Rising Red Tide of Change : 3 Progressive period products making waves

As I got up out of my warm bath this morning that I took to soothe my period cramps since my Shark week start was brutal, I started to ponder the evolution we have seen in the feminine hygiene market lately. Are we finally evolving to using better products since the 80’s and 90’s tampons and pads solutions? You’re damn right we are.

 

It is no secret that there is a rise in the feminist movement especially considering the changes taking place in our country. With that rise of feminism, I have noticed a shift in the conversations about women’s issues. In particular, our periods.

 

We have started to have conversations about our periods freely. No shame!

We run races while on our periods

We talk openly about the effects of our periods

We joke about our periods

And now we innovate our period products.

 

The rise of feminism and women in STEM has brought on some amazing innovations in the period realm that were a long time coming. We are no longer shoving wads of chemical laden cotton into our vaginas ( I call them vajays), leaking out onto soaked pads and having mistakes happen on our underwear that are damn near impossible to hid.

Let’s celebrate and visit some of those changes!

 

The Diva Cup

This is not a tiny weird shot glass but a reusable  silicone menstrual cup that you put in to catch all the blood during the day and empty it out at night.Made by Fempreneurs Francinne and Carinne Chambers in 2001, this baby Holds for 12 hours and only requires emptying and washing twice a day . While the menstrual cup has been around a while, it has seen a resurgence as the female audience is looking to alternative period products.

Benefits:

  • Reusable- don’t need to create a stockpile of bio-hazard in your trash
  • Odorless -Silicone is odor free. it could take on the odor of scented soaps though (not recommended to use).
  • Easy storage- doesn’t take up a lot of space and when done you have a cute baggy to keep it in
  • No leakage- I have worn this thing all day. Not a problem.

 

Thinx

Ah the famous period underwear, keeps you dry and leak free . These thick swimwear-like underwear are put together with extra padding that include patented technology to absorb different amounts of blood. Created by Antonia Saint Dunbar, Miki Agrawal and Radha Agrawa in 2011,the underwear is anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent and leak resistant. This underwear can either be a complete replacement to pads/tampons etc or can be supplementary

Benefits :

  • You don’t have to shove anything up your Vajay
  • Moisture-wicking and antimicrobial so no feeling of wearing a mushy diaper
  • No smell during
  • washable and reusable

 

Flex 

FLEX is a disposable, single use menstrual product that can be worn safely for up to 12 hours. Plus side: You can have sex while using this thing! This was created by Femprenaur Lauren Schulte.

Benefits :

  • Molds to your shape and creates a seal
  • You have HAVE SEX while using it
  • No Leakage
  • Is disposable (if the idea of something reusable freaks you out).

 

Each one of the items listed above is a not only a great innovation for the Feminine Hygiene industry, but it’s also our challenge to the ” industry standard” . We now have more cost-effective and chemically conscious products made by actual WOMEN who understand their own bodies and the industry. This can only get better from here!

So what products are out there that you recommend?

Every Time I Don’t Shut Up It’s Revolution : How to start breaking the bias in the workplace.

rev·o·lu·tion
ˌrevəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/
noun

a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people’s ideas about it.

 

When I think of the term ” revolution” as it relates to women, I often picture ballsy women of the past that performed drastic actions in order to facilitate change in their future world. I see them marching down the streets towards congress in the early 1900’s with Susan B Anthony. I hear them chanting for workplace equality in the 1960’s while carrying banners meant to shock and appall. I feel their passionate determination in the 1970’s fueled by their inclusion in the civil rights movement by Coretta Scott King after the death of her husband.

 

On January  21, 2017, I marched with 175,000 people in Seattle in a show of solidarity to send a message to our government.

Even with my planned actions of advocating for women’s rights politically, protesting and writing my representatives I couldn’t help but think… what’s the next step for me here? This NEEDs to make a difference for me personally.

It’s when I realized that the change didn’t need to only happen inside our government. Change needed to happen in my actions in my everyday life.

When being the Woman who spoke up Backfired

When I started in the tech industry, I had made a point to build up my confidence in the workplace and in my career advancement. I didn’t want to be like Melanie Griffith’s character in the beginning of ” working girl” who hid her self-worth away and didn’t seem to fully understand she WAS something special and worthwhile in her field. I studied hard and sought to not only excel but to create and improve everything I touched.

