50 Cents. Period. part 1

I just came back from the most magnificent event. My college is fortunate enough to have hosted Lorrie King, the founder of the women’s health organization 50 Cents. Period.  50 Cents Period is an organization dealing with menstruation in developing countries, focusing currently in Andhra Pradesh, India; the Kathmandu, Sindhupochok, and Karnali portions of Nepal; the Masaka, Kutamba and Kasese portions of Uganda, and Managua, Nicaragua.

As 50 Cent Period explains:

“We believe that every woman has the right to experience her period with dignity. Our mission is to empower women and girls to stay fully in engaged in their lives and educations without the stigma and barriers surrounding their periods.”

The brilliance of this organization is not just in their efforts to promote healthy menstruation or their feminist push for female education. The brilliance is that women like Lorrie King are not afraid to talk about their periods.

On a personal level, this struck me as incredibly fearless in an area that shouldn’t require bravery. And yet I know I struggle to remember that having my period is not a curse. It’s such a taboo subject that even going to CVS to buy pads is a mortifying experience that makes me feel degraded. On some level I can blame the world around me for perpetuating the idea that menstruation is an ugly, terrifying process that distorts the beauty of womanhood. But I know that it is my choice to believe this myth or not.

I must applaud Lorrie King for reminding me that I can view my body’s natural functions as the natural occurrences that they are. I know I am not the only one who struggles with this self perception of womanhood.

I am grateful to King again, because she has agreed to an open interview with me for this blog. I open the floor to you though. Please submit any questions you wish to ask and I’ll forward them to King for the interview. Please get the questions to me by April 12th. After April 12th, submissions will be closed.

  

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4 thoughts on “50 Cents. Period. part 1

  1. “Women bleed every month no matter where they live and no matter their race. It is a part of womanhood. It is not dirty. It is not shameful. It is one piece of being a woman.”

    This wording erases trans experiences of menstruation and of womanhood. I menstruate but I am not a woman, and trans women do not menstruate but are certainly women–it reinforces the “trans women are not REAL women” idea that is so prevalent in feminist circles. Please reconsider your wording.

    • Thank you for correcting me. I was not trying to invalidate the trans experience and I apologize for not being more considerate. Thank you again for reminding me of all the ways to be a woman. I appreciate your comment.

  2. Curious to know if they also discussed menstrual cups at this event, considering they’re significantly more practical and affordable in the long run.

    • They did not actually. I was not able to go the event this year when my university held it again, but I can ask people who went.

      Thank you for bringing up an alternative and I’ll let you know when I have more information.

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