BEST THING EVER WE DON’T NEED ANY MORE THINGS THIS IS THE BEST THING
(Source: frightfullytreeish, via tuiteyfruityundead)
After spending years developing a simple machine to make inexpensive sanitary pads, Arunachalam Muruganantham has become the unlikely leader of a menstrual health revolution in rural India. Over sixteen years, Muruganantham’s machine has spread to 1,300 villages in 23 states and since most of his clients are NGOs and women’s self-help groups who produce and sell the pads directly in a “by the women, for the women, and to the women” model, the average machine also provides employment for ten women.
Muruganantham’s interest in menstrual health began in 1998 when, as a young, newly married man, he saw his wife, Shanthi, hiding the rags she used as menstrual cloths. Like most men in his village, he had no idea about the reality of menstruation and was horrified that cloths that “I would not even use… to clean my scooter” were his wife’s solution to menstrual sanitation. When he asked why she didn’t buy sanitary pads, she told him that the expense would prevent her from buying staples like milk for the family.
Muruganantham, who left school at age 14 to start working, decided to try making his own sanitary pads for less but the testing of his first prototype ran into a snag almost immediately: Muruganantham had no idea that periods were monthly. “I can’t wait a month for each feedback, it’ll take two decades!” he said, and sought volunteers among the women in his community. He discovered that less than 10% of the women in his area used sanitary pads, instead using rags, sawdust, leaves, or ash. Even if they did use cloths, they were too embarrassed to dry them in the sun, meaning that they never got disinfected — contributing to the approximately 70% of all reproductive diseases in India that are caused by poor menstrual hygiene.
Finding volunteers was nearly impossible: women were embarrassed, or afraid of myths about sanitary pads that say that women who use them will go blind or never marry. Muruganantham came up with an ingenious solution: “I became the man who wore a sanitary pad,” he says. He made an artificial uterus, filled it with goat’s blood, and wore it throughout the day. But his determination had severe consequences: his village concluded he was a pervert with a sexual disease, his mother left his household in shame and his wife left him. As he remarks in the documentary “Menstrual Man” about his experience, “So you see God’s sense of humour. I’d started the research for my wife and after 18 months she left me!”
After years of research, Muruganantham perfected his machine and now works with NGOs and women’s self-help groups to distribute it. Women can use it to make sanitary napkins for themselves, but he encourages them to make pads to sell as well to provide employment for women in poor communities. And, since 23% of girls drop out of school once they start menstruating, he also works with schools, teaching girls to make their own pads: “Why wait till they are women? Why not empower girls?”
As communities accepted his machine, opinions of his “crazy” behavior changed. Five and a half years after she left, Shanthi contacted him, and they are now living together again. She says it was hard living with the ostracization that came from his project, but now, she helps spread the word about sanitary napkins to other women. “Initially I used to be very shy when talking to people about it, but after all this time, people have started to open up. Now they come and talk to me, they ask questions and they also get sanitary napkins to try them.”
In 2009, Muruganantham was honored with a national Innovation Award in 2009 by then President of India, Pratibha Patil, beating out nearly 1,000 other entries. Now, he’s looking at expanding to other countries and believes that 106 countries could benefit from his invention.
Muruganantham is proud to have made such a difference: “from childhood I know no human being died because of poverty — everything happens because of ignorance… I have accumulated no money but I accumulate a lot of happiness.” His proudest moment? A year after he installed one of the machines in a village so poor that, for generations, no one had earned enough for their children to attend school. Then he received a call from one of the women selling sanitary pads who told him that, thanks to the income, her daughter was now able to go to school.
To read more about Muruganantham’s story, the BBC featured a recent profile on him at http://bbc.in/1i8tebG or watch his TED talk at http://bit.ly/1n594l6. You can also view his company’s website at http://newinventions.in/
To learn more about the 2013 documentary Menstrual Man about Muruganantham, visit http://www.menstrualman.com/
For resources to help girls prepare for and understand their periods - including several first period kits - visit our post on: “That Time of the Month: Teaching Your Mighty Girl about Her Menstrual Cycle” at www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=3281
To help your tween understand the changes she’s experiencing both physically and emotionally during puberty, check out the books recommended in our post on “Talking with Tweens and Teens About Their Bodies” at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=2229
And, if you’re looking for ways to encourage your children to become the next engineering and technology innovators, visit A Mighty Girl’s STEM toy section athttp://www.amightygirl.com/toys/toys-games/science-math
Awesome, dude. Awesome. I mean, AWESOME.
WHAT AN EPIC BADASS!
This man is awesome!
Man. You’re doing it right.
I PHYSICALLY CAN’T NOT REBLOG THIS WHEN IT COMES UP ON MY DASH
IT’S TOO COOL
It’s called Winterguard. It’s a sport. Those girls are marching band color-guard girls during the summer touring season, and during the winter they compete against other color-guard teams to music. Costumes, props, mats, everything has to be carried onto the gym floor and then taken back away and counts as part of your performance time.
So when Family Guy or other popular media makes fun of color-guard girls, it pisses me off. We are not rejected cheerleaders. We are what you see above. We kick ass. We spin rifles and flags and sabers.
ok that’s pretty badass.
I mean, reading WINTERGUARD
It makes me think these badass ladies are going to face off against a bunch of White Walkers.
I don’t think them White walkers want any of this.
vintage blog ❂
(Source: Flickr / newelly, via blue-jeans-painted-on-tight)
that’s how you make armor for women, no bullshit boob cups.
(Source: crazybitcharoundhere, via andythanfiction)
(I would have liked to crop some of these gifs (like the accent ones) to make them more accurate but alas, I lack the skills.)
Now You Know (Source)
This is an important event in history, especially Canadian and feminist history. So I’m going to tell you more about it.
1) The shooter had been rejected from Ecole Polytechnique prior to the shooting. He blamed this on these female students, claiming that they were feminists who ruined his life.
2) In the first classroom he entered, he demanded the men leave before shooting at the women. No man attempted to stop him as they left. Take that as you will. (Later on, several men did get injured trying to stop him in the hallways.)
3) In his suicide letter, he believed that feminists were attempting to be more powerful than men, and were trying to take men’s rights away.
4) Feminists were actually blamed by some for the massacre. The line of logic was “if feminists didn’t make women’s rights an issue, Levine wouldn’t have wanted to kill feminists!” Victim blaming at its finest.
5) The mainstream news media often did not publicize the outrage from women’s groups, and often preferred those who took a calm approach. Ironic, that.
6) Despite him literally having a hit list of feminist icons in his final letter, several newscasters questioned whether or not the shooting was a sexist act, some even denying the idea outright.
8) Many memorials for the victims have been created, and rightly so; however, some prominent ones were erected in poor neighbourhoods where many Native women were killed every day in the same time period as the shooting (see: Marker of Change, Vancouver) (see: Missing Women, Vancouver). Basically, white feminism happened.
The entire event was nothing short of a tragedy, and I recommend that everyone read up on it and the resulting aftermath. It’s… interesting to see how the media tried to turn it into a random act of psychopathy instead of what it was (we know better now, luckily). The reactions (memorials, etc) to the deaths of these 14 White, middle class women as compared to the deaths of 60+ Native, lower class women are also “interesting” to compare. (By interesting, I mean infuriating.)
this is hugely important
A magnet falling through a copper pipe
jfc tag your science porn guys
What a delightful sleeping bag