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Open your head : that's what we need to generate positive changes in our lives. Get out of the box they sold us already assembled, look for other perspectives. Take out the autopilot, brake and watch. There are other options. Taking awareness of our body and the planet we live on is the kick-off that drives many of the changes we can generate to live a life more and more Aacute; s full, seeking well-being in what we choose.
It may sound exaggerated, but starting to use the menstrual cup, many, changed our lives . Because it is not just about choosing one product over another, it is a change of look, a new relationship with our cycle . It's getting involved with what happens in our body and in the environment. It's taking the chip out of the disposable and taking care of our process, after decades when menstruation was something we didn't talk about.
Carolina Zotta is a communicator and entrepreneur. To her, in an even deeper way, the cup changed her life . What started as a project to sell a product, became a community of people who are driven by a common concern: sustainable menstruation . And everything she carries. The account of Viva la Copita today has more than 180 thousand followers , who evacuate there doubts about the use of the cup, but also find a space where issues of gender and reproductive health, among others.
All this opened Caro a new path, in the course of which he discovered that there is much to do in terms of menstrual management and sexual and reproductive education.
Carolina Zotta: I started selling copitas as a “changa” , without thinking that it was going to become a job and a much larger project. Not so long later, the sale of products and distribution opened a whole leg that had to do with receiving the doubts and concerns of those who took this product, who did not go so much hand in hand with the product itself, but more information about menstruation, about the cycle, even about ovulation. It is a map that opens from the distribution of menstrual management products and the doubts that return from that , which led to a whole leg of research, educational, which today aims to bring information and that menstrual management products —in addition to be sustainable, ecological— are a way of access to having more information, to question ourselves a little more about the body and to know more . When we relate to the cycle, and to sexuality in general, from a new side — which is linked to the ecological, with the reusable, with the making us charge —, a paw of knowledge opens up which goes hand in hand with all the demands that exist today from feminisms and from movements, which is to know the body, appropriate the body and also make more decisions about it . We realize that there is a lot of misinformation and we are trying to download data and that menstrual management products are a tool for that.
CZ: Talking about menstrual management, beyond the method, it just has this about managing us, of taking charge. It seems to me that it has to do with the fact that we are people who are menstruating, and so we have to do something about that, with that cycle. We can cancel it, we can experience it, we can manage it in an ecological way, we can manage it in a disposable way, and all that has to do with the impact we are going to have on understanding the cycle. Because it is not the same to take care of washing the menstrual management product that you are using, putting it back, learning about the body so that that use is as useful as possible, that “I take a washcloth, throw it in the trash and I don't care anything else” . It seems to me that we were always very far away from the body's processes, so managing menstruation has to do with this of taking care of us . Many people, from choosing the menstrual management product that is, which in general is more linked to the ecological, want to move on to live the cycle in another way and with a less embarrassing character, suffering, and all these stereotypes that were getting into our heads and that all this new move allows us to reformulate.
CZ : Sustainable menstruation is a way of living and passing the cycle in a way that resources, in terms of the products we use, take into account that there are coming generations. Sustainable means responsible use of resources , understanding that we cannot exhaust everything, but that back come other generations who also have to have the possibility of being able to use them. It's about not exhausting products, but using them consciously. That is why I put so much emphasis on eco-friendly. And menstruation comes with the same line. Living a sustainable menstruation is also being able to understand that it is a process that will accompany us a lot of time, that it is good to happen because it is an indicator of health, a vital sign. So, being able to live menstruation in this way, in a sustainable way, also means not being disconnected from it, but trying to help us make that transit as healthy as possible, both for us and for the planet, with the products we use in our body and regarding the environmental impact that end generating.
