If you ever had any doubt of the shame that is forced onto the topic of periods and the damage this has caused people who menstruate throughout the world throughout history, this book sets it in stone (or should I say it writes it in blood?)
Even the phrasing of menstrual or feminine “hygiene” makes us question why, and more importantly who, is framing something that happens to around 50% of the population for on average a third of every month, for most of their lives, as something dirty or unhygienic? What has society taught us that we can make poo jokes more comfortably than period jokes? And why in bloody hell are so many people (of all genders) so ignorant about something so natural? Something so tethered to the fundamentals of life? At the end of the day, if periods didn’t exist, neither would you.
Emma Barnett is as fearless on the topic as she is with most topics she covers on BBC Women’s Hour, and makes you wonder how different everyone’s relationship with periods would be if it was taught this candidly from a young age.
Period: It’s About Bloody Time tries to unpack what it is that makes periods such a taboo, from childhood to religion, from advertising which prioritises discreetness over effectiveness to the fact that we’re more concerned about sending men to the moon than abolishing period tax. Plus every blush, pill, ache and leak in between.
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