Global Community Must Challenge Cultural Stigma Associated With Menstruation
New York Times: Menstrual Pads Can’t Fix Prejudice
Chris Bobel, associate professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston
“…[T]oo many [menstruation initiatives] have opted to focus on providing women with new products, failing to substantively fight the core problem surrounding menstruation: cultural stigma. … We must resist the well-meaning impulse to improve the lives of menstruating girls through consumption. … We need to redirect resources toward promoting innovative, inclusive, and culturally sensitive community-based education about the menstrual cycle. And the audience must be not only girls, but also everyone surrounding them — boys, parents, teachers, religious leaders, and health professionals. … Challenging the social stigma and disgust directed at the female body must be our main mission — in the developing world and everywhere else. If this moment is going to grow into a movement, it must do more than move products. It must move minds” (3/31).