of culture, religion, society, country or sometimes gender. If half of the world’s population bleeds monthly, why does it often feel so lonely, uncomfortable or even embarrassing? Why is there still a menstruation taboo in our society?

The Menstruation taboo

The way we talk about menstruation has a direct influence on how we as a society think about it. Menstruation is seen as something very private, intimate and personal. There are rarely open discussions about what periods really mean for menstruating people and their bodies. Because menstruation is still socially a taboo, which brings shame with it. This leads us to learn to consciously hide menstruation. However, monthly bleeding is a natural and biological process that represents the origin of all life and can therefore be an expression of femininity. If every menstruating person bleeds for about 3000 days in their life, why isn’t it really talked about in the media or politics then?

And sometimes talking is golden after all

We need to break the silence and start talking internationally and openly about menstruation. We must stop perceiving periods as repulsive and accept it as what it really is: a natural, regular biological process that symbolizes the health and fertility of a menstruating person. In this context, social norms must be gently challenged through education so that menstruation can find its place in the public and the menstruating body is celebrated. We at Vulvani want to raise and celebrate the voices of all. For us, the pursuit of a more open approach to menstruation goes hand in hand with the fight for equal rights and the participation of all in public debates.

Forms of social discrimination

Menstruating people are still sometimes socially discriminated against because of their monthly bleeding. Depending on the country and society in which they live, this can come in various forms, ranging from a taboo of silence to deliberate exclusion from public life. Some children miss school because of their period and adults are not allowed to go to work. Reasons for this can be cultural beliefs towards menstrual blood as impure, lack of money for menstrual products or lack of sanitary facilities in public places. The monthly period thus leads to systematic discrimination against menstruating people worldwide. This can lead to people being denied basic human rights that are directly related to menstruation. This includes, for example, the right to education, health or sanitation. However, femaleness and the related menstruation can not stand between a menstruating person and their rights and goals.

What can you personally do for the breaking menstruation taboos?

  1. Talk openly about your period! You don’t have to be embarrassed to talk about menstruation and by encouraging others to do the same, you are actively helping to fight the old taboo.
  2. Help others see periods in a more diverse way! To ensure that the period taboo has no place in the next generation, you can help include all menstruating people in the period discussion. Because: Not all menstruating people are women and not every man has no uterus! Therefore, be open-minded and ensure more diversity ( all other areas too, of course 🙂 ).
  3. Self-care during your period is important! Not feeling well, but have a date with friends? Your well-being is important and should not be put on the back burner! Don’t be afraid and explain your feelings to your friends. Maybe a date on a different day will suit you?
  4. Educate others about your period! Put an end to the taboo! You can talk openly about your period! Many people don’t know much about menstruating bodies and their processes. So don’t be shy if you hear or read something wrong, and educate them!

Don’t know how to talk openly about periods and educate others? Check it out here:

Don’t know how to talk openly about periods and educate others? Check it out here:

Our vision at Vulvani: breaking social taboos

Our goal at Vulvani is that every person can experience their menstruation safely, with dignity and, above all, without shame or discrimination. Through Vulvani, we want to break down prejudices about menstruation through education, promote social exchange about the topic in the long term, and thus make our contribution to a fairer world. We are not afraid to openly express supposed social taboos. Our goal is the removal of taboos by normalizing the period. We hope that Vulvani will become an example of how we can break social taboos.

The look into your cycle

Receive your digital workbook directly by email and learn about your menstrual cycle in 5 steps!
November 26, 2021
Britta Wiebe ist die Co-Gründerin von Vulvani. Am liebsten recherchiert, schreibt und konzipiert sie den ganzen Tag neue Artikel oder innovative Bildungsformate rund um Menstruation. Wenn sie nicht in der weiten Welt unterwegs ist, genießt sie ihre Zeit mit lieben Menschen im schönen Hamburg. | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter

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