MIND YOUR BLOODY LANGUAGE.
For too long, people who bleed have been shamed because of this simple, natural biological function. We encourage everyone to engage in open conversation about periods — and yes, that means YOU.
One of the major issues when fighting for menstrual equity is that so many people are embarrassed, awkward, and uncomfortable discussing periods. Taught from an early age that periods are private, there are over 5,000 different ways to refer to them — 'the time of the month', 'having the painters in', 'the curse' — and while some of these are pretty funny, they reenforce the idea that the menstrual cycle is something to be hidden away, or even ashamed of.
Well not any more! Everyone on this planet either menstruates or cares about someone who menstruates, and we should ALL be able to talk about it openly, without shame.
'Sanitary'? No thanks. 'Feminine hygiene'? DEFINITELY NOT. We believe that straightforward period talk — like calling pads and tampons 'period products' — helps to break down shame and make essential information accessible, to everyone who bloody needs it.
(as in sanitary towels/protection)
Periods are not dirty, unhygienic or shameful. They’re also not a marker of femininity to everyone.
Dismissing period pain
("suck it up" /
"All part of being a woman")
Also see below...
Something empathetic (‘that sucks’) and encouraging (‘do you feel like talking to a doctor about it?’)
Anyone in pain needs help, advice or treatment.
Periods shouldn’t be painful.
Women and people who menstruate have been dismissed for too long.
Solely referring to females when talking about periods
Women, girls and people who menstruate, or people who have periods
Some people who have periods don’t identify as women – including trans men or non-binary folk. Everyone deserves to be, and should be, included in the conversation around periods.
Solely talking to females when talking about periods
All genders and none
Everyone needs to know about periods.
WALK OF *NO* SHAME
No more. Enough of hiding tampons up our sleeves or schlepping our bags to the loo when it's "that time of the month".
It's time to reclaim our own, beautiful, natural bodies in all their gory glory and embrace the WALK OF NO SHAME.
If you menstruate, you know what we're talking about. As a result of all the negativity and embarrassment around periods, you find yourself self-censoring, skirting around the issue, hiding your own bodily processes as if they're something to be ashamed of.
What can you do? Well, rather than hide those period products away next time you need to use one, be open about it instead. Start a conversation. Get people sharing their experiences. Fill others in on the fact that period poverty exists (because lots of people still don’t know and probably haven’t ever thought about it).
Interlude: A Period (NO) Shame story from our Founder and CEO, Gabby Edlin
"Back in summer 2018, at an off-site meeting, I reached in my bag for a pantyliner and discreetly tucked it into my bra as I got up and headed to the toilet.
I suddenly caught myself and pointed it out to my colleagues. There was I, CEO of a charity fighting for menstrual equity, aiming to normalise periods and all-things-vagina, hiding the fact that I was about to insert a completely ordinary product into my underwear. Why? Because I was ashamed. I was ashamed and embarrassed for other people (I mean, basically, read, MEN) to see that my vagina was functioning normally and healthily. Shame and silence around my period was still, it seemed, a habit.
I know I’m not alone in this. How many of us have shoved a tampon up our sleeves? Coughed loudly when unwrapping a pad in the work toilets so no one hears crinkling plastic?
I don’t believe this shame is inherent. This shame has been taught. By family, teachers, adverts, ourselves.
Why does this matter? Because when we embody shame we curl ourselves up into nothing.
This shame is not inherent. Shame has been normalised. And we want to get rid of that shame, because periods are normal and healthy."
We asked the bloody babes of Skinnydip London to get behind the Walk of No Shame and they came up with the bloody brill art on this page. We’d love to see your art about it too, if you're so inclined, or tell us your own experience of doing the Walk of No Shame. And if you feel you CAN’T do the Walk of No Shame, tell us about that too. We hope the tribe of bloody babes here will help smash some of the barriers out of the way. Get involved in the social convo on Insta, Twitter and Facebook, using the hashtag #WalkOfNoShame.