But… I did end up being that “working girl”…

 

One particular meeting at one of my first tech companies stood out to me.They had introduced a new process in which there was a major flaw. Everyone on my team hated this new process because not only did it not make any sense whatsoever, it was slowing down our productivity as a team and lowering overall morale. The company had an upcoming meeting to discuss this new process and give feedback. I decided to take this as an opportunity to not only give my opinion but also propose a solution and encourage discussion.

They opened up the floor for discussion, I proceeded to give my constructive feedback, opinion and a proposed solution that I had researched and found to be successful at several big companies. When I had finished, most of my team vocalized their agreement. We waited for their response and were only met with them attempting to end the meeting with ” well, thanks for the feedback but we have seen MANY other companies use this process and various studies and we KNOW it to be successful so we are going to go ahead and do it this way”.

At this point, I could have shut my mouth and conformed to being your stereotypical “yes” man. But I figured “If they know this way to be better, maybe they can tell me why”. So instead I decided to speak up  ” Oh I didn’t know other companies successfully used this. Could you tell me which ones? Also which studies have you seen this process be successful in? I’m curious”. He didn’t answer me. Instead, another manager told us that was “enough for today ” and we were ushered back.

Later that day I was called into an individual meeting with that the manager I had questioned and my direct supervisor. The manager proceeded to talk down to me and implied that I shouldn’t question any process changes because he felt I just “didn’t understand the big picture” and even when I asked him to explain it to me he refused. He also made sure he kept mentioning how someone ” like me ” could never begin to understand the business and I needed to “learn meeting etiquette” because a “woman speaking up as much” as me could never get ahead. I left that meeting with a red face, tears and a feeling of defeat. I just didn’t understand. I had seen many of my male colleagues at this same company speak up the same way ( to the same manager mind you) I had done and were never taken aside and berated like this. Why was this meeting any different just because a woman had spoken up and dared to ask a question?

The Depressing Research

This was the first event of many where I was the subject of gender bias in the workplace. While sexism may not be as blatant as it once was in years past, there is still an undercurrent that exists in business today. We are still undervalued in the workplace to this day:

 

What do we do to start moving our society forward? How do we navigate the subtle sexism that was bred into our culture and lives beneath the surface without many realizing it?

THE SOLUTION:

WE ADDRESS THE BIAS IN FRONT OF US

Sometimes the best way to approach a problem is to first acknowledge it’s there. It exists and is right in front of you. Why the hell are you ignoring it? .First, address that elephant in the room and acknowledge the damn problem. Then, most importantly, find the BEST way to move forward. Sometimes the perpetrator of the biased action is not even aware of what they did.

I have found the best way to help shift the behavior in business has been not only to point out that bias has taken place, but also to cite recent studies to further illustrate your point.When someone is not only told they have done a harmful action, but also that they are following the ways of an oppressive past, they tend to listen up more.

 

You would be surprised out how often this technique of simply making others aware has turned out in my favor.

During a project that was split between me and a male colleague, we would give weekly reports to our supervisor on our progress and present him with powerpoints and even video walkthroughs of what we were building. I had started to notice at the end of each meeting, our supervisor would congratulate and thank ONLY my male colleague at the end of every meeting but never me. The first time I let it slide as an oversight, but started to notice it kept happening.

The Options of Approach

Did I have the option to ignore it? Of course, I did. But did I want to have this type of behavior set the tone for the rest of my career as a pushover that never spoke her mind? No. Finding the right approach had proven to be more difficult than the actual conversation. Now there are several approaches one can take when this kind of thing happens:

  • Angry Approach” HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?”
  • passive aggressive approach ” well… maybe …like…. you could not say that please?”
  • Saying nothing

OR

How about an informative approach? I decided to go with that.

When I approached our supervisor about this issue, I made sure to point out that it not only hurt me because I applied equal effort to this project along with my male colleague, but it also hurt because studies had shown that women get looked over in the workplace every day. His actions had made me feel like I wasn’t included in the credit to our department’s success.