There is a very common answer that is “ how did I not try it before .” And that's nice, it's nice because it seems to me that the cup, being such a disruptive product with what we already know, that it does not absorb, that it has to be placed well, which involves self-knowledge, exploded our heads to a lot of people . And I think it's a great thing, too, that we had a good time between acquaintances. But I don't know if we should all try, I think it responds to the order of desire, if you are curious and want to try, the way is good, but you can also not want to do it , you can also not want to introduce anything into your body, and it is also well. I think that, as long as it is not a decision based on fear, but precisely a decision, it is worth what is chosen, even the disposable. I think it's good that massiveness is reversed. Today, the most used is the disposable; well, hopefully at some point it will be the reusable. But it seems to me that sometimes the cup is imposed a lot, and we don't have to forget that it has to be something desired, that you have to want to use that product and that you can't impose, even though I'm going to tell you that it is very comfortable and I have a lot changed the way I manage my menstruation, but also There are people who don't want to use it and that is also good and you have to respect it.
CZ: It is linked from the education part, because we have not received menstrual education. In fact, I think that the little menstrual education we can recognize is that given by private companies, which was actually a promotion of their disposable products. Today it is proposed to be able to talk about menstruation not in reproductive terms, but in terms of health , and to be able to lower another line that just takes it away from a thing that happens to you that you don't know well what it is and is not related to anything, but “well, put this and what no one finds out.” That line set it aside and go on to explain that this responds to a hormonal cycle, that even what we eat influences that hormonal cycle and how it develops, that this happens to you in this or that way, that you spend so much time and that you have all these options to manage it. And that, if there is something that does not close you with your experience in the cycle, there are instances to consult it. Because also as much silence and as much vision of menstruation as something that is not talked about, the lack of education, the lack of visibility around it, leads to many people to keep certain things out. And we must be able to talk about it, because solutions can be found and not leave this as a suffering of the private sphere, but make it visible to society as a whole . Being included in the ESI, those who advocate not to be raised from the reproductive side, but from a much more integral side, we also call for it to be open to society as a whole. ESI classes used to be women only. They divided the course; men were given condoms, reinforcing this that menstruation is something reproductive, and women were given wipes and tampons as promotional form of a company. So, that today we can have all classes in the same room, questing also what menstruation is for men, allows this to become just something understood by the whole society and not just by the people who menstruate. We also understand that this is necessary, that we all understand what it is. And how to accompany.
CZ: Yes, I think the menstrual cup is the tool that allowed us to talk about menstruation from the other side and turn it a little more to the public sphere , because it is a very disruptive product, it is a product other than what is known. At some point, fabric wipes, for example, which would be the ecological alternative to disposable wipes, respond to the same logic. It is a product that was already used. But the cup is something very new in terms of technology in this area. And it allowed us to talk about menstruation in a context where everything that has to do with the body and the experience of the body is refloated. So, it seems to me that it goes super hand in hand and that it drives the subject a lot. From that side, we celebrated it a lot. Today globally policies are being put in place around menstrual management that are very interesting and I think yes, everything goes hand in hand with this new impetus that the product is having. What we always refloat from activisms is the need for information and education . Beyond that this is a disruptive product that is great and changes the menstrual life of many people, it is key that this is accompanied with education. If not, there breaks a line that is essential that is drawn, which is the use of products with education, which in turn leads to another type of menstrual management and experience of the cycle.
At Matriar we work sexual and reproductive rights , and at this time we have a survey going around the contraceptive experience in the country , in order to gather hard data, percentages and numbers, about what happens in the country with contraceptives.
Matriar 's mission is to develop actions, educational policies, questioning the hegemonic medical system and the management it does over our bodies. We are very passives all about a medical system that has a hierarchy where it decides on our body. And today, that there is so much need to talk and make certain things visible, we find it important to have scientifically based information. Within the organization there are health professionals who do superinteresting curatorship of everything that the medical system does about us, and with up-to-date information. Also to question some treatments that are given very generally and that do not have positive results on those who suffer them. And also this about giving voice , which is a little what the organization is looking for, giving voice to all people who feel that there is something in terms of sexual and reproductive rights that question in relation to what they have received from the hegemonic medical system.
If you want to participate in the Matriar survey, you can do it through this link: https://forms.gle/VZUS5rjXisoPKsZTA
Publication Date: 12/04/2021
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