Clue is a Berlin based period tracking app which allows users to track their cycle, identify regular and irregular patterns such as pain and emotion levels and share the information with friends and family. All of these factors contribute to menstruation mindfulness and the company intends for the app to start healthy and honest conversations about periods.

The company collaborated with the New York based advocacy group the IWHC to collect data about when and where people did and did not feel comfortable talking about their periods. They also recorded the euphemisms they used instead of just s

aying period. Those euphemisms resulted in gloriously massive and red posters which took over the Berlin underground stations.

Clue want to break down those archaic social barriers that prevent period chat.  These euphemisms, although sometimes funny on the surface, can in reality, be a huge problem as the majority of people using them are avoiding the word period.

The campaign goes further than the big red boards, search #justsayperiod on Twitter to find a stream of interesting menstruation discussion on all topics from contraception to superstitions to femininity. We need to keep the conversation going, as menstruation silence leads to much bigger problems.

What do you think? Should the painters be thrown out? Should we tell Aunt Flo to f off?

 

We were totally overwhelmed by the amount of incredible artwork that was received for Paint the Town Red. Each artist had a unique response to the brief and collectively, they provided a stirring reply to period attitudes and poverty. The stigma and shame which has been hanging over bleeding since it began, can stop people accessing the products they need. It was a real joy to see creative and like-minded folk come together to bin off shame and celebrate period experiences.

Northern Artist, Sammi Cannings created the AMAZING ‘Bad Timing’ piece as part of the exhibition and it portrays a moment that all menstruators can relate to. She took the time to chat about it and give us a sneaky insight into the creation of ‘Bad Timing’ and her work.

1. What work are you most interesting in making? What materials do you use?
I love making character based pieces, where I can show interesting expression and emotion – and try and make people laugh too. I mainly work digitally, drawing my work straight into the computer.

2. How did you make this piece?
This piece was first sketched out on paper, then scanned into the computer and coloured in Photoshop using a Wacom drawing tablet.

3. What inspired you to make it?
The drawing was inspired by that horrible feeling you get when you get your period somewhere unexpected and you’re totally unprepared for it. I wanted to replicate that emotion, but in a lighter, sillier way that would make people smile.

4. What would you tell your younger self about menstruation?
“It’s not as awful as it seems right now!”. Getting your period sucks, but you get used to it and you don’t have to be embarrassed by it, it’s totally normal!

5. What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working as a freelance video editor for children’s TV. So I’m spending most of my free time working on some art pieces for myself and trying to improve my skills as an artist.

6. How did you find out about the Every Month campaign?
One of my friends tagged me in a post on your Instagram because she thought I’d be interested. After that I went and found out more about Every Month and all the great work you guys do.

To check out more of Sammi’s brilliant work, take a look at her Facebook, or Instagram @esscee_sammi.

 

 

Last month we hosted Paint the Town Red at Plant NOMA, celebrating local artists, combating period stigma, making some sweet crafts and raising funds for the campaign. We were OVERWHELMED by just how many people came down and showed their support. The place was packed and the sanitary product collections were overflowing.

The crafting corner was in full flow all evening (how many times can I get away with saying flow?). From origami vaginas to campaign badges to Christmas card making. There was glitter, red felt tip, campaign messages and gem hearts everywhere – what’s not to love? Not forgetting the amazing Prom-esque background, fully stocked with period props.

We had a raffle which included extraordinary prizes donated to us including booze, Lush goodies, theatre tickets, a tour of Old Traff and even a signed picture of Judge Rinder (there really was something for everyone).  The far wall was covered in art and looked insanely good. The artists were asked to respond to how they felt about menstruation and the final work was interesting and diverse.  Here are just a few:

No I’m not on my Period by Beth Mollart-Evans

The Tampon Smuggler by Charly Tudor

Bad Timing by Sammi Cannings

We just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who helped organise the event, the artists who contributed, everyone who came and those who couldn’t come and still donated. £854.60 was raised in total and five bins of sanitary products were collected providing even more people with a safe and comfortable period. It was incredible to see so many people come together. We love you all and had such an amazing time drinking, chatting and crafting with you.

