Article by Grace Back /
Marie Claire /
August 18, 2019 /
Click here to view original /
Period stigma is real. Despite every woman getting a period, it still remains one of the most taboo and risqué topics of conversation.
New research launched today from leading Australian-made feminine care brand Libra, reveals that periods are a topic hushed up and hidden at every level of society, on a scale that transcends any other topic, despite it affecting 50 per cent of the population. The study revealed that 3 out of 4 Australian women believe there is a stigma attached to having a period, with periods listed as more taboo than drugs, sex, STD’s and mental health.
The survey went on to reveal how period taboos are having a concerning effect on behaviour. A staggering 8 in 10 women will go to great lengths to hide their periods, with women avoiding swimming, light-coloured clothing and often hiding sanitary products in their sleeves and bras. For young Australian girls, the shame of menstruation is so bad that almost 70 per cent would rather fail a subject at class than have their peers know. A quarter of women aged 18-24 are even embarrassed to purchase female care products.
Dr Lauren Rosewarne, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne said: “While our society is becoming increasingly open and tolerant around topics such as transgenderism, homosexuality and mental illness, female menstruation is still something that’s seen as unacceptable for public discourse.
“Perhaps that’s because periods aren’t something we commonly see on TV, in movies or on Instagram – if young girls are brought up to hide their period, then they will continue to feel and believe it’s something shameful, embarrassing and needing to be hidden.”
The good news is that women want to see change. Almost 50 per cent of women aged 25–39 agree society’s attitude towards periods is old-fashioned, while men and women both agree that girls’ confidence is at risk if periods aren’t discussed openly.
With the launch of a t-shirt bearing the slogan ‘Bloody Awesome’, Libra is working to end the stigma associated with getting a period.
“This new research shows just how far we have to go as less than 1 in 10 Australian women feel empowered when they have their period,” Caitlin Patterson, Executive General Manager of the Asaleo Care Retail Business said. “Periods are such a normal and healthy part of life, but aren’t discussed in public discourse and they aren’t shown in pop culture. That’s why in our latest TV commercial, we’ve made a point of showing blood, not blue liquid.”
The limited-edition Bloody Awesome T-shirts are available for sale on the Libra website for $35, with all profits going to Share the Dignity, a local charity that gives sanitary products to homeless women and fights for domestic