We’ve has a lot of reaction to the #PadManChallenge we have been running this Women’s Month. Why are we talking about Men in Women’s Month? Because we want to put MEN left, right and centre of the discussion about MENstruation.
At Dignity Dreams we believe that men should be part of the discussion and most definitely part of the education process. From research we have gathered men know the basics. Most of them learnt these basics at school in Life Sciences or Biology Class as we called it in my day. The question is do they need to know more than that?
I believe they do. I am so tired of the flippant ‘Oh, don’t pay any attention to her, she’s on her period!’ I know you have all been subjected to a version of this disregard. I don’t think one man in my immediate social field has not used the term and definitely has heard it!
Menstruation is this private secret that we will talk about one on one but NEVER in mixed groups. Why is that do you think? If men understood that menstruation is not just one of those things that women go through but that it is vital to the continuation of the human race, then maybe the narrative would change.
If women’s bodies were honoured for the power and sanctity of menstruation instead of joked about and disregarded do you think there is a chance that the world could change? I believe it can.
If men are part of the discussion about period management maybe male headed households would budget differently. Maybe comfort and enabled education would be a priority. This most definitely would change communities and economies.
If menstruation was understood and managed we could decrease our impact on the environment.
My worst is when I hear men having transactional sex with girls (and I mean girls!) for pads. I want them shamed. How dare they hold that power over providing products to support a woman.
The world of pads and tampons is a strange one for men. They are quite proud that they have purchased the items for their partners but have no idea what they actually look like inside the packaging and have less idea about how long we wear them for and what happens to used pads! I think they think there is a fairy that makes them disappear.
The #PadManChallenge allows men to touch and feel a pad. To ask what they’ve always wanted to know. But more than that I hope it says we as men respect you and support you through what is a normal, powerful, fantastic bodily function.
I have had some men look at me as if I am mad when I have challenged them. One said, he raised two daughters, has had the talk, and has purchased pads. He feels no need to prove himself more than that! As if that is the point! You are not a hero for doing the minimum requirements. You still have a LONG way to go if you think the world will change because you bought some pads.
Yes it’s a start but until we all (and I include women and girls) understand the conversation about menstruation, stop considering it dirty or an inconvenience, we will never be fully able to take our place as equals in the world.
Bleeding monthly is a human superpower and the men who get it our my Women’s Day Heroes. Those men are men amongst men and I for one salute you. Thank you for listening and understanding the importance of the challenge.
I challenge YOU or a man you know to participate.
HOW IT WORKS.
Take a photo of yourself, husband, brother, cousin, father, grandfather, friend or enemy – (we’re not fussy!) holding a pad and post on your social media pages tagging @DignityDreams and using the hashtags #PadManChallenge and #DignityDreams – you can post it to our Facebook Page to. It will need to be approved.
Or you can send it to me via email and I will add the frame we have designed for the photos – firstname.lastname@example.org
Once it’s posted challenge your friends to do the same. Let’s change the world one man holding a pad at a time.
Go to our FACEBOOK Album to see who has dared!