Now at this point, I am betting you expect the said “boss ” of my story to perhaps start to mansplain to me, bully me, or even get angry. Well, you’re wrong. By having an open conversation with this boss and pointing out how his actions were hurtful but also a direct reflection of the bias influenced in our culture, he immediately apologized. He even went above and beyond from that point on in making sure to thank me, acknowledge me and even gave both me and my colleague an award at the end of the quarter for all the work we had done. He is still to this day one of the best bosses I have ever worked for.

What I learned from this is that we can’t expect change to happen when we don’t take an active role in creating that change every day. Tell your boss/colleague/manager/director when this happens to you. Educate them.

Even little actions like asking for acknowledgment when you have been looked over is a step towards the new feminist revolution. You are saying ” stop! I’ve had enough !” to the status quo of how it’s always been done and instead shifting our culture to see things from another point of view.

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow. we aren’t really living-Gail Sheehy

Make every day your revolution.

5 Logical Reasons Gaston Chose Belle

5 Logical Reasons Gaston Chose Belle

Recently beauty and the beast complete with Emma Watson has been released and everyone is going Ape SHIT over it , myself included. This was an amazeballs re-imagining of the story complete with musical numbers, a sexy man-beast that climbs towers and Kevin Kline surprising me even more with his sweet tenor. I also liked that this movie chose to humanize more of the characters in the story instead of making them one-dimensional characters only capable of one emotion. One of the more interesting subjects was Gaston.

 

Now Gaston definitely has his less-than-stellar qualities but his pursuance of Belle even after she gave him a huge dose of ” thanks but no thanks” always puzzled a much younger me in the cartoon version. I remember thinking ” why doesn’t he just go after one of those other girls? They’re all really pretty “. After seeing its re-imagining, it caused me to think back again on this question. I have to say, from Gastons point of view, some of these perceived reasons make a lot of sense to me.

 

Belle and her book

1.Belle is SMART!

I noticed in both the movie and the cartoon while Gaston may call her “odd” and even going so far as saying it’s ” not right “, he never tells her to stop or calls the woman dumb. In fact, I think part of his reasoning for choosing her is knowing his own shortcomings when it comes to what he stores in his muscle-y noggin…which, let’s be honest. It isn’t much. Marrying someone like Belle would guarantee his kids have a good education.

 

2.An Actual Challenge: AKA she has her own damn mind!

In both movies, everyone loves Gaston and is his ultimate BFF. He is like the mean girls crew rollin’ up on horseback with his buddy Le Fou. No one would DARE say no to him or ever disagree. No one…that is except Belle. Now hear me out on this one! I could imagine being popular is super awesome and all but it would definitely get tiring for me being surrounded by constant “yes ” men that agreed with everything I said and did. I would never know if someone was telling me the truth or what I want to hear. You need that kind of honesty in someone you trust. Belle actually told him things he didn’t like but it also showed that she wasn’t afraid, to be honest with him. This is probably the first person he ever encountered that wasn’t afraid to stand up to him let alone a woman.

 

3.She does her OWN thing.

From what I gathered, most other women in the village would love nothing more than to do whatever it was Gaston was doing at the time. This goes along with the previous version of telling Gaston what he wants to hear and simultaneously doing whatever he wants to do to garner his favor. Belle is perfectly happy hanging out with her inventor father, reading books and even skipping through fields singing bout that provincial life. Being with Belle would mean that he gets breathing room because she has shown herself to be her own person with her own mind.

 

4.Kindness. No Matter What.

Yes while everyone in the village is also kind to Gaston, you could never be sure what they would do if the popular opinion was suddenly against him. Belle has been the only person in the village to show that she is kind and helpful regardless of the popular opinion.

 

Belle Adventure

5.Adventure-bound

This one is a no-brainer. Home girl follows a HORSE to a rando castle in the dark with furniture that talks and a man-buffalo-bear thing holding her father and she is not very bothered. Gaston with all his hunting excursions and battle-ready attitude shows that he would love a good adventure as much as her. Hell if they did end up digging on each other they would probably go off on adventures all the time.

Gaston Falls short

So really given all these reasons, Gaston was choosing the best woman for him socially and physically. They would have made quite the power couple of Belle was interested and if Gaston wasn’t such a Douche Canoe. Alas, Gaston ended up FALLING short… see what I did there ?

What are your thoughts? Please comment below!

 

 

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