Monday, December 24, 2012

Pads for Peace

'Tis the season of giving. Giving to family and friends of course, but also of giving to those in need. With so many worthwhile charities out there, I wanted to do my research and find something I felt good about donating to this holiday season.

One of my favorite sites is, where you can click daily for various causes such as breast cancer, childhood literacy, rain forest preservation and more. The site sponsors then donate to partner organizations, depending on how many clicks they get. A free way to give back; how cool is that?

The site also has a store where you can purchase a a Gift That Gives More™. One such gift is a program called Pads for Peace:

"Pads for Peace gives girls access to reusable sanitary pads. The pads are reusable, made of attractive, soft fleece and flannel, and are both made and distributed in Kenya. The girls who receive the pads are also in reproductive education and empowerment classes. Another great benefit of the program is that the women making the pads earn income by manufacturing and selling these pads to women in the community."

A one-time donation pays for a kit of cloth pads, liners and underwear that can last up to 5 years, plus detergent and other items to wash them.

Read more about Pads for Peace here, and also be sure to check out the other cool gifts that are available in the store.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It seems I had forgotten myself

So, I have recently had a baby (yay!) and my period just re-started out of nowhere. It is strange to me how weird it felt. It's almost as though in the last year I have forgotten what a period is. When it began, my first thought was, "Oh no, something has gone horribly wrong" probably because for the last year or so that's been exactly the case, and then I thought, "Oh right, I bleed out of my vagina sometimes"

It made me think about how some girls must feel when they get their periods for the first time and maybe that starting a period and restarting aren't really that different.

For me, my first period was not a big deal. Or at least it must not have been since I have no memory of it. The only thing I really remember was mom setting me up with some tampons in the bathroom. I had been fully aware not only what a period was, but also that it was going to happen to me, and was not a big deal. However, I remember when I was a camp counselor little girls having no idea what their period was, and losing their minds when it started suddenly at camp.

I'm not sure what the rules are these days, but at that time we were not allowed to talk to them about their perfectly normal body functions and instead had to make a big production of shuffling them off to the office to call their mothers. I think this was a disservice to these girls. Not only were they terrified, as is understandable if you don't know it's normal, but then they were treated (and by the rules had to be) as if they had done something horrible. You try to make it seem like no big deal, but the fact of the matter is you are pulling a scared little girl away from her day while saying "We're going to call your mom". It's scary.

Now, obviously as an adult who has been having a period for almost 20 years, it's slightly different. But for me at least, there was a fear of the unfamiliar which I don't ever remember experiencing when I started my period for the first time, and it made me think about those little girls whose parents never warn them about menstruation. My son, who will never experience menstruation,  knows what it is, why it exists, and that it's perfectly normal and not some weird thing that mom has to go hide to take care of, and I think that's healthy. Obviously parents should raise their children however they feel is the right way as long as they are not abusive, but I think that not telling a girl about menstruation is like not telling your child about sneezing, or pooping, or any other thing that our bodies do on a regular basis.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

51 Christian Friendly Words for Vagina

Ever wonder what the religious right use to refer to the forbidden lady parts?

51 Christian Friendly Words for Vagina from

This is a good laugh. Some of my favorites:

- Moist Camel Hump
- Flap Dragon
- Slurpin' Salmon
- Devil's Fun Slide
- Ovary Hallway
- Magic Crepe
- Neighbor of Anus
- Pink Velveeta Shell
- The Pubic Pub

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Something gross from four years ago

I've kept a journal since I was 13 years old. It's pretty awesome--I would definitely recommend it. From time to time, I like to go back and read old stuff I wrote. Today I found this, it's from right in the middle of when I was working on my radical menstruation honors project:

Tuesday, Februrary 12, 2008:
Do you want to know something totally DISGUSTING? In my DivaCup fervor, I decided to give some of my blood to the houseplants since I keep hearing they love that stuff. I dumped it in a spaghetti sauce jar, added some water, shook it up, and gave it to them. I didn't use it all, so I kept the extra in the jar in my underwear drawer. Unfortunately, I have a habit of forgetting about stuff like that, so it's been untouched since... however long that's been. I looked at it tonight and it appeared to be a little whitish? I'm too scared to open it. 

