Sunday, 20 March 2016

Let’s talk about periods

Food Bank Donation Leeds


Oh hello, yes, that would be that taboo subject. Yep. Hi. I can imagine there are a few people who’ve dubiously clicked this link as openly discussing something that happens to 50% of the population is apparently not the done thing. Who knew?

Social media seems to frown upon period chat as a whole (let’s not forget the period stain photo that Instagram removed for no valid reason) but recently I’ve seen an article doing the round about the lengths women are going when they cannot afford sanitary protection. And we’re not talking third world countries which also can’t afford running water, this is the UK.

There are women in the UK who are existing in such poverty that they are using old socks, handkerchiefs and even newspapers as sanitary protection.

Can we all just stop for a moment and realise that there is something very wrong going on here?

This is 2016.

In a country where the bars in our cities can charge £10 a cocktail (and some if you’re in London), yet there are women can’t afford tampons. Nothing is right about this, at all. Let’s not forget that these women have the same bodies as us. Poverty doesn’t stop periods. It doesn’t stop the discomfort or the pain, it doesn’t make them lighter or fall in a regular cycle.

I don’t think anyone needs convincing that periods are rubbish enough as it is. Let’s face it, continuous bleeding, feeling like you’ve been punched in the uterus and generally feeling a tad like you’ve been hit by a bus every month isn’t exactly all the LOLs. No matter how many brands imply their products will turn you into wonder woman, it’s not the case. And that ‘have a happy period’ slogan that knocks about? Let’s just not. But imagine living without these ‘luxury’ products. Would you even leave the house? I wouldn’t.

Think about the teenage girls living in this type of poverty. Add peer pressure, a lot of hormones and an irregular cycle to the mix and not having sanitary protection is up there with social suicide. Being a teenage girl is hard enough as it is, without worrying about staining your school uniform.

This is why, I’m donating sanitary products to a food bank. The lovely Carrie arranged a Leeds blogger meet up and has asked us all to bring products to donate, as the event is at no cost to us to attend. This is a great idea. Every PR agency who arranges events could do this as us bloggers are a lovely bunch who are more than happy to make a donation. You can see everything I’m donating in the image at the top of this post and it includes a lot of toiletries and feminine hygiene products – the things women need.

If you have access to a food bank or live near a women’s refuge, I urge you to make a donation. A few quid is all it takes. To be in a position where you can’t afford sanitary protection, you know times are going to be absolutely horrible, no matter what the reason for it, and a little goes a long way to help.

It breaks my heart to think that a woman has to make a choice between buying sanitary protection and feeding her family, as sometimes, she might not be able to afford to do both. There are so many people in need that we can help directly with donations. This isn’t donating cash which might get swallowed up into wages, fees, taxes or anything else, this is handing a product to a food bank who will hand it directly to someone in need. That’s you making a difference to someone’s life. It may not make a woman have a ‘happy’ period, but it will make one hell of a difference.

For more information on finding your local food bank, please click here.
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