After spending the last two months talking with women about their Menstrual Cycle, I am happy to present a collection of stories that have been shared as well as clips from the Sassy Event ‘Mentioning Menstruation’.
‘Mentioning Menstruation’ brought 18 women together to partake in an open conversation. After an introduction by myself (including a somewhat entertaining rendition of Bootylisicous by Destiny’s Child, with the lyrics modified to read ‘Let’s all talk about our Menstrual Cycle’! ) Laila Gaber led the conversation presenting her story.
“I was 13 when my period first arrived and there was lot of prejudice surrounding it. If any of the girls happened to get blood on the back of their dresses, they were publicly humiliated; the subject of teasing and nasty gossip. I remember being terrified of getting blood on my dress. I would secretively take my pads and tampons out of my bag as I was so anxious that the other people would see.
These first experiences collectively taught me that my own cycle was something to be ashamed of, dirty, needing to be hidden and repressed.
Moving forward I suffered very painful periods and still do. I always refused to control the pain and flux of my period with a contraceptive pill, and as I continued on my journey of self-exploration and spiritual growth my relationship with pain has changed. I started to view it more as a messenger, rather than a punishment. And so the journey of re-connecting with my body and womb’s wisdom began.”
As women join the conversation and shared their thoughts, an incredible atmosphere of support arose through the process of talking. The discussion shed light on the realisation that every woman’s cycle is acutely unique, yet we all shared in a want to demystify the options that we have in terms of contraception and understanding one’s body. In response to the conversation, I made a piece of artwork, which encapsulated the tone of the discussion and the ideas that bounced between women.
I am proud to share the following women stories for you to read. Providing a spectrum of experiences, concerns and quests to find the right answer. Each conversation has led to my making of a piece of artwork, illustrating the article.