Because a menstrual cycle festival is good for us

Because a menstrual cycle festival is good for us

An old but ever-present feminist slogan reminds us that if men were to give birth, abortion would be a sacrament. The same thing, if you think about it, could be said about the menstrual cycle. For centuries, women have had to face the taboo of menstruation, a dangerous mix of ignorance, superstition and fear of the unknown that has condemned them to experience the menstrual cycle as something to be ashamed of. Without bothering the philosophers and theorists of feminism - who have given the topic ample space - just think of all the times we hid the tampon when we had to go to the bathroom to change, a modesty that has been handed down to us more or less unconsciously by the our mothers and our grandmothers.

In recent years, things have changed also thanks to the work of disseminators, disseminators and activists who have pressed for all the taboos related to the menstrual cycle to be dropped by finding an edge in the brands they sell sanitation products. In Italy the debate around the taboos linked to the cycle was rekindled after the then deputy of the Democratic Party Giuseppe Civati ​​proposed a bill for the abolition of the tampon tax. The great indignation unleashed by that stance on the part of the feminist movements - a man who engaged in such a battle raised more than a few eyebrows - and on the part of the opposition, however, had the effect of raising attention to the theme of the unjust taxation on sanitary towels which at the time was 22%, like that of goods considered luxury, and which today has fallen to 10% thanks to the work of activists and committees.

A bill has been presented to recognize vulvodynia The disease is expected to be recognized as chronic and disabling. Giorgia Soleri at the presentation of the project: "Let's not turn off the spotlight" The Festival of the menstrual cycle Thanks also to the debate born around the abolition of the tampon tax, Italy will be the first country in the world to host a festival entirely dedicated to menstruation. The first edition of the Menstrual Cycle Festival will be held in Milan from 17 to 19 June and will be three days of meetings, workshops and events dedicated to the cycle and to contrasting the taboo of menstruation. The program is very rich: from the tampon tax to endometriosis, a disease that afflicts thousands of women and which is still very difficult to diagnose due to one of the hardest dying taboos linked to the cycle, the one according to which it is normal to feel pain. . The Spanish government has recently expressed itself on this: Irene Montero, 34, minister for Equal Opportunities, is the author of the first law on menstrual leave, which provides for three-day paid leave for anyone with a disabling cycle. It seems that other countries, including ours, want to take an example from the initiative of the Madrid government and in this context of new awareness, events such as the Festival of the menstrual cycle represent an important tool to facilitate the life of women, who still find themselves today often to extricate themselves from the sea of ​​information, often contradictory, which can be read online.

The Festival was born from the synergy of the authors of Eva in rosso, the first Italian podcast entirely dedicated to the menstrual cycle, the associations Errante and Promise in collaboration with the graphic and digital design studio Studio but maybe. "We organized it to inaugurate a new narrative of the menstrual cycle - reads one of the pages of the event - because even today the cycle is seen as a taboo instead of being recognized as a fundamental theme for health and gender equality". The event was financed with a fundraising campaign by Produzioni dal Basso which will be active until June 15, giving the opportunity, to those who want to contribute, to donate part of the proceeds for the purchase of sanitary pads to be sent to Ukraine.

Spain is ready to recognize three days of menstrual leave A new bill provides for three days of paid leave during the menstrual cycle and five days for women suffering from dysmenorrhea. Furthermore, it would ensure women aged 16 and over to be able to terminate the pregnancy without parental consent and free sanitary pads in schools. signed by Bianca Leonardi precisely on the Festival of the cycle in which the editorialist lashes out against the event defining it "of an embarrassing trash". Leonardi particularly condemns "the usefulness of flaunting private lives, intimate affairs and personal experiences", a practice that has its roots in the feminist collectives of the second wave, which based part of their political thinking on the sharing of personal experiences according to the principle that "the personal is political".

In fact, also thanks to the awareness and work of these circles, the need to bring the bodies and stories of women into the public space. But Bianca Leonardi also has something to say about the donation of sanitary pads to Ukrainian women: "The purchase of sanitary pads during a war seems a bit apologetic. In short, aid and volunteering are welcome but they are not instrumental for the purposes of fake respectability: on Ukrainian lands hundreds of people are dying every day, families do not have food, children do not have water and food. Maybe the champions of the "redheads" have not, perhaps, paid attention to these small details? " .

Yet various associations have long denounced how during conflicts, the lack of sanitary pads is a problem for many women. As Alessia Ferri recalls on Vanity Fair, according to a 2017 Global One study, 60% of Syrian and Lebanese refugees did not have access to clean underwear and an even greater number did not have access to sanitary towels, "added to this is the fact that war represents a very stressful condition that inevitably also affects the menstrual flow which can become more painful or abnormal and require the use of drugs that are also unavailable ".

In short, while the taboo of menstruation for us who live in a period of peace represents a problem, for refugee women, for those committed to front and for those who flee there is a war, it can represent a real tragedy. For this reason, moments of aggregation and awareness are more necessary than ever, such as the Festival of the menstrual cycle. because knowing is needed, but creating a network is essential to progress together.

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