January Riots Not January Diets

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Shameless plug: Brandalism and creative resistance to toxic messages about beauty

It’s shameless plug time: I wrote an article on creative resistance to harmful messages about body image in adverts for the Brandalism website. This was a fun one to write because it’s not much text and lots of pictures of amazing feminist art.

A sticker on a bathroom mirror which says: 'Warning reflections may be distorted by socially constructed ideas of beauty'

Another Bloody Woman Moaning

I hate my periods. I hate having no control over when they start. I hate washing bloodstains out of my clothes and bedding. I hate pain. I hate that I have decades to go before they stop. I hate that I have to put up with them even though I don’t want children anyway.

If your periods make you feel connected to your mother and grandmother and women all around the world throughout time and space, I feel happy for you. If your periods make you feel fertile and womanly, I’m glad. If you accept and celebrate periods as part of the cycle of life and nature, then great.

I do not feel this way. My periods make me unhappy and that isn’t going to change. As a woman, it needs to be OK for me to not like periods. I don’t need to be cheered up or convinced that they’re actually fun and awesome. Herbal medicine and mooncups will not make me feel better, because my feelings are so much deeper than that. I know that as a woman, I am not allowed to be unhappy as my purpose is to service the emotional needs of men and children, not to have any myself. I know that it is unacceptably selfish for any woman to be cross when it is so much more pleasant for those around us when we are happy and smiley. I know, but I don’t care.

Tampon advert showing Serena Williams on a tennis court punching the air in triumph, while in the background 2 stewards drag away a woman labelled 'Mother Nature'. The slogan says 'Game, Set and Match Serena'

You may not show or express pain or discomfort while menstruating. You can even win tennis tournaments when on your period through a combination of will power and expensive branded sanitary products.

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