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NWW Weekly Connection

December 10, 2023
Honor and Respect Women's Bodies. Period.

In 77 CE, an entry written in the first-known scientific encyclopedia by Pliny the Elder stated that menstruating women could kill crops and cause dogs to go wild. Wow. Really?!

The taboo of menstruation (and thus women) has existed throughout history, along with other misconceptions about women’s power. 

Filmmaker Linayte Plioplyte is on a mission to inspire a new way to look at menstruation. In her feature documentary film Periodical, (which has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 100%), she describes menstruation as a “beautiful cycle” that occurs in the bodies of over half of the world’s population and says, it’s something “we’re not supposed to talk about it.” 

Plioplyte wants to erase the shame and instead support women and girls around the globe—and the obstacles that prevent them from having what they need, educationally and practically.

Plioplyte shines light on and challenges the fact that, in 21 US states, there is a “tampon tax," which deems menstrual products, such as tampons and pads “non-essential.” Toilet paper is not taxed because it is seen as essential. “What’s the difference,” she asks?

For many women and girls around the world, this very natural function of their bodies, and the products that help them monthly, can create “period poverty,” causing many of them to have to miss school or other important events in their lives. Think of parents of four teenage daughters, for example, and the immense cost to purchase menstrual products for them—and then tax those products on top of that!

The ignorance around menstruation is astounding. Wait until you read this—From SHOTS HEALTH NEWS:

“Why did this tax happen in the first place for menstrual products? Well, it turns out Laura Strausfeld, who is a wonderful activist and lawyer with period law ... started going around and talking with the lawmakers. ... She found out that most men did not know how menstruation works. ...

[They thought] menstruation is kind of like when you want to go to pee, it's [sic] you kind of hold it in there. Then you go to the bathroom and you release it all.”

Plioplyte’s film goes further, suggesting that when it comes time for sex education to be taught in schools, boys and girls should both be in the room together.

"If we all suddenly start talking about menstruation, guess what? Our daughters won't have the stigma attached to it," she says. "We just need a critical mass of talkers, celebrators ... people who are loud about their tampon needs or their cramps or their PMS or, for God's sake, menopause.”

New World Women supports women’s self-empowerment around the globe, which is why we’re so grateful that this issue, and many others, about understanding, respecting and honoring women’s bodies, are finally coming to light. This is another way we are creating our new world.

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