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Sexual Health

How The Period Purse is Breaking the Stigma through Advocacy and Awareness

A period purse by the period purse
A period purse by the period purse

Through discussion, advocacy, and awareness, The Period Purse is on a mission to break the period stigma.

I am often asked what the average person can do to break the period stigma and the answer is: talk about it!

I have been educating with The Period Purse for a few years and realized – many people do not freely discuss periods. Our period-positive presentations such as Periods 101, Reusable Products, or Period Poverty create an inclusive and safe classroom space that allows menstruators to open up and discuss their own experiences, listen to others and learn from each other. Discussing periods is a rebellious act!

As an educator with The Period Purse, I have led discussions on menstrual health with people of varying backgrounds. We encourage boys, girls, and all gender-diverse people to be included in the discussions, not just menstruators. A foundational part of breaking the stigma is not just for menstruators to be able to talk to each other about periods. It is critical for those that do not experience it, to be exposed to the topic and hear about the biological function of a menstrual cycle, the feelings, emotions, and stresses that can come along with it. Leading with empathy is essential to talking about periods and helping break the stigma.

The feelings and functions of menstruation are not the only topics on breaking period stigma, there is also the cost associated with having a period. It is important to educate folks on the financial, housing, and economic barriers some menstruators face in order to sustain and support a healthy period. Students are empowered to act when they learn 1 in 7 menstruators cannot afford period products. This leads to youth missing school or adults missing work. The troubling economic conditions faced by menstruators empower young people to push the boundaries in society, move the dial forward with curiosity, and have a bias to action.While our society has made considerable strides in battling period stigma through discussion, advocacy, and awareness, we still have leaps to go. Period stigma will not truly be abolished until period equity is dismantled; until menstrual products are treated like toilet paper and soap, accessed without question in every public space; and then we will be free of stigma surrounding periods.

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