Keep an eye out for upcoming events in the new year on our social media (there’s definitely more where that came from…).

 

 

We know how it is. Someone from work is doing a run, a friend has got a Crowdfunder campaign, your nephew or niece is doing a sponsored silence, you have those organisations that are important you give to when you can. Sometimes the pressure can be added when you click through to donate to something and the suggested amount is £10 or even £20. You’re doing a good thing and yet you’re made to feel a little bad for not having that amount to part with.

At Every Month, £1.50 makes a huge difference to someone’s life. The campaign is organised by a team of volunteers and your donation goes straight to the cause.

Your £1.50 provides someone with enough sanitary products for a whole month and a chocolate bar. The packs are made up with five pads, five non-applicator and  five applicator tampons. We even offer mooncup packs providing a guarantee for this cycle the next, the one after and so many more. A donation not only provides hygienic and safe periods but a comfortable one too. For anyone experiencing period poverty, these differences have a huge impact on someone’s physical and mental health.

A Every Month pack is less than the cost of:

  • A filter coffee
  • A birthday card
  • A nail varnish
  • A tube of pringles

There are other ways you can help too:

  • Donate sanitary supplies – Have a chat with our lovely packing team for more info : everymonthpacks@gmail.com
  • Share the campaign message on social media
  • Volunteer with us- email everymonthcentral@gmail.com to sign up to the mailing list and find out about upcoming voluntary opportunities.
  • Come to our next event – Paint the Town Red @ Plant NOMA on 24 November! Click here for more details
  • Guest blog – Share your stories with us and help us end period taboo. Email your great ideas to everymonthblog@gmail.com
  • Sign our campaign here  or write a letter to your local council – email everymonthlobby@gmail.com for more details. Help us to make Manchester a forerunner for free sanitary products in schools.
  • Hold a fundraising event- whether it’s making Every Month your nominated cause at work, a sponsored run, a bake sale or an off the wall idea – the funds raised would go directly to helping someone. Get in touch with the Fundraising gals for more info and inspo:  everymonthfundraising@gmail.com. We’ll be sure to share your contribution on our social media.

The campaign relies on support and we are really grateful for ALL the donations we receive. We love you guys! Help us to help more people and spread the word, together we can make some big changes and kick period poverty’s arse.

 

Does anyone else kinda wanna high five Bodyform rn?

If you haven’t seen already, Bodyform have become the first sanitary product company to depict blood in adverts instead of that blue liquid that’s common place in absorbency testing (srsly, what is it?). Watch it here. Not only is it used for the absorbency test in the ad but blood runneth downeth the leg of someone in the shower. A man goes to buy pads and he’s not annoyed or ashamed of the fact he’s buying them. Good going Bodyform.  Unbelievably it was only last year that an actual pad was shown in an advert here in the UK (Bodyform again).

After the initial excitement of the acknowledgement that periods are blood not blue, I felt slightly overwhelmed by the fact that it is 2017 and people are still not comfortable with discussing periods to the point where red liquid on a pad is too much (check out Instagram/Facebook/Youtube comments if you dare).

Yes, it’s a big step from blue to red but seriously, what took so long for us to get here and why are the naysayers still naying even though half of the population bleed monthly?

Soapbox aside, Bodyform are leading the way for other sanitary product companies and taking a powerful stand in encouraging period normality and conversation. Period taboo is not only damaging to confidence, increasing anxiety and affecting mental health of bleeders but it can stop people accessing products leading to poor hygiene and infections. The more people who join in with the conversation about period taboo, the more likely sanitary products will become normalised, considered and accessible to everyone.

I delved into the Youtube sanitary product ad archive and found this Bodyform advert from 2009. The difference is HUGE. The focus is a traditionally ‘feminine’ female with a good selection of bags, dresses, skirts, heels and the focus is about feeling good. Feeling girly and nice when bleeding and not an actual pad in sight.

SO we have come a long way from the ad above and after the initial ‘shock’ (avert thine eyes from the period blood), it’s likely that other companies will follow.

Progress will always feel a bit slow to us (Every Month are unsurprisingly an open bunch when it comes to period talk) but it’s happening. What are your thoughts?  Bloody great or does it make you feel blue?