Introducing… #periodpositive Partners!
Since comedian, designer, education researcher and #periodpositive founder Chella Quint coined the term “period positive” in 2006, she has used this alliterative and catchy phrase in her popular zine and comedy show, Adventures in Menstruating, in installations and campaigning and has always invited others to join her. “It’s to show that we’re not afraid to challenge taboos and talk confidently and openly about everything menstrual, no matter how much we know or how we feel about periods, whether we menstruate or not.”
Ten years later #periodpositive is used by campaigners worldwide and the menstrual taboo landscape is starting to change.
Chella’s view on this: “I think people like the phrase ‘period positive’ because they realise it isn’t about skipping through a meadow, singing about how wonderful periods are. You can still hate your periods, or be indifferent to them; it’s about having a positive attitude to talking openly and challenging taboos about reproductive health.”
The best way to challenge these taboos once and for all is through education – because, like this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day theme asserts – Menstruation matters, for everyone everywhere.
Now, Chella has combined her findings as a teacher researcher with DECSY’s Gender Respect Project, her art, and her comedy into a comprehensive menstruation education programme to launch online on 28 May, Menstrual Hygiene Day. You’ll be able to download a school audit, lesson plans and recommended resources, some which incorporate Chella’s spoof advertising installation STAINS™, some of which ensure kids are getting the nuts and bolts of the biology and others that help pupils understand the different reusable and disposable options for menstruation management.
This is unprecedented in menstruation education in the UK and is a game changer in terms of some of the methods and ideas, for example:
• ensuring corporate branding and advertising are nowhere to be seen
• including reusable menstrual products
• providing materials for younger pupils
• and including all genders in learning
Why should schools, families and communities prioritise this?
Chella: “Taboos often remain because of an almost unconscious transmission of misinformation. The ‘period talk’ has become a part of this paradigm and we need to completely transform menstruation education in schools. The current way we teach or, frequently, avoid teaching about menstruation is unsustainable in a number of ways. Young people embody early attitudes about their reproductive health, and a lack of understanding or negative influences can have serious consequences, from teasing, to negotiating consent and pleasure, to missing early diagnoses of life-changing illnesses like endometriosis and ovarian cancer.”
Not all learning happens in schools, though, and the www.periodpositive.com resources also include opportunities for parents, youth workers and health care professionals to up their #periodpositive game! And yes, there’s even an interpretive dance. It’s called the Menstrual Product Mambo.
There are some excellent resources and organisations out there that also fit in with Chella’s #periodpositive vision. To help supporters of #periodpositive find others who match these values, and bring some focus and action-taking to this movement, Chella is working with a team of advisers across sexual health education, diversity and inclusion, design and marketing to develop the #periodpositive Partners award. This award will officially lend the #periodpositive emblem to projects, resources and campaigns that share the same taboo-breaking ethos. If you would like to share a resource you’ve created, or find out how to apply to be a #periodpositive Partner alongside your own, check out www.periodpositive.com on 28th May.
You’ll also be able to find out how you can take action to support the #periodpositive Partner Schools campaign as a parent, student, youth worker, health care practitioner, charity worker or any other concerned human! Follow @periodpositive and share your thoughts this Saturday and beyond using #periodpositive and #menstruationmatters on social media.
Find out more at http://www.periodpositive.com