NPR’s Malaka Gharib is hailing 2015 as the year of the period and you know, on many levels, we’d have to agree. Of course, we ladies have all had periods before 2015, but it was this past year that saw menstruation reach new heights in the public forum, thanks in large part to social media. Indeed, it’s been a big year for the big P.
In case you missed it, the internets blew up earlier this year with Rupi Kaur’s bleeding Instagram photo, then Kiran Gandhi ran a free-bleeding marathon during her period, and one could say the biggest splash, so to speak, was when Donald Trump made his “wherever” comments and #periodsarenotaninsult was born. Even Cosmo called it “the year the period went public.”
Periods: they’re all over the news, too. According to Gharib, mention of the word “menstruation” more than tripled from 2010 to 2015, from 47 to 167, in five national news outlets. The public and political battles over defunding Planned Parenthood also helped launch period-ness into the spotlight with women and men becoming even more vocal about women’s rights and women’s bodies.
Add to that the outrage over the tampon tax (tampons = luxury items?), the explosion of Thinx period panties and their subway ad controversy, and the #happytobleed campaign launched by Indian activist Nikita Azad to combat longstanding menstrual taboos in her own country and beyond.
Plus, Cycledork! We’d like to add our own little site to the list of period-positive resources advocating for change and bringing an end to the stigmas and shame surrounding menstruation.
It’s been a big year, but we think this is just the beginning. We’re dedicated to taking this beyond a trending topic, beyond a social media campaign. Big changes are afoot and we hope you’ll join us in making them last. If 2015 was the year of the period, let’s make 2016 the year we undo the taboo.
“What I’ve learned over the past few months is that taboo removes the vocabulary for people to talk about their own bodies,” Kirin Gandhi told NPR. “If you can’t talk about the problem, how can you talk about the solution?”