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This Ecuadorian Wants Girls To Feel Comfortable With Their Period, So She Wrote A Beautiful Book To Walk Them Through It

Do you remember having your period for the first time? Were you relieved, scared, or confused? Did you think you could bleed to death, or believe that you couldn’t swim or go to gym class? Did you hear someone make joking references to women being “nasty” and think, “I’ll die of embarrassment if anyone knows?” Did you feel like you were prepared? This Ecuadorian writer wants girls to reconcile with their bodies, so she wrote a book to walk girls through menstruation.

In a world that is increasingly progressive, menstruation is often still a taboo subject.

More often than not, what information girls do hear around their bodies is often negative or incorrect, and even school health classes that discuss the subject often focus on the theoretic and biological “systems” that make it work, without ever touching on the real, practical experience of a monthly cycle. As a result a girl’s first period is still likely to be disconcerting for her.

Ecuadorian academic and menstrual educator-turned-author Paulina Vásquez Quirola wrote a book on the subject.

Taking readers on a fantastical trip between awakened states and lucid dreams she tells the story of a girl’s reconciliation with her changing body.

The book, published in Spanish, walks girls through the mystical celebrations of the female body.

From classroom scenes, where periods are shamed, to celebrations in mystical women’s circles, the book offers an alternative to the negative connotations that menstruation still holds in schools when it comes to periods.

The book talks about the ancient Andino wisdom surrounding menstruation.

‘Tribu de Mujeres’, illustrated by José Rafael Delgado, explains the wisdom of the Andes transmitted by elderly women like its protagonist, Abuela Killa. When passed on from one generation to the next, young people learn that menstruation reveals the creative urge and cyclic nature of all living beings and life itself.

Parents, friends and teachers can make the experience a much more positive experience.

By providing girls with accurate information, real-life experience, and practical advice, they can learn to view their menstrual cycle in a totally different way: as an important element of their female nature. “I discovered the importance of understanding ourselves cyclically, of understanding ourselves as part of nature, as part of a whole,” explains Vásquez. “I think that is one of the big issues. Modernity and the system in which we live makes us disconnect from ourselves, from others in the sense of community and nature, the universe, from something much bigger.”

An important way to make girls more comfortable with menstruation is to make sure that they have accurate information.

Not just about how and why it works, but also on the day-to-day, real life business of it. “We live it as something tiresome, as something exhausting. So it’s like, shit, it came! It’s time again! When is it over? Many of us have that negative view of our cycle,” says Vásquez. The more comfortable women and girls are with our own bodies, the more we will learn to handle both the first mentruation, and the ongoing experience.

Tribu de Mujeres is available in Spanish. Visit Vientres Libres to get a copy.

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Six Dr. Seuss Books Are Being Pulled From Publication Due To Racist Imagery

Things That Matter

Six Dr. Seuss Books Are Being Pulled From Publication Due To Racist Imagery

Don’t call it a total cancellation.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises has made the decision of their own accord to no longer publish or license six of the books written and illustrated by the writer Theodor Seuss “Ted” Geisel. The American children’s author who passed away in 1991 was also a political cartoonist, illustrator, poet, animator, and filmmaker. His first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937), and his book  If I Ran the Zoo (1950) are among the books being pulled as a result of racist and insensitive imagery.

On Tuesday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises shared a statement on their website explaining their decision to cancel the publication of the books.

Citing the four other books including McElligot’s Pool (1947), Scrambled Eggs Super! (1953), On Beyond Zebra! (1955) and The Cat’s Quizzer (1976) the company explained that they came to the decision citing the fact that they each “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” explained the statement.

Dr. Seuss Enterprises is a company that, according to Time Magazine, works to preserve and protect “the legacy of the late author and illustrator, who died in 1991 at the age of 87, also noted in the statement that the decision was made over the past year with a panel of experts, including educators, academics, and specialists in the field, who reviewed the catalog of titles.”

Children’s books by Dr. Seuss have long been considered a classic contribution to children’s literature.

The books’ colorful and fun illustrations and rhymes are still to this day instantly recognizable. Recently, however, the writer’s work has been re-examined and scrutinized for racial caricatures and stereotypes. This is especially when it comes to the depictions of Black and Asian people. Many have also pointed out that before he was known as Dr. Seusss, Geisel’s work had been strongly criticized for “drawing WWII cartoons that used racist slurs and imagery, as well as writing and producing a minstrel show in college, where he performed in blackface—a form of entertainment that some children’s literature experts point to as the inspiration for Geisel’s most famous character, the Cat in the Hat.”

Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s announcement of their decision to pull these books coincided with the anniversary of the writer’s birthday.

Geisel’s birthday coincidentally comes at the same time as National Education Association’s Read Across America Day, which has long been attached to his books,

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There’s A New Kit For Your PreTeen’s First Period That Will Make Talking About It Way Less Taboo

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There’s A New Kit For Your PreTeen’s First Period That Will Make Talking About It Way Less Taboo

Everyone remembers getting their first period. Whether you were at a friend’s sleepover, riding your bike or sitting in math class, it’s a moment straight out of a teen novel that forever alters your life. A reminder of what your body is capable of, it’s a marker of growing up—and if you haven’t been prepared for what’s involved, it can be a daunting experience.

But, thankfully, today there are so many resources out there to help make that experience easier for the teen getting her first period and for the parents who get to explain all these changes.

The new kit for her first period helps teens embrace their periods.

Getting your first period is a milestone in a woman’s life but thanks to our patriarchal society it’s long been considered a taboo. And, as a result, young girls and women are left suffering to figure it out on their own.

Thankfully, there are new companies out there working to make menstrual education the norm and they’re determined to provide knowledge and supplies to teens who are just starting to menstruate – especially if they’re from underrepresented communities. They’re working to set up the next gen of people who menstruate with better access to products and information so they can feel confident while navigating their bodies’ natural changes.

“We’re dedicated to encouraging families to openly communicate about period and puberty education,” Crystal Etienne, founder of Ruby Love, told POPSUGAR. “We launched our bestselling first-period kits that include educational materials that challenge common misconceptions about puberty and equip teens with the tools they need to embrace their periods.”

Products like these are so important since a woman’s period has major impacts on her life.

A lot of people learn about menstruation and proper period care after having their first period, sometimes even years later. This has a huge impact on access to period care products and education and takes its toll on society as a whole.

For instance, in North America, up to 70 per cent of girls and women have missed school or work because of their period, according to research by UNESCO. Then there’s the very serious issue of health effects. At least one study found that Black women are three times more likely to experience more severe period symptoms than white women, thanks to noncancerous growths in the uterus that can cause heavy periods.

“While the first period talk is an important introduction to puberty, the topic still remains taboo in many families,” Crystal explained to POPSUGAR.

“This can especially be true in minority groups who have traditionally been left out of the conversation due to stigmas surrounding the topic. As a mother, I know how important it is to have a menstrual-care option that is safe, easy to use, and helps celebrate a young girl’s growth. Discussing menstruation as a monumental rite of passage and making her first period experience as positive as possible influences how a young girl views menstruation,” she added.

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