GUYS THERE IS LESS THAN 10,000 SIGNATURES LEFT NEEDED FOR THE PETITION TO REACH IT’S GOAL PLEASE SIGN IT IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY THIS IS AMAZING
After spending years developing a simple machine to make inexpensive sanitary pads, Arunachalam Muruganantham has become the unlikely leader of a menstrual health revolution in rural India. Over sixteen years, Muruganantham’s machine has spread to 1,300 villages in 23 states and since most of his clients are NGOs and women’s self-help groups who produce and sell the pads directly in a “by the women, for the women, and to the women” model, the average machine also provides employment for ten women.
Muruganantham’s interest in menstrual health began in 1998 when, as a young, newly married man, he saw his wife, Shanthi, hiding the rags she used as menstrual cloths. Like most men in his village, he had no idea about the reality of menstruation and was horrified that cloths that “I would not even use… to clean my scooter” were his wife’s solution to menstrual sanitation. When he asked why she didn’t buy sanitary pads, she told him that the expense would prevent her from buying staples like milk for the family.
Muruganantham, who left school at age 14 to start working, decided to try making his own sanitary pads for less but the testing of his first prototype ran into a snag almost immediately: Muruganantham had no idea that periods were monthly. “I can’t wait a month for each feedback, it’ll take two decades!” he said, and sought volunteers among the women in his community. He discovered that less than 10% of the women in his area used sanitary pads, instead using rags, sawdust, leaves, or ash. Even if they did use cloths, they were too embarrassed to dry them in the sun, meaning that they never got disinfected — contributing to the approximately 70% of all reproductive diseases in India that are caused by poor menstrual hygiene.
Finding volunteers was nearly impossible: women were embarrassed, or afraid of myths about sanitary pads that say that women who use them will go blind or never marry. Muruganantham came up with an ingenious solution: “I became the man who wore a sanitary pad,” he says. He made an artificial uterus, filled it with goat’s blood, and wore it throughout the day. But his determination had severe consequences: his village concluded he was a pervert with a sexual disease, his mother left his household in shame and his wife left him. As he remarks in the documentary “Menstrual Man” about his experience, “So you see God’s sense of humour. I’d started the research for my wife and after 18 months she left me!”
After years of research, Muruganantham perfected his machine and now works with NGOs and women’s self-help groups to distribute it. Women can use it to make sanitary napkins for themselves, but he encourages them to make pads to sell as well to provide employment for women in poor communities. And, since 23% of girls drop out of school once they start menstruating, he also works with schools, teaching girls to make their own pads: “Why wait till they are women? Why not empower girls?”
As communities accepted his machine, opinions of his “crazy” behavior changed. Five and a half years after she left, Shanthi contacted him, and they are now living together again. She says it was hard living with the ostracization that came from his project, but now, she helps spread the word about sanitary napkins to other women. “Initially I used to be very shy when talking to people about it, but after all this time, people have started to open up. Now they come and talk to me, they ask questions and they also get sanitary napkins to try them.”
In 2009, Muruganantham was honored with a national Innovation Award in 2009 by then President of India, Pratibha Patil, beating out nearly 1,000 other entries. Now, he’s looking at expanding to other countries and believes that 106 countries could benefit from his invention.
Muruganantham is proud to have made such a difference: “from childhood I know no human being died because of poverty — everything happens because of ignorance… I have accumulated no money but I accumulate a lot of happiness.” His proudest moment? A year after he installed one of the machines in a village so poor that, for generations, no one had earned enough for their children to attend school. Then he received a call from one of the women selling sanitary pads who told him that, thanks to the income, her daughter was now able to go to school.
To read more about Muruganantham’s story, the BBC featured a recent profile on him at http://bbc.in/1i8tebG or watch his TED talk at http://bit.ly/1n594l6. You can also view his company’s website at http://newinventions.in/
To learn more about the 2013 documentary Menstrual Man about Muruganantham, visit http://www.menstrualman.com/
For resources to help girls prepare for and understand their periods - including several first period kits - visit our post on: “That Time of the Month: Teaching Your Mighty Girl about Her Menstrual Cycle” at www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=3281
To help your tween understand the changes she’s experiencing both physically and emotionally during puberty, check out the books recommended in our post on “Talking with Tweens and Teens About Their Bodies” at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=2229
And, if you’re looking for ways to encourage your children to become the next engineering and technology innovators, visit A Mighty Girl’s STEM toy section athttp://www.amightygirl.com/toys/toys-games/science-math
I need white people to stop pretending consent was possible during slavery.
Stop lying to yourselves that those black cousins are the result of illicit love affairs & grasp that slaves could not say no.
When consent is not an option, when you’re only seen as 3/5ths of a human being & you have no legal standing? You can’t say yes.
