As a cis Pākehā woman in Aotearoa New Zealand, I’ve had a number of feelings about my period, from inconvenience to embarrassment to relief. Generally, though, my period is just something I deal with each month with a kind of nonchalance – which is, of course, a massive privilege. Whilst many of us experience our periods without too much drama, there are many people – from those living in poverty to trans men to victims of forced marriage – for whom periods can be unsafe and traumatic.
If you’ve never considered that the way you approach your period each month could be a sign of the privilege you hold, see how you stack up against these examples of period privilege.
- You see people who look like you in adverts for period products
- You’ve never had to worry about being able to afford period products
- As a child/pre-teen, you had someone explain to you what a period was and what to expect when you first got it
- You’ve always had access to period products
- You have the time and/or resources to practise self-care when you come on your period each month
- You don’t feel ashamed about your period
- Buying period products or having your period doesn’t make you feel unsafe
- Getting your period for the first time didn’t bring about any drastic changes to your day-to-day life
- The mainstream culture you live in allows you to maintain your period in a way that aligns with your own cultural beliefs and practices
Written by Shardae Grenfell, AWWA Guest Blogger.