Fierce

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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Remember The Day You Got Your Period For The First Time?

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Remember The Day You Got Your Period For The First Time?

Chris Hondros / Getty

No matter how old you are, you’ll always remember what it was like to get your first period. Of course, we all have different experiences with them. For some, our first periods were kind of a bit traumatizing. For others, it was was one of the most empowering moments of our lives.

To celebrate our first periods, we asked FIERCE Latinas to share their experiences and the stories were both sweet and hilarious.

Check out some of the stories below!

This gift from god period.

“I got mine on Christmas when I was 12, and my aunt was like “it’s a gift from God!” – 444nates

This one that sparked tears.

“I was 11 and it was Valentine’s Day in sixth grade. I was wearing black pants but I was so scared to tell anyone so when I got home I tried to cover it up like nothing happened. The next morning when I woke up for school my sister was the one who noticed because there was blood on my shorts. She called my mom and my mom came home from work and cried because “I was a woman now” so then I started crying cause I was scared 😂 my mom let me stay home from school for the week and my dad told her she should stay with me so I’m comfortable.” – lichensnfronds

This one that came to church.

“I got mine during morning Sunday mass. I felt wet and I went to bathroom and when I looked down I was like, “oh god it’s happening awww man. I shouldn’t have made fun of yesenia for getting her’s last week.” – angiemhrndz

What is it with periods on holy days, seriously?

“Easter Sunday. 10 years old almost 11, I freaked out in the bathroom of the church.” – dearmelrose

This one that gives Remember the Alamo a different sentiment.

“It was Summertime and our parents always had different activities planned for us. This particular day, we were visiting The Alamo. I was 10 and right before leaving I made that last minute bathroom trip when I realized I got my period. I called my mom and she immediately gave me a pep talk & the stuff I needed, I already knew about it but was surprised. I was like “We’re STILL going to The Alamo?!” Needless to say “Remember The Alamo” has an entirely different meaning for me!!” – tish1972

This one that took some time to share with her mom.

“I was 16 when I got my period… and I was scared didn’t told my mom until late that day. I was using two chones meanwhile.” – tatiana.r92

And this one that came at a really bad time.

“I got mine on Father’s Day with my brother and dad at the movie theaters I went to the bathroom and didn’t know what to do because I had nothing with me and my dad knocked on the door and told me to hurry up and what was taking so long so I put a lot of paper and waited till I got home.” – _jessica_silva17

This one that traumatized.

“11 at home, I think!? I had an older sister and classes were they gave us free pads and educated us on the subject. Still traumatizing lol.” – k.cuzco

This one that came a bit early and at a hard time.

“I was a little over a month shy of 10 years old. My mom was in prison and I was living with my dad and his new wife. (Who 20+ years later is still not a mom to her own children so she def wasn’t tryin to be mine) My friend had stayed the night and we were just waking up. I was crying in the bathroom so she got my dad, who got his wife, who said “it’s okay, you’re fine. ” Then handed me a pad she received from the hospital after giving birth to my brother a week or so prior. When my mom called that day she started crying and apologizing for not being there for me.
I swore to my girls I’d be there for them always. When my almost 12 year old called me a few Saturday mornings ago from her dad’s house and let me know she had gotten hers, I jumped outta bed and went straight to her.
I can’t do anything about the way I grew up, I can only make sure my daughters have a better go of it.” – xicana_402

This one that made her think she was dying.

“11 and the bus ride home from school. I thought I was dying.” – reinders.v

“Started one morning that I had basketball practice before school in 8th grade. Mom couldn’t drive me so I had to walk myself to school, got in trouble for being late, and I remember wanting to cry cause I was both shook and pissed off for being punished by mother nature AND my coach.” – cynthia_a7

When a baby came the same day as her period.

“My mom had just given birth to my brother (I was 10) and I was at the hospital. My grandma ran out and said,”it happened! A baby and a period in the same day!” – ashleylynne92

This one that came with a super sweet gift.

“I was 9 & at the apple store bc my uncle was kind enough to buy me an ipod and i geniuenly thought i had peed myself or something and i told my mom but she got confused and told me to hold it till we got home. then i went to the bathroom when i got home and panicked so i told my mom and she had to just do a mini explanation.” – crystalramirezx

This one that ruined a pair of super cute shorts.

“12 was ecstatic to wear my new all white glitter shorts. Summer vacation, I step out my room feeling my myself passed my dad he nearly fainted (didn’t say a word) went to my mom a floor down and I was about to sit in the white sofas we had before I twirled for my mom to show her my outfit when she stopped gasped and told me to shower. The rest I don’t remember what happened, I do know we threw my shirts away. Wore them for maybe 30 mins.” – gu.pita

This one that was poorly timed because of an RBD announcement

‘Back when RBD announced they were splitting up 🥺 worst week ever tbh.” – josiiiee__

This super sad story that ended with being bullied.

“oh boy do i remember. So I was in private school with 75 students. And out of all the students I was the last one to get it. I was 14 years old everyone in my school was considered a woman and I was always made fun of because I was still a child (their words not mine) so the day I got mine somehow Everyone in my school found out. And some asshole’s decided to put condoms in my backpack I didn’t know they put him there so when I went to open my backpack day fell out and I was sent to the principals office and I had to explain to her that I was being bullied because I was the last one to get my. At that school. middle school dont ever want to do that again.” – memylerena

And this story that proves no shorts are safe when it comes to first periods!

