Mens­trua­tion has not been an issue for the gene­ral public for a long time. And it pro­bably still is not really. Howe­ver, slowly but surely some­thing is chan­ging and the mens­trual taboo is being actively addres­sed. Our society no lon­ger com­ple­tely turns a blind eye to it. Perhaps one or the other is already, even though shyly, loo­king at the sub­ject of peri­ods. Because the remo­val of taboos and the nor­ma­li­sa­tion of mens­trua­tion has only just begun. It is worth taking a look (and maybe even par­ti­ci­pa­ting!?). There is a lot to do. Because the times when we talk about mens­trua­tion in a bash­ful and embarr­as­sing way are over. In the clas­sic media and espe­cially in the social net­works, people are wri­ting and tal­king about mens­trua­tion in an incre­a­singly public and pro­vo­ca­tive way. And that is a good thing!

My personal period highlights in 2019

In the last year a few cool things have hap­pened in the area of remo­ving the mens­trual taboo. Here is a small over­view of the three best period moments in 2019: 

1. Menstrual blood is red and not blue

In Aus­tra­lia a TV com­mer­cial showed for the first time mens­trual blood not in blue but rea­listi­cally in red last year. And it defi­ni­tely cau­sed a lot of atten­tion and dis­gust! Per­so­nally, I find red more beau­ti­ful than blue any­way. So I am really loo­king for­ward to see­ing a lot of lovely red mens­trual blood in adver­ti­se­ments, media and ever­y­where else!

2. And the Oscar goes… to a documentary about menstruation!

The docu­men­tary “Period. End of Sen­tence” won an Oscar for best docu­men­tary short film! And if that’s not won­der­ful, then I don’t know what is. To see real life on the big screens is beau­ti­ful. But when a docu­men­tary about such a natu­ral, but often hid­den topic as mens­trua­tion wins the most cove­ted gol­den film award, then that’s just great.

You can watch the trai­ler on You­tube or the whole docu­men­tary on Net­flix

3. Germany lowers the tax on menstrual products

Nanna-Jose­phine Roloff and Yase­min Kotra laun­ched the peti­tion ‘The period is not a luxury – lower the tam­pon tax’ tog­e­ther and found over 190,000 sup­por­ters on the plat­form change.org. The peti­tion demands that period pro­ducts be con­si­de­red as basic needs and be taxed at the sim­pli­fied VAT rate of seven per­cent. The incre­a­sed tax rate of 19 per­cent discri­mi­na­tes against all mens­trua­ting people. The suc­cess­ful peti­tion and the tireless efforts of these two mens­trua­tal acti­vists were well worth it. Since Janu­ary 2020, mens­trual pro­ducts in Ger­many are only taxed at seven per­cent. Goo­dybe ‘tam­pon tax’.

What were your highlights?

When you think back to last year, maybe you can find of other espe­cially cool period moments? Which people really inspi­red you in 2019? Write us a mes­sage and tell us about them. Because we want to meet more exci­ting (mens­trual) people and find out what moves and inspi­res you. May the year 2020 be full of even more won­der­ful mens­trual high­lights and may we tog­e­ther break the mens­trual taboo even more!

Britta Wiebe, period education, Vulvani
Britta 
Co-Foun­der Vulvani | britta@vulvani.com | Web­site | + posts

Britta Wiebe is the co-foun­der of Vul­vani. She loves rese­ar­ching, wri­ting and designing new arti­cles or inno­va­tive edu­ca­tio­nal con­cepts about mens­trua­tion all day long. When she is not tra­vel­ling the world, she enjoys spen­ding time with her loved ones in the beau­ti­ful city of Ham­burg in Germany.