Special guest post co-authored by Ruby Cup and María Gonzalez.
María is an Earth Sciences graduate with a specialization in Environmental Sciences and Physical Oceanography. She uses science to solve problems in different social environments in order to create social and environmental justice. Ruby Cup is a social business selling and donating menstrual cups through a Buy One Give One model. Every cup sold includes a donation of a cup to a person without access to reliable period products.
A Letter to the Children of the Future
The United Nations estimates that by 2050, our oceans will have more plastic than fish.
We are currently 800 billion menstruating people around the world, The number of tampons used throughout our life will be 14,000,
translated to 200Kg of plastic per person, which takes 500 years to disappear.
There is no excuse for this excessive use of plastic when there are environmentally-friendly alternatives.
And what do you think, Have things always been this way?
Hello, I’m Maria,
I’m a biologist. I’m 24 years old.
I’m talking to you from 2020; if you are reading this, hopefully,
your world is a little better.
Hopefully, people can hug each other again because, from where I am,
we are going through a pandemic caused by the
COVID-19 virus, which stopped the world and made us reflect on the Earth, humanity, life, and what we do with them daily.
I think that’s why we owe you an apology.
Things have not been quite right for a while, between global warming, pollution, gaps in between class, sex and race or fear of an uncertain future.
Do you know?
Poverty has reached such a point to get into our period,
because although more than 800 million people menstruate daily and it is a human right to have an adequate standard of living, many countries do not consider talking about menstruation in their politics as it is still taboo or considered a luxury rather than a necessity.
For this reason, many women living in poverty in different parts of the world must resort to the use of rags, cloths, and even mud to hold back menstrual bleeding, putting them at high risk for urinary tract infection and reproductive health problems.
This prevents them from reaching their full potential when they miss
crucial opportunities for their growth as they are often excluded, from basic activities, such as eating certain foods or socializing.
The cultural shame associated with menstruation and scarcity of resources prevents young people from going to school, missing school days.
As a woman who is dedicated to science, knowing that in many cases girls drop out of school once they start menstruating,
It is quite painful because the knowledge acquired in a classroom is one of the main tools to change our personal and social environment.
Furthermore in our time it is well known that young girls who do not
receive an education are more likely to marry as children and, as a result, may experience an early pregnancy, malnutrition problems, and pregnancy complications.
Every day I live and fight to be free, like many other women in 2020, however, we know that it will not be real freedom until we all achieve it.
Every girl and woman of the world must be able to
enjoy her life without worrying about social stigmas or consequences on their health due to the social avoidance of a natural process in their body.
Hopefully, if you are reading this, you don’t know what I’m talking about because these problems are no longer a reality in your world.
Hopefully, if you’re reading this,
Women and girls don’t need to go through anything like that in any of the 500 periods, they will have during their life.
That the almost 40 years of reproductive age they have, are vibrant with joy and developing their maximum potential on a green planet that flourishes in each cycle with them.
The desire and need for a change has become so great that in my case, I decided to cultivate even on the roofs of the cities.
I’ve left the car for the bike.
I exchanged mass consumerism for local consumption.
Every day, I make an effort to promote feminism, empowerment, and equality to my neighborhood.
Where it all began some years ago with a collective talk about menstruation.
Together we name it, we put an end to fears,
prejudices, and toxins, in search of harmony with our body and with the planet.
We decided to start with the use of the menstrual cup and stop contributing month after month those kilograms of plastic into the sea.
Today, I am talking to you, from woman to woman from different times in history so that you know that for us, your freedom is more than a wish, It is a life project.
While this crisis happens, a generation of activists has born.
Who works daily to accelerate a social impact that restores nature and humanity before your generation arrives.
And although it’s not easy,
We still swim against the current.
We are taking actions to solve problems
We are recycling in a world of disposables.
We are leaving single-use plastics like pads and tampons,
swapping them for ecologically responsible alternatives such as the cup.
We name the unnamable to break taboos like menstruation and solve issues that should not exist, such as period poverty,
We cooperate instead of competing, Alone we may go faster but together we go further.
We repair rather than break.
We love diversity.
We give a voice to our rights, and daily we question our privileges so that equality and justice are real.
I hope if you are reading this, you know what I am talking about, and you feel the affection of this generation that embraces you with hope looking forward to building a better world.
I hope that if you find this, in your world the natural and human rights, particularly of women and girls, are fully heard and if there is still a long way to go: reconsider, move and collectivize, do something for a better
tomorrow as we do for you today.
However, if in your world the blood of the uterus is once again the source of life for all, and periods are no longer a taboo, then as a personal favour :
dance, laugh, and enjoy for all of us, because it means we made it.