The Truth About Menstruating in the Office A hilarious web comedy series is currently making the rounds on the internet. “Period Piece”, a web series produced by Indian-American actress Liliana Tandon, sheds light on menstruation and the various ways women in different points of history have dealt with their periods. One episode featured Cherokee women who, during colonial America, believed that their periods gave them strength and power to destroy enemies. Another episode focused on Victorian women who were (supposed) to exhibit feminine sensibilities all the time but this particular chapter ends with a hilarious twist. Another plotline featured trivia about 1920s women having to pay for sanitary pads in boxes to avoid being seen buying pads in public. The series is hilariously funny and snarky. But underneath the hilarity and wit, the series delivers big punches at a dark underlying issue: the societal perception of a biological and normal process every woman goes through, and how for decades — centuries, even — it has been something women were taught to hide.
The Availability of Menstrual Protection in Public Places It’s the 21st century, and things have changed but still, society has yet to progress when it comes to discussing gender issues, as evidenced by how grueling the battle for equal marriage was (and is) and how hush-hush the talk around menstruation is. In fact, there are some states that still have “tampon taxes” and have also pulled support for providing tampons and sanitary pads in public places and even homeless shelters. Despite the advances we have made in the 21st century, menstruation remains a taboo issue, something only discussed woman-to-woman, whispered behind their hands, or between a woman and her doctor. The accessibility of menstrual products is vital and not a mere frivolity. In fact, 86% of American women have experienced getting embarrassed when their period unexpectedly started in public places like the office or at school. This is exacerbated when, after the surprising early arrival of their menstruation, they realize that “there were no pads or tampons nearby.” This can lead many women to fear the possibility of the dreaded blood stain on her clothes, or even worse, a stain on the chair in which she sat. As for women who experience heavy periods, the possibility of leaking while at work lingers like a dark shadow and consequently affects productivity. In one study, as much as 68% of women don’t feel comfortable talking to male coworkers about menstruation, making succeeding in a male-dominated industry even more difficult. It remains to be a fact that women become distracted and eventually become less productive when Aunt Flo comes on. Furthermore, it’s not helped by using not-so-durable products and of women’s lack of access to them.
Female Entrepreneurs are Breaking the Taboo of Menstruation That’s why many female entrepreneurs are starting to make strides in menstruation protection. Several products have entered the market to respond to the demand for durable and effective menstrual products. An example of this is Annie Lascoe, co-founder of Conscious Period. While society settles for discretion when menstruation is concerned, Conscious Period takes a contrasting and assertive stand by revolutionizing tampons. Wrapped in brightly colored wrappers designed to garner attention from people, Conscious Period’s tampons are also made up of 100% organic cotton. Lascoe believes that women can accelerate the process of acceptance by proudly flaunting their colorful tampons on the way to the bathroom. If brightly colored tampon wrappers aren’t your thing, you could use a breakthrough alternative, the period panty. Period undies give you the discretion you want while providing the menstrual protection you need. Period panties are extremely versatile in the fact that they can be worn alone or worn with your favorite form of menstrual protection like double sided pads. We’re pretty lucky that we were born at this time and have so many menstrual protection options available to us. Although we still have strides to make in breaking the taboo of menstruation, we’re pretty fortunate to have female entrepreneurs to lead the way in revolutionizing the market.