I need white America to sit down for a sec. Look into the faces of black Americans with the same last names & figure it the fuck out.
Our ancestors were raped by your ancestors. Regularly. Some of the kids were treated kindly. Most were not. They were sold.
White mistresses punished the slaves for “tempting” master & congratulated themselves on that bloody work. Read the narratives.
Not the cleaned up ones either. Read Incidents in The Life of A Slave Girl & understand that Mammy was a victim, not the one who loved you.
She couldn’t care for her kids, couldn’t choose her husband or their father most of the time. She was a slave.
Millions of people died on the Middle Passage. Millions more died here at the hands of your ancestors. Own that.
Now you want to sing Kumbaya & keep oppressing our communities & erasing our contributions. Spare me the tired bullshit.
Male slaves fared no better. There’s a long history of them being raped, tortured & killed too. That was slavery. Stop romanticizing it.
Our children were fed to alligators as bait (feel free to look that up) died of starvation or exposure & that was slavery too. Yep, we were livestock & you use sickly livestock as bait.
Stop watching Gone With The Wind & fantasizing about beautiful plantations if you can’t accept what happened on those plantations.
House slaves had it better in the sense of access to food & possibly better treatment, but they were still slaves.
14 year old slave girls weren’t falling in love with the men who could beat them & everyone they loved to death.
Read the tales of enslaved women who killed their children to spare them. Read about people beaten to death as an example.
Sally Hemings could have left Jefferson in Paris. Of course her entire family was still in his power. And his “love”? Didn’t free her. Ever.
Go look at the pictures of former slaves backs. Whipped until they bled & left to scar so they were maimed for life & couldn’t run.
Also before you talk about the cleaned up narratives, remember that the people relating their stories knew lynching was always possible.
Records of slavery were deliberately destroyed so that former owners wouldn’t have to pay anyone.
That “peculiar institution” was generations of blood, pain, & terror. That’s what built America. Never forget that.
Now stop talking about anyone’s white ancestors like they deserve the fucking credit for the success of people descended from slaves.
American slavery began in 1619. June 19, 1865 was the last official day of slavery. Do the math on how long it takes to heal that wound.
After slavery was officially over? Black codes & Jim Crow laws followed. America’s history of oppression is longer than that of freedom.
Also before any d*mb motherfuckers land in my mentions. I have a degree in history. I will read you to filth & bury you in sources.
Trust & believe there is no country here for people who want to romanticize a system that is still grinding away at my community.
All this fluffy fucking talk about American history to coddle white kids feelings & engender patriotism? You won’t get it here.
My ancestors built this country, I served this country & I will tell the damned truth about this country. Don’t like it? Fuck you.
Now let me get in my feelings about slavery before Africans were brought here. Because we weren’t the first people enslaved.
We were deliberately sought out for our skill sets & resistance to disease. Know why we were resistant? We’d had contact for years.
All of that “My ancestors never owned slaves so it has nothing to do with me?” Go look at those NDN ancestors again. See how many were free.
While you’re in there checking that out? Look up those old country ancestors & see how many benefited from slavery indirectly.
Also while we’re talking about NDN relatives? Yo, learn a name besides Cherokee. Better yet, learn about the genocidal tactics they faced.
Look up immigrant groups becoming white in America. Find out who had to bleed so they could gain access to white privilege.
Let’s really talk about the Red Summer of 1919 & how it wasn’t an unusual occurrence. Tulsa, Rosewood? They were just famous.
Let’s talk about welfare & who could access it. Hell let’s talk about who is collecting more of it right now.
Let’s talk about the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action (spoiler! White women!) & what it means to attack black people instead.
Shit, let’s get into the Great Depression & the Great Recession & who is hurting the most financially through both.
Let’s talk about conditions on reservations, in the inner city, & the violence faced by POC who try to leave those areas.
Hell, let’s talk about why we don’t see shows that reflect the American population set in the past, present, or future.
Go read Columbus’ diaries & see what “civilization” really meant to the people he encountered.
For that matter go read up on King Leopold & the Congo. I’ll wait while you cry.
That’s the thing about whiteness as a social construct in America. It’s not about white people, it’s about white power over others.
When we’re talking about white privilege? We’re talking about what it takes to shape this society based on oppression.
America is a young country with a lot of power because of genocide, slavery, & continuing oppression. Individuals build institutions.
All of these conversations aren’t about bringing out white guilt, they’re about ending this institution developed over the generations.
Also let’s be clear that America is sick with this ish across the political spectrum. It may manifest differently but it exists everywhere.
Before I go, let me also suggest that people who are curious about anything I tweeted about take a tour through Google with terms.
