|SHWI ladies and Chella Quint|
It could be argued that no Women’s Institute meeting would be complete without eating jam and singing Jerusalem, and at November’s meeting that’s exactly what we did. So far, so WI. Then along came native New Yorker, Chella Quint, with her insightful take on the unsanitary messages found in sanitary product advertising to talk to us about her Adventures in Menstruating.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love jam and I LOVE (attempting) to sing Jerusalem, but it’s SHWI’s ability to embrace the traditional whilst also championing the new, the quirky and the challenging that keeps things interesting for me.
Chella opened by asking each of us to rate how comfortable we feel talking about periods. Despite the prevalent view that we delicate females dare not mention periods in polite company for fear of turning the milk sour, it was interesting to see that most of us were actually, well, OK with it.
|Blanche, Anna and Ruth |
model their Stains™!
She then spoke with wit and passion about how advertisers have used fear (‘Leakage? Noooooo!’) and shame (‘Sshhhh! Do NOT mention the P word!’) to sell sanitary products throughout the decades. Her energy was infectious. A few well placed one-liners made me snort with laughter. These helped sweeten the pill, but Chella’s talk acted as a reminder to me that women’s issues are ever present and that we, as members of the Women’s Institute, are uniquely placed to actually be able to do something about it. So, sartorially speaking, I’ve been all over the Leak Chic look this week and have worn my removable Stain with pride #periodpositive.
|Lindsay, Vicky and Kim present Jean |
from Haven with the cheque
Photos by Laura Bainbridge