How did male gaze go beyond artistic expression and into conversations about our bodies?
How did these conversations become policy?
How did these policies disrupt our choices?
‘Susanna and the Elders’ completed in 1610 is a work that features a repeat subject for Gentileschi and her contemporaries during this era. A biblical tale of a woman, two elder men, reputation, accusations, false testimony, and above all, modesty. Age old tale.
Instead of lustful peering, we’ve reimagined the image as that of elders who have chosen to oversee what choice this female makes with regards to her own body and function. A depiction of the world around us as those who do not bleed are constantly making laws without the perspective necessary to make these choices.
When historians took note of her work and recalled her experiences with males while embarking on her career it was stated that her expression in paintings were evident of a survivor of stress and trauma.
How do we regain autonomy in the decisions of menstruation and basic human rights? We can talk, we can shout, we can get angry. We can also take a cue from Gentileschi and use art to present our narratives.
We are the rebels that aim to break societal shackles to empower everyone in their menstrual journeys. We know that menstruation is a natural process that should not be shrouded in shame and secrecy. We denounce the patriarchal norms that limit opportunities during menstruation. We believe that menstrual cycles should not hinder anyone’s success, education, or work. We demand for the elimination of menstrual stigma and discrimination in all spheres of life.
We pledge to work towards creating a world where access to menstrual products and education is a basic human right regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or economic status. It is time to prioritise menstrual health and provide access to safe, hygienic, and sustainable menstrual products for all those in need.
We stand for complete menstrual wellness, not just for our physical health but for our mental and emotional health as well.
We must reclaim this sign of life-giving power. Menstruation is a strength, NOT a weakness. It is time to break the taboos.
We dare to create a world where menstruation is not just accepted, but celebrated. It is time to embrace it. We’re not here to skirt around the bush, we may joke about our flows (because we can), we’ll discuss gastrointestinal issues during our period, and you’re gonna see blood. We provide an intersectional space to feature every experience in menstruation.
We will use the discourse of art, literature, technology, humanities and public policy to effectively carry out our mission. We call on all anyone who isn’t afraid of breaking the status quo to stand with us in this movement towards menstrual wellness and empowerment.
This isn’t just a rebellion. This isn’t just a revolution. This is a renaissance.
This is OUR renaissance.
The Renaissance Period is a taboo-busting, digital platform providing all those who menstruate (and their allies!) with personalized options for their menstruation needs via subscription boxes (coming soon) and other relevant products, engaging content, and an inclusive community to support them.
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