A social media campaign calls men and women to shatter stigma surrounding feminine hygiene
Merriam Webster Dictionary’s definition of a tampon is “a piece of soft material (such as cotton) that is placed in the vagina to absorb the blood that occurs during menstruation.” On balance, a tampon is not really that different from its cotton cousins, the Q-tip, or the tissue. It’s just a piece of cotton designed to assist with a normal, healthy, regular bodily function. Nothing more, nothing less.
And yet, in many social settings and countries, mere mention of the word (let alone reference to a woman’s menstrual cycle) sparks hysteria. Such stigma around menstruation undermines girls’ and women’s ability to be healthy and empowered. According to Plan International, more than 800 million women between the ages of 15 and 49 are menstruating. Only 12 percent have access to sanitary products. Instead, they must rely on materials like rags, dirt, newspapers, leaves, bark or other unhygienic materials to absorb their menstrual flow, which can lead to infection.