Too personal, too intimate, too repulsive to talk about in public. Although half of the world’s population is affected, menstruation still seems to be taboo. Why? Through discussions with various institutions, the Lëtzebuerger Journal tries to find answers and solutions.
Even today, tampons are still being dealt with in classrooms, offices and at game nights with friends, hidden in the palms of the hands so no one notices what is going on. There are countless code words to avoid calling a spade a spade. Advertisements for menstrual products convey that the period must be discreet and hidden. The pink gloves, which caused a stir on a German TV show and were widely discussed, gave the discussion a new impetus. However, menstruation still has nothing to do with disgust and shame but is a biological process. It is not an option, but an integral part of sexuality. Why is there still an often too uptight approach to menstruation?
The team of the Méi wéi Sex podcast of Radio ARA in collaboration with CESAS (Centre national de référence pour la promotion de la santé affective et sexuelle) is clearly not uptight and reticent. They want to break stigmas and taboos. They tackle anything concerning sexuality, the body, fantasies, preferences, relationships. If you look at the titles of the previous episodes, the list seems endless, and the subjects are treated with both humour and seriousness. Most importantly, they are treated like everyday subjects. This is also evident during the Zoom conversation with two members of the Méi wéi Sex team, Anne Schaaf and Joël Adami.
For both of them, it is clear that menstruation is still treated as a taboo. And there are a few reasons for that. "The natural should be treated as something natural. However, society’s way of dealing with it pushes it into an unnatural corner where it doesn’t belong", says Anne Schaaf. Advertisements around tampons and sanitary pads contribute to this. "During an action film, blood flows in streams. In the following commercial, the liquid is censored. That would be too repulsive", Joël Adami says, cynically.
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