It is beautifully presented, with the times and powerfully feminine. And it shines a light directly on the ‘unspeakable’.
The Victorian Women’s Trust surveyed over 3000 women and girls about their experiences. They also investigated feelings towards menopause. What this revealed was shocking and distressing.
They acknowledge that much of this shock and distress stems from the ‘menstrual taboo’. This robs us of understanding, fills us with shame and blame, and disempowers us.
They seek to deconstruct this, opening the way to a new narrative.
Beginning with biological integrity, which forms the base of understanding. An ‘owner’s manual’ to knowing her own cycle, her anatomy, and her timeline.
Did you know? (from page 70) “In Latin ‘mensura’ is measurement, and ‘menstrua’ is a grammatical form of menstrous or monthly. The Gaelic word for ‘menstruation’ and ‘calendar’ is similarly identical”
Then they tackled the taboo. This a chapter full of history and fascinating humanness. Then facing the Now straight on, and the issues modern women face in relation to menstruation taboo.
They finish up detailing 5 key areas, based on their research, society can address to break down the taboo.
- Menstrual policy as standard practice in all Australian workplaces
- A new public health standard regarding menstrual well being to be incorporated into our health care system
- National health education and promotion programs focused on menstrual well being
- The provision of menstrual products as standard practice, alongside other amenities like toilet paper and soap
- Taxation on menstrual products be deemed off limits in any future negotiations on budget repair or boosting taxation revenue