“I was about 11 years old. I was playing outside with my primas and I remember feeling my biker shorts (it’s was the 90’s lol) get wet. I ran to the bathroom and I was bleeding. I called for my mom and my prima @d_quiin came to the bathroom and explained to me what I should do. I remember her telling me, not to eat lemon and other things meanwhile on it. Lol!” – esperanza_and_friends

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Eco-Friendly Period Products That Will Save You Money In The Long Run

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Eco-Friendly Period Products That Will Save You Money In The Long Run

Catherine Ivill / Getty

It’s expensive being a woman with a period.

On average, women menstruate from age 13 to age 51 which means the average woman has over 456 total periods over a course of nearly 40 years. According to research conducted by San Francisco State University, 2,280 days of a woman’s life is spent on her period. Or, 6.25 years of her life. While there are other options, nearly 70 percent of women use tampons during their periods. SFSU states that as women are instructed to change their tampons every 4 to 8 hours, with 6 hours being the average and a box containing 36 tampons costing $7 at a Pharmacy, women spend $1,773.33 in a lifetime on tampons (that’s if that price of tampons stays the same). That’s a pretty big chunk of change but…

Here’s the thing, to some people that might not be a lot of savings in a lifetime, but what about in terms of the environment? Traditional pads and tampons are typically made of plastic, rayon, and toxic chemicals like bleach which fill topple landfills and clog sewers. Each year, 20 billion menstrual products are ultimately dropped in North American landfills. With the average woman throwing away 250 to 300 pounds of “pads, plugs, and applicators” in her lifetime, that’s a heck lot of space on our planet to be taking up.

Fortunately, that can be saved. From cotton pads to menstrual cups there all kinds of comfortable, affordable, and easy ways to save the planet with your period alone. Check them out!

Cloth Pads

Sea-Sponge Tampons

Padded Panties

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBbgWPFHXSP/

Menstrual Cups

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𝐘𝐦𝐩ä𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭ö𝐲𝐬𝐭ä𝐯ä𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐭 𝐤𝐮𝐮𝐤𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐭.⁣⁣⁣ *𝘺𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘺ö 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘶𝘴 @nomaicup 𝘬𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘴𝘢*⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Vuonna 2018 pelkästään Yhdysvalloissa ostettiin 𝟓.𝟖 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐣𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐚 tampoonia (𝘭ä𝘩𝘥𝘦 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘎𝘦𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘩𝘪𝘤.) Voitte siis vain kuvitella miltä luku näyttää kaikki maailman tampoonit ynnättynä. Tähän lisätään vielä kuukautissiteet ja jätevuori on valmis.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Suurin osa myytävistä siteistä sekä tamponeista on kierrätys kelvottomia, ja osa näistä päätyy myös kaatopaikan sijaan viemäristöön ja sitä kautta mereen sekä rannoillemme.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Meille markkinoidaan murros-iästä alkaen erilaisia kertakäyttöisiä siteitä sekä tampooneja eikä juurikaan kerrota kestävistä vaihtoehdoista.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Mutta entä jos kuukautiset voisivat olla ympäristöystävällisemmät sekä samalla edullisemmat?⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Kuukuppi on monelle vielä tuntematon kuukautistuote, mutta ympäristön kannalta erittäin oleellinen. Itselläni on ollut kuukuppi jo vuoden verran käytössä ja voin sanoa, että paluuta siteisiin ei enää ole.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Yksi kuukuppeja valmistava yritys on suomalainen 𝐍𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐢, joiden kuukupit ovat tehty 100% lääketieteellisestä silikonista ja näin ollen ne sopivat myös lateksi allergikoille. Tuotteet ovat kotimaisia ja valmistus tapahtuu Sastamalassa.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Yhden kuukupin hinta on 29,90€ ja koko vaihtoehtoja on kolme: S, M ja L. Ne ovat suunniteltu eri tarpeisiin ja tietoa kupeista löytyy yrityksen sivuilta.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ Itse valitsin koot S ja M. Kupit ovat helppo asettaa sisälle ja oikein laitettuna ne eivät tunnu miltään. Kuppien mukana tulee myös kätevä pussi, jonka avulla kuljetat kuppia helposti mukanasi.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Kuukuppi voi tuntua hintavalta verrattuna siteisiin ja tamponeihin, mutta tiesitkö, että oikein käytettynä yksi kuukuppi voi kestää jopa 10 vuotta käytössä? Siitä voit siis laskea kuinka paljon rahaa säästät, puhumattakaan kuinka paljon vähemmän roskaa tuotat.⁣⁣ ⁣ Suosittelen siis vahvasti kokeilemaan kuukuppia.⁣ ⁣⁣ #nomaicup #menstrualcups #periods #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #sustainablelife #zerowasteswaps #zerowastebathroom #kotimaisuus #kotimainen #kuukautiset #ecofriendly #plasticfreeoceans #ecohome #ekokoti #sustainableswaps

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