Talking about a normal bodily function should never be a problem, however, when it comes to periods and mensuration, it always happens to be a taboo subject that is stigmatized and something that is never talked about. It is time to break the stigma. There is a lot of misinformation revolving around periods and that is due to the lack of understanding and education. This is subject that everyone should know about and should be comfortable to talk about. If you are looking for ways to make that first step, here are some great book recommendations that are great conversation starters:
Welcome To Your Period by Dr. Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes
A frank, funny, age-appropriate guide for pre-teens about getting your period, from Dr Melissa Kang (a former Dolly Doctor) and Yumi Stynes (all-round excellent woman).
Getting your period for the first time can be mortifying, weird and messy – and asking questions about it can feel even worse.
But it doesn’t have to be like that!
This little book is packed with honest advice on all the things you need to know: from what cramps feel like to whether you can feel it coming out, to what you should do if your pad leaks onto your clothes.
Welcome To Your Period includes case studies, first-person accounts and questions from real teens (and answers from real experts – us!) so you can manage your period like a boss. (Credit: Walker Books US)
Go with the Flow by Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann
Sophomores Abby, Brit, Christine, and Sasha are fed up. Hazelton High never has enough tampons. Or pads. Or adults who will listen.
Sick of an administration that puts football before female health, the girls confront a world that shrugs―or worse, squirms―at the thought of a menstruation revolution. They band together to make a change. It’s no easy task, especially while grappling with everything from crushes to trig to JV track but they have each other’s backs. That is, until one of the girls goes rogue, testing the limits of their friendship and pushing the friends to question the power of their own voices.
Now they must learn to work together to raise each other up. But how to you stand your ground while raising bloody hell? (Credit: First Second)
Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement by Nadya Okamoto
Throughout history, periods have been hidden from the public. They’re taboo. They’re embarrassing. They’re gross. And due to a crumbling or nonexistent national sex ed program, they are misunderstood. Because of these stigmas, a status quo has been established to exclude people who menstruate from the seat at the decision-making table, creating discriminations like the tampon tax, medicines that favor male biology, and more.
Power to the Period aims to explain what menstruation is, shed light on the stigmas and resulting biases, and create a strategy to end the silence and prompt conversation about periods. (Credit: Simon & Schuster)
Period: Twelve Voices Tell the Bloody Truth edited by Kate Farrell
Periods enter the spotlight in this essay collection that raises a variety of voices on a topic long shrouded in shame and secrecy.
In this collection, writers of various ages and across racial, cultural, and gender identities share stories about the period. Each of our twelve authors brings an individual perspective and sensibility. They write about homeless periods, nonexistent periods, male periods, political periods, and more. Told with warmth and humor, these essays celebrate all kinds of period experiences. (Credit: Feiwel & Friends)
The Hormone Diaries: The Bloody Truth About Our Periods by Hannah Witton
When Hannah Witton started documenting her journey coming off the pill and re-getting her period, she wasn’t anticipating the reaction, from people of all ages, that talking about it would bring. It exposed a glaring gap – the resources and the spaces to talk honestly about periods just aren’t there. And with more and more research showing that your period and your hormones can affect literally every area of your life, this is a problem.
Inspired by her YouTube series of the same name, The Hormone Diaries draws on Hannah’s own experiences and, through crowdsourcing on her social media platforms, those of her fans too. With her trademark honesty and humour, Hannah explores and demystifies topics surrounding periods, hormones and contraception, to offer readers support, information and advice.
The definitive period self-help book 50% of the world has been waiting for! (Credit: Wren & Rook)
Period. It’s About Bloody Time by Emma Barnett
At a time when women around the world are raising their voices in the fight for equality, there is still one taboo where there remains a deafening silence: periods. Period. is an agenda-setting manifesto to remove the stigma and myths continuing to surround the female body. Bold and unapologetic, Emma Barnett is on a crusade to ignite conversation among women–and men–everywhere. (Credit: HQ)
Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew
A timely feminist YA novel in verse about periods, sex, shame and going viral for all the wrong reasons.
BLOOD MOON is a YA novel about the viral shaming of a teenage girl. During her seminal sexual experience with the quiet and lovely Benjamin, physics-lover and astronomy fan Frankie gets her period – but the next day a gruesome meme goes viral, turning an innocent, intimate afternoon into something sordid, mortifying and damaging. (Credit: Walker Books US)