Happy Anniversary to #PeriodTalk
This month celebrates the first year anniversary of the #PeriodTalk tweet chat hosted by @youarelovedTSS and @bpreparedperiod. Together these two organizations have hosted a monthly chat on twitter called #PeriodTalk for the past 12 months and interest, attendance and enthusiasm have grown along with their guest list. It is a clever combination of social networking and monthly cycling that helps illuminates the plethora of products in the feminine hygiene aisle.
@youarelovedTSS is the twitter account for the nonprofit organization You ARE Loved. TSS stands for Toxic Shock Syndrome which occurs when a toxin in the body attacks major organs which can lead to kidney failure, collapse of the lungs or cardiac arrest. Half of all known cases of TSS are women using tampons. The nonprofit was created by Lisa Elifritz after her daughter Amy Rae Elifritz died from TSS (she is the ARE in YouARELoved.) This amazing organization is working tirelessly to draw attention to TSS and the dangers inherent to tampon wearers and to provide factual menstrual information.
@bpreparedperiod is the twitter account for Be Prepared Period , a company that was the brainchild of Tara Bruley who recognized a need for a pre-made kit for young girls to be ready for menarche (their first period) when her own daughter was approaching that pivotal time in a girl’s life. The company also focuses on providing a platform for raising awareness about periods and puberty for mothers and daughters alike.
#PeriodTalk is significant on many levels. It provides a place for girls, parents, educators, small businesses and organizations and the general public to discuss anything related to menstrual health and wellbeing. Unlike almost all other forums #PeriodTalk is just that – talk about periods. The focus is not sexual education but specifically menstrual education and that is important when you consider how young girls are getting their first periods now, some as early as 7 or 8 years old. They are too young to need to know about such things as birth control options but rather should be taught about their changing bodies and how to care for it in the best possible manner and to approach it with a positive attitude without embarrassment. .
#PeriodTalk provides such a forum and boasts an extensive network of alternative menstrual products, teen organizations, doctors, feminists and menstrual advocates in what is always an enlightening and engaging conversation whose net result is menstrual empowerment which is the same goal as Feby.
I’ve learned so many things from the monthly tweet chat that have enriched my life immeasurably and altered my appreciation towards this natural event called menstruation. Thanks to the information about Toxic Shock Syndrome that I received from You Are Loved I have switched from buying mainstream tampons made with potentially dangerous synthetic fibers to all cotton ones for my 19 year-old daughter. I have also experimented with menstrual cups for the first time this year as I view them as an excellent alternative to mainstream protection that is reliable, less expensive and environmentally friendly.
Another important distinction I want to mention between #PeriodTalk and other such forums is that #PeriodTalk is inclusive of a wide variety of menstrual options as it is not hosted by Playtex, Kimberly-Clark or any other behemoth sanitary protection selling monster. The people involved with this tweet chat really do have your best interests at heart and not some hidden agenda of getting you to buy their products. That said there are some wonderful product based businesses that actively participate on a monthly basis as a means to raise awareness of their alternative products, Feby included.
I appreciate this venue of a tweet chat for its ease of connecting and engaging with other people and companies who want to make menstruation a topic which can be discussed openly, without shame or embarrassment. All questions, comments and queries are welcome and nothing seems untouchable. Chat topics include general discourse on menstruation and can run the gamut from menstrual cups to reusable pads, signs of Toxic Shock and Premenstrual syndromes, charting your cycle and preparing for your daughter’s summer camp. So, please, come join us this Friday at 2pm ET here to find out for yourself how enriching this tweet chat called #PeriodTalk can be.