The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘periods’

Paddy Wagon success!

Posted by Cate on December 8, 2008

You might have noticed a pink, rather cutesy advertisement under the Events section in the right hand margin?

Over the last few months, many women of the melbourne crafty community have generously volunteered their time and materials to make cloth reusable sanitary pads and waterproof zip lock bags for women in Africa to be distributed by Goods 4 girls. Think of us as a benign factory production line with copious amounts of tea, biscuits, cheese, cupcakes, chatter and laughter. It has been great fun and we invisage sending off the pads in January.

I’d like to offer a huge thanks to everyone who has been involved in the project. We consider it something of an ongoing campaign with many opportunities for future creative work.

(In 2009 I hope to start my own not for profit business in my spare time, where social justice and social connectedness are made to happen through creative and crafty activity. Check out my website for more progress in 2009)….


Posted in Announcements, events, reproductive rights, Uncategorized, Women's Health | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

All Aboard The Paddy Wagon!

Posted by Cate on October 28, 2008

Come make reusable pads for young women in Africa!

In many areas of Africa young women are unable to go to school on a monthly basis due to their period. Some pharmaceutical companies donate pads and tampons but tampons aren’t always an option for cultural reasons (such as FGM) and disposal of conventional pads can be a problem as they are typically burnt which releases lots of nasty toxins into the air.

Providing reusable pads not only provides a more environmentally friendly alternative for these young women (in areas of adequate water supply for washing), it reduces their dependence on outside aid organizations to continue providing for their monthly needs.

There are 2 dates available so let me know what suits:
22nd November
6th December

Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, City

RSVPs essential! It’s okay if you can’t sew, maybe you have a talent for cutting, ironing, making cups of tea…

PS – I apologise for the delay in organising these events, I was busy getting married.

Posted in Women's Health | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Even Disney Princesses Get Their Period

Posted by Clem Bastow on September 16, 2008

This amazing/hilarious/disturbing/insert-your-own-adjective vid popped up on the Feministing Community blog, and spread like wildfire across the net: Disney, “through the courtesy of Kotex Products”, presents The Story Of Menstruation (circa 1946)!

That pituitary gland baby is going to haunt my nightmares.

However! Aside from the obvious laffs (the recurring four female body types and “very personally yours” are two of my favourites), there’s something oddly… comforting about this film (you know, apart from reminding you to powder your nose at that time of the month). Or am I just PMSing like the little lady at 7:28-minutes?

Posted in Blog Watch, The Way We Were, Women's Health | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Watch out world, I’ve got PMS!

Posted by Mel Campbell on September 12, 2008

You know when you were a kid and you got really angry or upset about something, but your parents dismissed your grievance by claiming you were “over-tired”? And then when you cracked the shits about this injustice, it simply “proved” that you were indeed over-tired? Well, women have to put up with this same crock of shit for their entire fertile lives. Only it’s called “PMS”.

Now, I’m not claiming there’s no such thing as pre-menstrual syndrome. Pre-menstrual physical symptoms include bloating, cramps, joint and muscle pain and skin breakouts; behavioural symptoms can involve tearfulness, difficulty concentrating, and uncontrollable, out-of-character feelings of rage, anxiety, depression or stress. According to Wikipedia, in between 3% and 8% of women these symptoms are so severe they’re considered disabling and are collectively referred to as premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

But I suspect that’s not quite what the bright sparks behind PMSBuddy have in mind. This online service enables users to monitor the menstrual cycles of women in their lives, and be notified by email days before their next periods are due – thus, giving plenty of warning about impending wacko PMS behaviour. Boasting that it “saves relationships, one month at a time”, it’s a neat, easy way of assuming that everything a woman says and does is due to her pesky ovaries!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Women's Health | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Weekend Love-In Reprise: Sarah Haskins

Posted by Clem Bastow on August 2, 2008

I know, I’ve fawned over Sarah Haskins before – but that’s because she’s amazing! Here’s her latest edition of Target Women: Birth Control, from that wacky, crazy land where the pill and other birth control is advertised in fashion magazines and on television rather than spoken about in hushed tones by fatherly pharmacists. Which would you prefer? (Hmm, how about, neither!)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Fewer periods, yaaay! Now we don’t have to leave the tribe and go sit in that hut for a week!

We still love you, Sarah Haskins!

Posted in Media Watch, Watching The Ad Breaks, Weekend Love-In | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Gruen Transfer On “Padvertising”

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 9, 2008

Now that the chorus of groans from dedicated Aunty viewers has died down, we can appreciate Wil Anderson’s advertising/marketing magazine show The Gruen Transfer for what it is: a funny and often enlightening look at the world of advertising.

Last week’s episode’s “How Do You Sell…” segment featured, as the rather delicate term goes, ‘women’s sanitary products’. The panel’s discussion raised some salient points – do advertisers prey on the “shame” factor in sanitary product ads (i.e. “leakage”)? Yes. Do they create “problems” in order to sell “solutions” (i.e. panty-liners for month-long protection > month-long advertising)? Yes. Are “dumb boyfriend” ads just as sexist as ditzy women ads? Yes – as well as highlighting some of the ridiculous taboos of advertising pads and tampons (no blood! No saying “vagina”!).

It’s fascinating to see these advertising and marketing professionals, in effect, selling out the world of “padvertising” (as Anderson hilariously puts it) and giving away the marketing secrets that are used to keep women shelling out cash in what they note, numerous times, is a $250-million industry (in Australia alone).

You can watch the discussed advertisements on the Gruen site, but here – in exciting two-part format, thanks YouTube’s 10-minutes only rule! – is the discussion in full.

In particular I find the panel’s take on the now infamous U Tampons “beaver” ad particularly interesting – that, in its own funny way, it’s “liberating” in the way it says ‘yes, all women have vaginas, and they’re not scary’ and so on. I mean, the fact that it has to be done via a) a cute/dorky ad and b) using the term “beaver” (I’m sorry, did we become one of the United States of America and I missed the memo?) leaves a little to be desired, but I did view it in a somewhat different and more positive light after hearing their discussion of it.

Posted in body image, Business, Media Watch, Watching The Ad Breaks | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Attention Kevin Rudd: Why Is The GST Still Added To Pads And Tampons?

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 4, 2008

On July 1st, 2000, the Howard Government introduced the Goods And Services Tax to Australia. The GST was added to the sale price of pads and tampons, but not condoms or cock rings.

In 2006 I started an online petition, calling for Prime Minister John Howard and Health Minister Dr Michael Wooldridge to remove the GST from women’s sanitary products.

In 2007 I started a Facebook group calling for the same thing; presently there are 1,285 group members.

It was reported that Kevin Rudd’s Labor government would be removing this ridiculous and unfair tax upon Australia’s women. As yet, they have not.

It’s time to go on a letter-writing spree:

Kevin Rudd
Prime Minister
Parliament House
(or use this online form)

Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Australian Government Office for Women
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
PO Box 7576
Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610

This legacy of John Howard’s sexist and archaic policies has lingered long enough. Coughing up money each month for a rolled up chunk of sphagnum/plastic in order to avoid bleeding on everything is not a luxury.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

The Way We Were: Stayfree Compacts (1986)

Posted by Clem Bastow on June 26, 2008

What with all the ads for “feminine hygiene products” currently featuring beavers, action sports and giant gelatinous stencils in the sky (or whatever those things the girls jump through are meant to be), it’s sometimes nice to take a trip back to a more innocent era in “women’s advertising”, where the protection was as thick as the shoulderpads – I give you Stayfree Compacts!

Posted in The Way We Were | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »