Why we can’t fully remove the “men” in menstruation

Imagine it’s that time of the month and you begrudgingly go in to work and face your colleagues. Some of your peers are already arduous to start but you find a way to be “professional” and keep your hormones and emotions in check because you “have to”.

Now, imagine you are told you should wear some identifier on your clothes to acknowledge you are currently menstruating?

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In August 2022, on the Australian radio talk show, Kyle & Jackie O, a caller dialled in to give his opinion on how to handle menstruating individuals in the workplace.. His suggestion to have these employees wear a red sticker when menstruating so customers and other employees know to avoid them was quickly and deftly met with indignation.

While we have our pitchforks sharpened, we know there are better means to address this asinine way of thinking. In this instance, we need to combat misogyny with education and empathy. There are many who will instantly say ‘who needs their opinion? fuck ’em!”, and many who would not object. The truth is we can not simply extricate men (or those who do not bleed) from this conversation. This can involve a variety of strategies and approaches, including:

  • Promoting education and awareness about menstruation: One way to take the men out of menstruation is to promote education and awareness about the menstrual cycle and its importance to women’s health. This can involve providing accurate and inclusive information about menstruation in schools and other educational settings, as well as challenging negative or stigmatising attitudes towards menstruation.
  • Encouraging men to be allies in the fight for menstrual equity: Men can play a critical role in supporting and advocating for menstrual equity, which refers to the equal treatment and access to resources related to menstruation. This can include supporting initiatives to make menstrual products more affordable and accessible, as well as advocating for policies and laws that address menstrual inequities.
  • Reducing the influence of men in the menstrual product industry: The menstrual product industry is often dominated by men, who may not have the same level of understanding or empathy for the experiences and needs of menstruating people. Taking the men out of menstruation can involve supporting and promoting menstrual product companies that are owned and operated by women or that prioritise the needs and experiences of menstruating people.

Overall, taking the men out of menstruation involves working to reduce or eliminate the influence and control that men have over the way menstruation is perceived and managed, and promoting education, awareness, and equity related to menstruation.

 

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