Let’s start off with the Refinery29 article that spurred this post: Get Pregnant? I Just Want to Get my Period
The author writes: “almost a year and a half without a period, I find myself acutely aware of every complaint of cramps, every impassioned post about Diva Cups in a women’s-only Facebook group, and every pregnancy announcement — reminders of what it’s like to have a “normally functioning” female reproductive system”
This is an A+ article that talks about what it’s like to desperately want a period, something that most menstruating people could never fathom. For them a period is just something to deal with that they would rather not have to or perhaps a welcome monthly reminder that you are not about to become a parent. Of course, for some people a menstrual cycle is literal HELL – requiring them to take off work or stay home from school because the pain and the symptoms are so great.
Is it weird that I am still sort of envious?
Let’s start from the beginning: I first got my period at the “normal” age of 13 years old. However, that is about the last time anything was normal regarding it. From age 13 to age 21 I would go months without a period and when I did happen to get one it would be extremely light, last a maximum of three days, and not come with any other regular menstrual cycle symptoms. It never occurred to me that this was strange. I had always been told that periods can be irregular when first beginning and that it can take some time for your body to get used to this new process. However, no one ever told me that “irregularity” was only meant to last a year.
The November of my sophomore year of college I got my period. Fine. Great. But two weeks later I got it again. I remember thinking that this was weird so I looked it up online. I found out that two periods in one month is NOT normal and so I made a mental note to stop by health care services to ask some questions that week. At 5AM the next morning I woke up in a pool of my own blood. It felt like I had wet the bed. Sorry for the specifics but my shorts were completely soaked through. I knew something wasn’t right, but I also knew that it had something to do with my menstrual cycle and that no one had actually stabbed me in my sleep. I tried to go back to sleep and skipped my first class to go down to health services. The nurse practitioner told me to undress, put on a paper gown, and sit on the chair so she could examine me. I told her that I was bleeding so much that I was going to need to sit on a towel. I remember her saying that she needed to check to make sure I wasn’t internally bleeding!! There ended up being too much blood for her to properly examine me but as soon as I told her how irregular my menstrual cycle was she immediately said “I think you might have PCOS“.
I came across this article on The Good Trade. It really struck a cord because this sums up exactly how I feel as a feminist and environmentalist who loves fashion. With the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster coming up, I thought it was a good time to share.
By Erin Houtson
It’s Been 4 Years Since The Rana Plaza Tragedy
Where were you on April 24, 2013? To most people, it was a day like any other, but for me, it was the day that my eyes snapped wide open to the actions of my closet. No, my closet can’t walk or talk, but if it could, it may have given voice to the hidden women and men who made my clothes. On that day and the weeks to follow, those same faces came at me from the pages of the New York Times, the Guardian, and more covering the Rana Plaza Factory Collapse in Bangladesh.
WHY THIS HIT ME SO HARD
For many members of the conscious fashion movement, this was also their wake-up moment. But at the time, I was working for a media company that covered global development issues, from foreign aid flows that support social and economic growth to the role of corporations through their responsibility, citizenship, or emerging markets activities.
Everywhere I turned, large multinational companies were – despite many people’s cynicism – doing amazing things. The most world’s most famous beverage company was innovating delivery of immunizations and medicine to the last miles of the most remote areas of our globe. Banks were investing in local innovators who were changing their communities through making the internet accessible for all. Payment providers were creating new gateways and currencies like mPESA that would come to revolutionize the way people – particularly women – in Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond would build savings and make everyday transactions that led to empowerment.
I read this article on broadly.vice.com and knew that it was something I had to share. This article highlights an extremely important issue that I have been thinking about a lot lately. Companies and brands seem to be jumping on the feminist bandwagon, but without committing to the actual values associated with it. “Trendy feminism” is something that I try to be wary of on a daily basis:
WOMEN’S MARCH T-SHIRTS BEING SOLD AT THE WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON IN WASHINGTON, DC. PHOTO BY TASOS KATOPODIS/GETTY IMAGES
From “Feminist AF” to “Nasty Woman” merch, feminist fashion having a moment. But our thirst for cheap Instagrammable T-shirts and hats may have unethical consequences.
You could almost set your watch to it: Less than 24 hours after Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” at the third presidential debate in October, the first nasty-themed merch—including a T-shirt with a heart shaped logo that ended up raising $100,000 for Planned Parenthood—began appearing online.
Then, in January, when the Women’s March on Washington was about to become one of the largest political demonstrations in US history, Instagram was awash in slogan T-shirts to wear on the big day. “Feminist AF” and “The Future is Female” were popular, while more recently, “Nevertheless, She Persisted” has cropped up. Everyone seems to want one; few seem concerned with where they are coming from.