THE PERVASIVENESS OF THE MENSTRUAL TABOO
Where does it come from, how does it operate, what is it costing us, and why is it so resilient?
The menstrual taboo in Australia is less like one practice you can point to and more like a network of overlapping and intersecting discriminations and penalties: financial, social, cultural, sexual, physical, professional, and economic. Nothing exists in a vacuum, not menstruation, our personal feelings towards it, or the social order that produces meaning around it. All of this is constructed through complex processes of history, culture and the material realities of our bodies. The menstrual taboo reproduces and trades on deep and ancient fears of female sexuality and reproductive power, but there’s nothing past tense about how it oppresses women. What will it take to challenge and dismantle it? How can we approach menarche, menstruation and menopause differently to empower women and benefit all of society?** **