Kids can take the pledge too!
-Chella Quint, Period Positive founder
Take The Period Positive Pledge: Pupil Edition
The Period Positive Pledge is for everyone, of every age, whether they menstruate or not. It’s here to help you do your best to support this very cool menstrual moment in history. As the whole world thinks and talks more about menstruation, the Pledge is a framework that gives a list of suggestions for being fair, respectful and inclusive while we learn and grow into a Period Positive Planet!
1. Use the phrase ‘menstrual products instead of ‘sanitary products’, ‘feminine hygiene’ or ‘femcare’. It’s time to move on from phrases that make periods (and people who menstruate) sound dirty or bad – because that’s definitely not true.
2. Include people who don’t menstruate in your period conversations, because everyone deserves to learn. Remember that you can’t tell if someone menstruates just by looking at them.
3. Find out how to use sustainable menstrual products like period pants, menstrual cups and cloth pads or plastic-free disposables, and aim to cut single-use plastics out of your menstruation management. Tell people why you’re doing that.
4. Remind yourself of details about the whole menstrual timeline – from before menarche to menopause and beyond. Remind others, too.
5. Check out your home or school or any other place you regularly visit (and re-check every so often) to make sure it has everything and every place someone who menstruates would need. If it doesn’t, ask for help to make changes.
6. Study up on the biology of menstruation and reproductive health so that you understand how hormones and glands help the organs in your body to function healthily and so you can recognise if things are going wrong.
7. Fight for the rights of people whose menstruation causes extra problems because they are facing unfairness or discrimination in another part of their lives.
8. Remember that no one thing will make it easier for people to manage menstruation. It’s a combination of education about biology, understanding negative messages, awareness of different products, choice, availability and taboo breaking – all working together.
9. Challenge companies who still use stereotypes, fear or taboos in advertising for their products, or use their influence on kids. They need to become better role models!
10. If you like some work you’ve seen that a menstrual activist or researcher or company is doing, or find something you read funny or interesting, make sure that when you share it you give credit to the person who created it. People are working hard to break menstrual taboos and they all deserve credit.
11. If you find out something about periods that you want to share, make sure it is true and comes from a trustworthy source. There are a lot of myths out there!
12. When you see companies working with schools or charities, try to figure out whether they are doing it so they can advertise to you and other new customers and make money, or because they really want to help people first of all.
13. If a person or organisation makes a mistake when they’re talking about periods, first try to correct them in private so they don’t keep making the same mistake or telling people the wrong information. Telling them off in public may embarrass them or it may backfire and make them want to ignore you.
14. There is lots of information about periods still being discovered and there is always more to learn, so as you grow up, keep learning and reading about it.
15. You do not ever have to feel ashamed or embarrassed about your body, puberty or periods. Feeling that way can make you feel worse about other things in your life so it’s healthier to get rid of menstrual shame.
16. It’s good to question and challenge the messages you see in adverts, films, online, in books, on television and in other media if they show periods in a negative or embarrassing way. This way of presenting menstruation is inaccurate, out of date, and doesn’t help anyone anyway.
17. Be proud to call menstruation what it is instead of whispering, using negative euphemisms or secret gestures to keep it hidden from the people around you. There are lots of ways to choose to be private about bodily functions, but you never have to keep periods a secret.
18. Comparing notes with friends and relatives who menstruate really helps you work out what is healthy for your body, and it will support you and others to recognise and see a doctor about any menstrual problems if they happen.
19. Anyone of any age, class, gender, sexuality, ability, race or culture can talk about menstruation. When you talk about menstruation, especially if you are fighting taboos or unfairness, make sure the people affected the most have space to speak for themselves. If this is you, be proud and take up space!
20. Be open and welcoming of new ways of looking at menstruation as more people start to become Period Positive!