“When I first got my period I thought I was dying.”
This is what a 13 year old girl from Western Australia revealed in our recent survey about menstruation. Nearly 1,000 young people from across the country filled out our Rosie Period Survey, as part of a larger ongoing project at our parent org the Victorian Women’s Trust; the menstrual revolution.
For too long periods have been shrouded in secrecy and disgust. Through years of research, analysing data and listening to the lived experiences of women and girls, we know the impact of carrying body shame. And we think enough is enough – it’s about bloody time there was a real shift.
I’ve been at the Victorian Women’s Trust for over three and a half years now, primarily working on Rosie. In my role I hear first hand from young people what issues they’re passionate about and the areas in which they need support. The Rosie Period Survey confirmed just how much how period stigma is affecting the lives of young Australians. But the survey also revealed something else; young people are optimistic and passionate about changing the way people view menstruation.
“I hope as a woman of the future to end the taboo with conversations surrounding periods.” – 17 year old from Victoria
“I believe if there is better education surrounding period and women’s health a great number of our world’s problems would be solved.” – 18 year old from Tasmania
“Educated women are empowered women.” – 16 year old from New South Wales
Menstrual activism at the Trust has been simmering away for many years, with ongoing research, the introduction of our Menstrual Leave Policy in 2016, and our current Rosie campaign petitioning to get free menstrual products in school bathrooms (you can sign the petition here!). And now it’s exciting to feel period power reaching boiling point with the launch of our book About Bloody Time: the menstrual revolution we have to have.
Written by forthright feminist Karen Pickering, and Australia’s most renowned menstrual educator Jane Bennett, About Bloody Time is essential reading for anybody with a body.
“Periods have had some lousy press over the last few thousand years. They’ve apparently made us unclean, dumb, weak, bad, mad, dangerous or just plain difficult, and have been used as a reason to deny us education and political, economic and spiritual power.”
– Jane Bennett
Education is key to destigmatising menstruation so that all people who bleed can feel confident, supported and empowered. For too long too many girls have felt confused, scared and unprepared for their menstruating years. The young people of Australia deserve better.
Throughout About Bloody Time, Karen and Jane examine the menstrual taboo from all angles, supported by data and analysis, and thousands of people’s real life experiences, weaving it all together to make a clear case for a menstrual revolution. About Bloody Time has been designed by Aimee Carruthers, with wonderful illustrations by Alice Lindstrom, Michelle Pereira, and Lucy Fahey.
About Bloody Time is ready to be printed, bound and distributed widely. Stay tuned for the upcoming publication!
The menstrual revolution is here.
Have you signed our Rosie Period Petition yet? We are calling on state and territory Education and Health Ministers to provide free menstrual products in school bathrooms, so that every student can navigate their school years with dignity + respect. If you agree that it’s #AboutBloodyTime you can sign the petition here:
Maddy is the Rosie Editor and regularly writes for the Rosie Blog. She is passionate about music, history, art and gender equality.