It’s not that I won’t answer questions, but there are books out there that I think everyone should read on slavery, whiteness, & America.Karnythia, laying it down with righteousness on Juneteenth — the truth about slavery and its lingering effects on America. (via skyliting)
I don’t want to see tl;dr no you ALL need to fucking read this. (via thisisnotblackhistorymonth)
The Sexual Health Advocacy Group has decided to do a peaceful protest by using sheets to create a corridor/barrier that students can choose to use so they do not have to see the images presented by a pro-life group that will be set up in Tate Plaza Monday, March 3rd and Tuesday, March 4th. This group shows triggering images and provides false and misleading information that can upset students.
This is why we need your help! We cannot make this successful unless we have at least 5-6 people at a time helping. Right now we are planning on being there from 10am-2pm, but if we can get more committed people by Saturday night, we may try to extend this because the pro-life group will be there all day long.
If you are interested, message me your UGA email so I can verify that you are a student and I will send you a link to our google docs sign up sheet.
If you would rather not help, please spread the word to help us prevent this group from misleading our student body.
This link is to a Red and Black (UGA school paper) article regarding Facebook’s gender change. Some of my peers and I are quoted in this, and it’s a great read.
Congratulations to the Ukrainian people and Parliament for impeaching their President! I’m so glad to hear that the police were fighting with the people and the army refused to support the President. I just heard the story on the 6 pm news, and I couldn’t be happier for them. It might have been violent, but they have made a big change that is sure to continue and I hope they get the democracy they want
Just reminding you all, although this is my main blog and the one that shows up when I like a post or follow you, I am active daily on (what is technically a side blog on this account) daniellesbutt.tumblr.com
So if you’d ever like to see what I’m doing or how I am, you can find me there.
The glass ceiling is a phenomenon that occurs in workplaces around the world and works against minorities and women (female-bodied persons). I have studied it in application to mainly women and as such I will be describing the glass cliff with female pronouns even though other gendered members of minority groups are victims of the glass ceiling.
Now what the glass ceiling is, as I define it, is the invisible barrier that separates women from top executive/power positions within businesses and corporations. It is most often seen clearly in Fortune 1000 companies, particularly in the fact that only 4.6 percent of them are led by female CEOs. To reiterate, that means there are 46 female CEOs in the top 1,000 U.S.A. corporations. This statistic combined with what I’ve seen is more than enough to convince me of its existence.
One of the reasons why the glass ceiling is so hard to get rid of is because the preexisting executives are not cycling out of their positions. There are many older white males who are in power positions and are not moving out of them or moving into other positions. Because of this, many corporations have begun to show stagnancy at the top of their worker pyramid.
If you haven’t already figured it out, I am not a fan of the glass ceiling, not only because it is wrong and discriminatory, but also because I am a woman aiming for an executive position within a Fortune 500 company. Ideally, human resource departments will begin putting more effort into promoting worthy women to high power positions and allow the business world to move forward, be more representative of the world’s population of business professionals, and be more productive since, as multiple studies have shown, diverse workplaces are more productive than those that aren’t.
Google throwing some shade at Russia’s homophobic actions right now.
Here are some of the topics I will be posting on in the near future, if you have any ideas for me feel free to shoot a message my way!
Open relationships (revisited)
Drag vs cross dressing
Clothing and their binary representation or lack thereof
And a few others
Hello everyone! Just giving y’all a heads up, soon I will be posting new topics and revisiting quite a few topics I’ve posted on and developed new opinions on!
Indian Ad Turns the Male Gaze Upon Itself And Its Awesome
Prominent Asian film school Whistling Woods International released a YouTube videoon Monday, exactly one year after the horrific rape case in Delhi that became international news and drew global attention to violence against women in India, that turns the tables on men who ogle women in public. The film shows four scenarios where women are subjected to the ever-pervasive male gaze while going about their daily lives, whether talking with friends or just riding the bus. But then a reflective surface, be it sunglasses or a necklace, turns these gazes back on the men themselves.
The video is great, both in its very realistic – and uncomfortable – portrayal of men staring at young women, and also in the message it is trying to send, namely “You look ridiculous and creepy, and we can see you.” All too often, not just in India but all over the world, it seems that men looking at women in public places somehow think they are watching a display, as though women exist on a television screen. When, of course, in reality, women can see the people staring at them just fine, and those stares can make us feel not only uncomfortable and objectified, but downright unsafe. And yet the underlying idea that women going about their lives are putting on some sort of detached performance persists.
According to the video description on YouTube, Whistling Wood International wanted to make an ad empowering women as part of the celebration of 100 Years of Indian Cinema. Hopefully it has a big impact, and not just in India. It’s the sort of message that needs to be heard everywhere.
We’re in the golden age of slut-shaming
"We are now though, my friends, in the golden age of slut-shaming—a time when the culture, the media and the men demand women sexualize themselves to prove their value to society, but then punish those women if they dare to actually enjoy it."—John Fugelsang