Kill Patriarchy, Save the Womb
My so-called Feminine Hygiene
The feminine hygiene industry claims to promote good health and a maintainable period experience. What they don't tell us is how their products are contaminated with chemicals that are causing harm to our bodies and the land. Many of their business ethics allow emotional and physical harm to our bodies. They use body shaming as a tool. They have us believe bleeding is a problem that needs to be dealt with in secret. The marketing tactics create an industry that is able to sell billions of so-called feminine hygiene products each year. We become convinced their products are necessary to have a "happy and healthy period"
Because bleeding is a taboo most of the information that is available to young bleeders is provided by the so-called feminine hygiene industry whose business objective is to make sure we become lifetime users of their product. They are responsible for perpetuating myths that create feelings of embarrassment and shame. These myths help maintain the market for disposable feminine hygiene. Marketing messages like "small, discreet" or "only you'll know it's a tampon" or "small enough to be held in the palm of your hand" are used to instill the fear that people could find out we are bleeding. It also encourages societies beliefs that bleeding is a shameful condition. We began to believe at a young age we are not allowed to let people around us know we are bleeding. We begin to have feelings that when our bodies bleed we are unclean and the only way to be clean is to buy a box of tampons or pads.
Advertisements have us believe a tampon or pad is the only way to have a normal bleeding experience. When we see commercials advertising these beliefs it usually starts with a bleeder unable to enjoy and participate in life. It is only then with the use of a tampon or pad they are able and allowed to play sports, go swimming, go to the beach, go on vacations, or any other day-to-day activities. These commercials perpetuate the belief that we are unable to live life without pads and tampons. When young bleeders are exposed to these harmful ideas, bleeding can be seen as a hygiene flaw and the only way to deal with this flaw is to purchase a product to hide it. Bleeding is a normal and natural purification process. Everything about tampons and pads is not normal and not natural.
The so-called feminine hygiene industry not only perpetuates harmful bleeding beliefs, they allow their products to remain toxic and deadly. These products contain chemicals that cause harm to our bodies and the land. With the average amount of bleeders being around 400 million and the amount of cycles completed throughout their lifetime is about 450, we create a lot of blood. We let plastic and synthetic fibers absorb our magic and discard it. Researchers say the number one thing found in landfills is diapers, number two is feminine hygiene products. That includes the packaging and applicators. Most of the product is made out of plastic and almost every piece of plastic ever made still exist today. Since this is bad for our land it is almost certain it is bad for our bodies. For example, tampons can cause TSS or toxic shock syndrome. TSS is real and sometimes fatal. In 1980 38 people died from TSS caused by tampon use. The symptoms of TSS are sudden high fever, diarrhea, vomiting, sunburn-like rash, dizziness, muscle aches, fainting or near fainting when standing up. TSS is caused by staphylococcus bacteria which can grow on synthetic fibers. Mainstream tampon manufacturers have AT LEAST ONE type of synthetic fiber in their product.
Most tampons contain dioxins due to the bleaching process. Tampons are bleached white to appear sterile. Dioxins are toxic chemicals that have been linked to decreased fertility, endometriosis and decreased sperm count. Dioxins are also carcinogenic. The feminine "hygiene" industry claims the number of dioxins in tampons are small and pose no harm. But exposing our bodies to dioxins every month, year after year is something to consider. Also, our skin is the largest and most absorbent organ. The inside of the vagina is very absorbent. Super absorbent tampons soak up natural bacteria and micro-organisms in the vagina. This increases vaginal dryness and micro rips which can allow bacteria into your bloodstream causing infection. When we use tampons that are very absorbent our natural and much-needed secretions are soaked up in the name of "hygiene" and shame.
What could be my options?
Reusable tampons: Just like a "regular" tampon, only you wash and reuse. Commercial disposable tampons contain rayon, one of the factors in TSS. Organic 100% cotton (disposable or reusable) is a safer option.
Sea sponge; A natural sea sponge is used like a tampon, that absorbs the flow. They can be moistened, allowing them to be comfortably inserted. they are washed and reused. boiling water or a sterilizing solution is used to keep fresh for each use. NOT VEGAN.
Menstrual cup: Cups are more popular these days, with the amount of brands on the market we have many choices to fit our needs. The cup is made of soft silicone, shaped as a long bell-like funnel used inside of the vagina to collect the flow. It is removed and emptied, rinsed out and replaced. Boiling water is used for cleaning before and after. One cup can last many years, can be used while swimming or sleeping and does not have the same TSS risk as tampons do. A cup can hold more blood and safely be in your body for up to 12 hours.
Cloth pads: A washable fabric version of a disposable menstrual pad. Made by small businesses, these come in a huge variety. Using fabrics such as cotton, flannel, and terry cloth. Some include a waterproof layer. Pads are washed and reused for years. After pads are worn, they can be rinsed clean or left to soak and washed by hand or in a washing machine, it's really up to you. Some women like to use the rinse water to water their gardens. MAKING YOUR OWN IS ENCOURAGED.
Cliff Rose, Cattail, Moss: Indigenous peoples who had access to Cliff Rose use the soft tree bark. They would reuse the bark after it had been washed and set out in the sun to dry. Indigenous people close to large bodies of water would use the abundant Cattail. It can be used for pain caused by blood stagnation. It was also used to catch blood. Sphagnum moss or Bog-moss is able to retain water with its complex structure of capillary tubes. This moss has absorbent and antiseptic properties. These are just a few examples of how indigenous peoples would catch moon blood.
Reasons to try alternative Moon products.
1. Most mainstream hygiene products contain harmful ingredients like...Creped cellulose wadding, Melt blown polymers, Chemically-stiffened fibers, Natural and synthetic zeolites (as odor-absorbing particles), Super absorbent gels and open-celled foams, Unnamed antibacterial agents, Numerous allergens, Phthalates of concern, Synthetic musk, Surfactants to disperse fragrance, and Cancer-causing chemicals. These chemicals can remain in our bodies for decades.
2. Eliminates all the harsh chemicals. No pollutants can help get rid of cramps and skin rashes or irritations from polluted materials. Using chemical free products creates much-needed airflow and won't absorb moisture from your vagina.
3. Taking care of the land is taking care of me. Each year you will not throw away tons of plastic and mixed cotton pulp to landfills to decompose for hundreds of years. Almost every single piece of plastic ever made still exists today somewhere contaminated the natural things we need to live. The manufacturing process also makes tons of pollution.
4. Creates positive feelings of strength toward releasing potentially nutritious life-giving blood. Helps us feel connected and in tuned with the status of our bodies shown in our blood. We began to pay attention to color, flow amount, how long and how much. It lets us read our bodies to determine health if we know what to look for.
5. Save extra money. These products cost money. Tampons can you back about 50.00 dollars a year, if you decide to buy liners for back up that can be another 50.00 dollars. Disposable pads can be a little less than 50.00 dollars. This equation can help figure out how many disposable product you use: how much product used in a day x how many days your cycle last = how much product you use per cycle x 455 = how many pads or tampons used in your lifetime. According to research the "average"amount of cycles endured is about 455. These cost do not include other items we use to maintain our cycles.