Menstruation is a mark of shame around the world. Tampons, sanitary pads and "moon cups" should be hidden, the blood made invisible. Social, cultural, and religious rules determine how the person who is bleeding is expected to behave.
When shame and poverty collide, a collective catastrophe arises that stops girls from going to school and women from working. In this silence, untreated infections run rampant.
Without access to menstrual hygiene products, water, toilets, and knowledge, those who menstruate are denied their basic human rights. Having control over your menses is essential—and a requirement for participating in daily life.
It’s Only Blood is a book of reportage on menstruation with an international perspective. Anna Dahlqvist has traveled to India, Uganda, Bangladesh, Kenya, and the USA to meet with people who menstruate, menstrual activists, and menstrual cycle researchers.
What was once unspeakable is now becoming politicized as part of an ever-growing menstruation movement.
In Anna Dahlqvist’s interesting reportage silence and shame are the recurring factors. It’s easy to get furious while reading this book, at the same time as it fills me with hope. These issues make a difference.
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