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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #281 - Rules: The blood of discrimination (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 8 Apr 2018 08:40:25 +0300

To have one's first period is in the West at the same time the entry into the dangerous world of the possibility of pregnancy and the beginning of the shame related to the female sex. In poor countries, it is in addition the beginning of the exclusion, of the social life sometimes, of the school often. ---- The rules are the blood from the deterioration of the uterine wall that had thickened to accommodate an embryo in case of pregnancy. The exit of the uterus is the vagina and it is therefore from it that flows the menstrual flow. Quantity, color, thickness and duration are variable between women and according to the periods of life. A woman with a functional uterus and ovaries will bleed about 13 times a year for over 30 years.

An infinite source of prejudices and strange beliefs
Shame remains attached to this bodily function. If men can blow their noses in public without worry, take out a simple periodic protection (object that collects blood, sanitary napkin, tampon, menstrual sponge, menstrual cup) from his bag and go quietly to the toilet, is not done . There is a whole strategy of dissimulation of the object, and asking the girlfriends a troubleshooting is done in total discretion. Having a red spot on his pants is hard to assume. We talk about his intestinal transit in details, never his period.

Beliefs and prejudices vary from country to country and from time to time. Women, during their menstruation, turn mayonnaise or wine, in Japan still today the profession of master sushi is not open to women. The major prejudice is that of impurity. The blood of the rules is dirty, it's disgusting, and talking about it is just as important. In some countries women are isolated during their periods, sometimes in very precarious conditions. In others, girls are not allowed to go to school. There is also the belief that one should not throw dirty protections with the rest of the garbage on pain of causing disease. Sometimes washing is forbidden during menstruation.

Expendable expenses for poor women
The taboo related to the rules also makes it only very recently that medicine is interested in endometriosis, a disease of the female reproductive system that makes the rules very painful and has long been treated by " c". is normal to have pain during your periods .

Periodic protections represent a lot of money - 20 euros a month - 10,000 euros for a living - and women and girls in poor countries do not have access. They protect themselves with foliage, mattress tips or other materials that cause infections, mud. And they can not go to school or work. For homeless women, the menstrual period is also very difficult to live with. No access to protection, no access to decent toilets, menstruation, biological banality, can become an extreme difficulty of life and an obstacle to the autonomy of women.

The rules should not be shameful, a source of contempt and a danger to women's health ... Let's talk about it, show off our sanitary napkins like our handkerchiefs, give hygienic products to the food bank collections, dismantle the ads that show blue blood ! Let's explain !

Christine (AL Sarthe)

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