This episode of the Wine & Gyn Podcast is a review of an Oscar-winning film called Period: End of Sentence. Join your hosts while we talk about what we love about this short film and why we want everyone to watch it!
The film is about 30 minutes long and can be found on Netflix- you can definitely work this into your que! The film project was started by a group of students at UCLA who wanted to tackle the disparity in period management in underdeveloped areas of the world- namely India.
Women in this rural town of Hapur, India are shadowed in their daily life and interviewed to discuss the very taboo topic of menstruation in their community. Many women do not have an education perspective on what their periods are, and those that do have more understanding are pressured to keep talking about it to a minimum. Even mature and married men pretend to not know what a period is when they are asked!
The problem with these women managing their monthly bleeding, is that the resources and education are so scarce that they do not have safe and effective products to collect their period blood. Many girls and women use dirty rags, ashes, leaves and the like to absorb their menstruation. Because there isn’t a hygienic and effective way to collect the blood, the majority of women and girls miss school and work when they are on their period. Girls end up missing so much school, have trouble keeping up with their peers and usually drop out during middle school.
The film goes through the story of a small businessman developing a pad machine that the community invests in. The women can manually and sanitarily make their own cotton pads, not only to use and empower their community- but they can work and sell these pads to neighboring communities as well. Women have an opportunity now to manage their period, potentially keeping young women in school and improving their hygiene.
It’s a real happy story, and a worthwhile model to develop in so many of the rural and under-served areas of the world. The most compelling aspect of this movie for us, however, is the parallels in taboo topics. It was so interesting to Kelly and I how even though we are separated by countries, language, economics, and many many other resource- the idea that periods are something that aren’t discussed, and often personally managed without education- that aspect was very similar in our culture and theirs.
One of the heartbeats of this podcast is to bring women’s health topics to light that aren’t getting discussed enough. We know this, because you tell us all the time! “I didn’t know that… oh so that’s what that is… oh you can do that instead?... I didn’t know what that was called….” Etc.
There’s a responsibility we feel that we have to each other to get past our personal discomfort with these topics and empower one another to share experiences, give support and gain some understanding for the wonder-filled bodies we are doing this life in.