From the onset of periods, women have experienced every nook and cranny of the menstrual process and so the world surrounding it. Thanks to the shortage of proper guidance and education, many folks have stereotyped this subject into shame, disgrace and have associated this cycle with “evil spirits.”
People have always suppressed this subject so much so that the history around it is cited as mythicized content these days.
Because of these above-mentioned reasons, many women within the past and girls that belong to a rural society in developing countries deem is as a blemished subject.
Nevertheless, the known facts around menstruation reveal that the word itself springs from a Latin word “menstruus” which implies “monthly” that’s a comparable to the Anglo-Saxon equivalent “monad-blood” meaning “monthly blood.” Eventually, people started using the term “period” within the 1800s to simply describe the cycle as a “repetitive phase.”
Throughout history, there are heaps of taboos surrounding menstruation which denotes menstruating women with mystic and witchcraft. In many literary works, people have written that girls who menstruate are capable of preventing hailstorms, lightnings in addition to destroying the freshly grown crops. It had been said that the menorrhea is toxic and is efficient enough to spoil any edible item. Speaking of which, even now, the stigma around this subject refers to menstruating women as part of evil spirits and also that they can damage the pickles if touched during their cycle!
Now that we know the history behind the word “menstruation”, what about the particular history of ancient menstrual products? Well, as said earlier, all the antiquity of this question continues to be a mystery since the ancient women were shushed when it involved questioning what they used for their sanitary hygiene.
According to renowned historians within the past, Roman women were accustomed to use pads made out of wool while Egyptian women had used tampons made out of relaxed papyrus.
Not many know of the very fact that the disposable pads were first generated in the 1880s, but due to societal disgrace, the merchandise was never advertised until Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner reverberated the problem in the 1920s and brought about an invention where women could hold up a disposable napkin using a sanitary belt.
However, during medieval times, women preferred using old, clothed rags rather than bleeding directly through their clothes because it was unsanitary and uncomfortable. To further minimize the shame, women carried herbs on them to forestall the smell and conceal their menstruation from their friends and family. During the Victorian era, women started using a washable pad that could be held up using a sanitary belt. This progress was only because of the invasion of the labour force and industrial development since it was harder for girls to work in heavy industries with discomfort during their monthly cycle. Better late than never, self-adhesive pads were finally introduced in the 1970s which is nowadays seen in the markets.
Despite the various taboos, people have voiced their opinions in the past and have made numerous innovations for menstruating women that don’t seem to be only lifesaving but also worth talking about! Because of the strict societal stigmas, many women aren’t even allowed to use proper products like pads and tampons and are forced to use old, clothed rags that has slowly but efficiently been degrading their sanitary health.