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“I remember back in 2010, on January 23 when I woke up to the feeling of dizziness and bloating. It was around 5 in the morning and I seemed to connect the illness with the dinner I had a night before. I didn’t know what was happening or how uncomfortable I was feeling while walking. The moment I walked into the washroom and slid down my pants, the very sight of so much blood made my body go numb; but I remember myself screaming at the top of my lungs, “Mumma, Mumma!!!”. This is how it was. My first period. This is how it must have been for you. Your first period. This is how it always is. Our first period.”
“Period”. I have always asked myself how does it sound to boys, to men? Does it strike them with the same pain we feel in our abdomen, does it make them puke at the gothic, bloody sight we have to see all day. What must it be like to them? To the people who don’t experience blood dripping out of vaginas? Obviously, nothing. Then how come that they get to decide how much we pay on things that soak our blood in? How come they get to put taxes on objects like tampons and sanitary napkins? How come they get to decide when they don’t bleed?
Although India has abolished taxes from menstruation products, every single girl has still a reason to worry because there are so many countries still remaining to gather brains and take off the taxes. Even the most developed of all, U.S.A. is the one lacking behind in such delicate issues. Today, the world witnessed a very serious and radical initiative taken in the streets and on the roads of almost 50 US states, wherein both menstruators and non-menstruators came together to raise their voice against the stupid culture of taxing on pads and tampons. This initiative was taken by an organisation named “PERIOD: A Menstrual Movement” whose sole motto is “Fighting To End Period Poverty And Period Stigma Through Service, Education and Advocacy.”
Nadya Okamoto, the founder of PERIOD, has herself faced innumerous difficulties as a homeless teen and has faced the challenge of “the unaddressed natural need of periods”. Therefore, she started PERIOD.org, a ‘non-profit organization that gives women access to the period products they need to feel confident and clean every menstruation cycle, no matter their income. Now, it’s the largest youth-run nonprofit in women’s health.”
I was thrown out of my nerves when I first saw the advertisement for this National Period Day of the USA. Therein they mentioned that “There’s a crisis that’s being ignored. Because we don’t see it. It’s keeping far too many people away from school. Away from the education they need. One in 4 women can’t afford menstrual hygiene products. Tampons. Pads. Essentials. If faces were bleeding, someone would do something.” Literally, if our faces bled, someone would do something. But just because you cannot see it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. There are women who use cardboards during menstruation. There are women who use safety pins to tie up their napkins to their innerwear resulting in serious injuries. There are women bleeding into toilet papers. There are women bleeding, into nothing. And while the world sweeps into sleep, there are women sweeping into death, because of the unavailability of common, hygienic products. So let’s all come together, girls, boys, men, women, LGBTQ+, every single goddamn human on Earth and raise our voice for these stars who give birth to us, guide us and show us the light. Let’s all come together to tell everyone that we won’t bleed the Earth because we are stars that deserve to bleed in the skies. – A Star That Bleeds This Sky