V-Zone: Female body reduced to zones 2017 May 15 – Posted in: Feminism, Menstrual Health, Periods, Taboo, Womens Health – Tags: menstruation, sanitary pads, stigma, tampons
Freda recently had a big day in the office; monumental in fact. We had our first viral twitter post. Sadly, it was not how many of us had imagined ( Ryan Gosling didn’t retweet the love sonnet we made him with witty La La Land references) but in fact, was a source of what we believe are just one of the many issues we as a company, and even more so as women, seek to address.
We create a twitter storm over the V-Zone. Yes, you heard us right, the V-Zone. What is the V- zone you may ask? Some new form of a vegan diet? a new gym that only focuses on vascular stimulation? Donald trump’s new refusal to say the word Vietnam?
Sadly, not. Apparently, the V-Zone is what one company has decided to label our vaginas, deeming it too offensive to write it down on their product. This stigmatisation of what makes us women is not new. Around the world, women have been isolated from communities because of their periods, young girls have been forced to miss school and even today, periods are liberally used as a comedic punchline. Even Instagram has a policy of deleting photos with period stains!
It is for this reason that whenever I start my period, I feel anxious, ashamed and a little angry. It is for this reason that men jokingly ask me when I’m stressed whether I’m on my period and it is for this reason that so many of us would cry of horror if, god-forbid, our tampon fell out of our bag at the office.
The stigmatisation of menstruation is misogyny. It tells us to be ashamed of our sex and to hide the fact that we bleed every month. So why is Bodyform promoting the conditioning of young women to consider their physiology shameful? Is this desire for profit stronger than the desire to support women around the world?
Women should not feel ashamed by their cycle or their intimate body parts. Indeed, periods may not be glamorous, indeed we may have to avoid wearing white for a couple of days and yes, the cramps are seriously shit. But whenever I bleed, I have learnt to smile, acknowledging that every month, my body is reminding me of how healthy I am. No-one hides their baby in their handbag and refuses to talk about their new-born, so why do we all create such a taboo about the thing that enables children to be conceived?
Periods may be messy, painful and generally uncomfortable but the creation of the V-Zone may have just made them a whole lot worse.