Many menstruation ads today are considered, by some, an *empowering approach* to periods. And on the surface, maybe that’s what it looks like. We see smiling women who aren’t held up by menstruation, who are athletic, and business savvy. But when you take a closer look, these images hold the same negative attitudes about menstruation that we see throughout history. These ads subtly, but effectively, communicate that menstruation is embarrassing, gross, and needs to be made “invisible”, that it is a defect you need to “smack down” or defeat, that periods are inconvenient and uncomfortable for men.
Rarely are we provided with a positive view of menstruation. Many of us don’t even know what it would look like to talk about menstruation without implying that it is a “female defect”, shameful, or disgusting. This positive view might reflect that yes, your body actually releases red menstrual fluid, not some mysterious clear blue fluid. That no, it does not make you “dirty” for a week and it’s actually OK to have contact with your menses. That it is not like peeing or pooping because it is biologically connected to sexual reproduction and sexuality. That being on your period doesn’t make you “crazy” or weak or incapable of making rational decisions. That it’s okay to love your period, to hate your period, to be a “tough cookie” or to be upset about it - menstruation is different for everyone. But half the world does it, and it’s not something we should be made to feel bad/embarrassed/gross/defective for.
(See Sex+: PERIOD HATIN’)