That was a fun time in my life.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cleaning Alternatives for Reusable Pads

The ladies at the Be Prepared Blog sent us a link to their new post discussing alternate cleaning products for reusable pads. They talk about H20 at Home's Eco-Clean Laundry Ball as well as a couple of organic washes. I personally never thought about using a different soap for my pads; usually I throw them in with my regular laundry loads. Yet they bring up a good point of the chemicals in laundry detergent sticking to your pads after you wash them (and who wants that near your ladyparts?). While we're on the subject, I have to give a plug for the Forever New wash. It's branded primarily for washing lingerie but I've washed some of my homemade pads in it as well. Are there any other products or methods you use to clean your reusable pads?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Separating the men from the boys

The other day, I read an excerpt from Mindy Kaling's new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Mindy Kaling's hilarious, so of course the excerpt was good. In it, she talked about the importance of dating a man, rather than a boy.

Until I was 30, I dated only boys. I'll tell you why: Men scared the shit out of me. Men know what they want. Men own alarm clocks. Men sleep on a mattress that isn't on the floor. Men buy new shampoo instead of adding water to a nearly empty bottle of shampoo. Men make reservations. Men go in for a kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they're thinking of kissing you. Men wear clothes that have never been worn by anyone else before. ...Men know what they want, and that is scary. 

What I was used to was boys.

Boys are adorable. Boys trail off their sentences in an appealing way. Boys get haircuts from their roommate, who "totally knows how to cut hair." Boys can pack up their whole life and move to Brooklyn for a gig if they need to. Boys have "gigs." Boys are broke. And when they do have money, they spend it on a trip to Colorado to see a music festival. Boys can talk for hours with you in a diner at three in the morning because they don't have regular work hours. 

But they suck to date when you turn 30.

So the concept of differentiating men from boys has been in my mind a lot lately. Cue the latest post by The Frenemy, who is also hilarious and good.

There’s this guy standing in front of me right now-adult, able to buy his own toothpaste, knows his jeans size in inches. This guy has totally lost his shit somewhere on the corner of Metropolitan and ‘maybe we should have taken a left’, and it’s technically something I said but not my fault. I’m standing here, looking around frantically at the six-pack of the kinds of hipsters that say they’re hipsters, so are therefore just dudes wearing hats. I’m eyeing them like maybe I’m the one that should be embarrassed, because my friend is going LA LA LA I don’t want to HEAR you and I have to keep on moving, coaxing him out of the moment like a dog.

Okay! I won’t bring it up anymore. Can we just get our hands on some ‘artisan what the hell is artisan’ burgers now and you can stop singing?

All I had said was that I was on my period. This is around the time that he started acting like a child, and it’s not his fault. 9 times out of 10 idiots, it’s this: you tell any adult man that you’re on their period/he’s got the maturity level of Dave Coulier in Full House, he can react in the ‘nana nana poooopy’ kind of way and we just accept it. He’s a baby, we think! I better stop being such a lady and shut my mouth!

...For the men- if you want to be an adult about it, you nod when I say that I have my period. You nod like an adult and you move on. Once a month, blood is shed from my uterus because I am not pregnant and I’m not having a baby squeeze out of me any time soon. It does not pour out like the river.It does not shoot out of my vag like a squirt gun filled with Kool-Aid, and it A THING THAT HAPPENS and you shouldn’t be grossed out by... Do not look away at tampons, do not wince at the word uterus. If you’re a grown-ass man who wants to stick his grown-ass parts into any woman, you better be respectful enough to acknowledge that the things her body does are normal and fine and not gross. I know you’re not all like this, because I know some real cool guys. I tip my hat off to you and your uterus respect.

I mean, I don't want to hog all the good quotes here, so go read the whole thing. I have yet to read a Frenemy post where I didn't LOL at least once.

Personally, I remember one of the first times I told a guy I had my period. He was my boyfriend, and I'm pretty sure I told him straight up. He was like, "That is awesome! I couldn't even tell! This is one of the many reasons why I love you--you're exactly the same when you have your period! You're not even grouchy or anything! That's awesome!" Ahw. <3

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Power of the V?

I've posted about Summer's Eve's "Hail to the V" commercials before, but they've reached a whole new level of ridiculousness with their latest spot: I never realized all the great battles in history were fought over getting some pussy. The whole epic set-up to advertise for vaginal cleansing products is both laughable and in my opinion rather offensive. Depicting men fighting over a woman (or more specifically her va-jay-jay) is objectifying rather than empowering. I guess it's impossible to fathom that men would want a woman for anything other than the power of her lady parts, like her personality. So I guess the lesson here is to keep your vagina clean and you'll have men fight epic battles over you. Or something.


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