Wanda wakes up and knows that her bleeding time is done. It is time for a pair of white pants and a fresh promise – that she will truly walk her talk; encouraging women to embrace and enjoy their bleeding time; enabling men to understand the menstrual cycle better and persuading the establishment to adopt practices which validate menstruation.
She has already dreamed these issues over whilst she was in her moon time, resting and dreamy, cosy under her duvet and red sheets, dipping into wise women’s books and scribing in her journal with a freshly brewed cup of raspberry leaf tea. Wanda has already returned her precious blood to the plants in her garden, via her cotton washable pads and now feels inspired to change the world to a better place for bleeding girls and women. She sets herself a personal challenge – can she rise to this occasion at least five times in one day?
She pegs her wet, funky cotton pads, fresh out of the wash on the washing line in the garden and hopes the neighbours will glance over the fence and notice them, flapping gently in the warm sun and fresh air. Hopefully the builders will clock them too and discuss them with their wives and daughters.
After she drops her kids off at their state British Primary School, she nips into the school office to request a meeting with the Head to offer her services to help the school become menstrual-positive. This is desperately needed; plenty of young girls experience their menarche and subsequent periods whilst they are under age 11 and the staff are unsure of how to help them feel empowered.
Wanda has lots of tips and ideas for them. For example, menstruating schoolgirls have to use the female staff toilets, as this is the only loo in the school with a menstrual disposal bin, which can make girls feel self-conscious (Sadly they haven’t discovered washable pads yet). Surely they could run to another bin in the girl’s toilets? She is also keen to run a parent and teacher information sharing meeting about using menstrual-positive language and finding ways to honour the transition to womanhood.
Then time to go to work at the office. As she pops in to the toilets for a pee, she sticks a laminated notice she prepared earlier on the back of the toilet door. It says, “Dear women, why not switch to a washable cotton pad or menstrual cup? Save money, be healthier and stop funding a toxic, dangerous and polluting menstrual products industry. Women and girls really do die from Toxic Shock Syndrome”.
In her break Wanda checks a plethora of menstrual activist social networking forums including Occupy Menstruation on Facebook. She shares a couple of menstrual-positive links on her timeline. She makes a comment on a pad-sewing forum, where the poster asks for tips for removing blood stains, remarking how much she loves the stains on her pads as they act as a visual reminder of how much wiser she is growing every month.
She has just enough time to privately message another menstrual activist over in the USA, showing her support and appreciation for the work her sister is doing.
At lunchtime she nips round the shops. She falls into an easy conversation with a cashier at one shop; gently sharing how energised and validated she now feels as a result of a day’s resting in her blood cave. She’s not able to do this every month, but can always manage a hot bath and early night with her special red sheets.
It is Book Club this evening. Her menstrual activism normally takes a back seat here as she munches crisps, discusses mainstream books and catches up on gossip with the other mums from school. Wanda is a little nervous tonight as she puts a pitch forward for reading Anita Diamant’s brilliant ‘The Red Tent’. To her amazement, the club say they love history seen from a woman’s perspective and vote it in! What a wonderful opportunity this will be to discuss menstruation and the red tent movement with a group of women from her community.
She ponders on her day as she travels homeward, counting her attempts to change the world on two hands. Wanda feels the powerful pulse of the life-giving red thread which connects women everywhere deep within her womb. Once she is tucked up in bed, tired, but happy and fulfilled, she falls asleep to dream of tomorrow, a fresh day with new opportunities to help the world appreciate the wonder that menstruation truly is.