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“That’s why we have the Binti Rose Campaign because we bring love to menstruation and get girls to open up and not be embarrassed about it.”
-Manjit K. Gill (CEO/ Founder of Binti)
With a lot of different charities now running a lot of different campaigns in order to get attention to their cause, it’s hard to recognise them all. But there are some where a deeper meaning lies beneath the pose, or act the charity asks you to do. One such pose is the #BintiRosePose created by the charity Binti.
Binti, is a charity that strives to bring menstrual dignity back to women by providing sanitary products to women who do not have access to them, and by trying to smash the taboo about talking about menstruation. As having access to sanitary products is only half of the barrier facing women and their periods, as without an open dialogue, how can we start to properly help women to find ways to manage their period each month?
So what is the #BintiRosePose you may be wondering? Putting it simply the #BintiRosePose asks for you to take a picture standing with a rose which you hold upside down and share it on social media to show your support for Binti’s work and to say that you are not afraid to talk about menstruation.
However, there is much more meaning behind the #BintiRosePose, as Manjit K. Gill, CEO and Founder of the charity revealed to me when she told me what makes up the different elements of the pose.
The colour of the rose: She told me that, “the colour of the rose is the same colour as menstruation,” which I think is powerful. A lot of the time period blood is hidden from us. In the media especially we are not allowed to see it. In fact, even in sanitary towel adverts period blood is depicted as blue rather than red. By having the symbol for the campaign remind you of that blood, instead of shying away from it shows that Binti is not afraid to confront the world about the lack of coverage of period blood in the media. Something, which is completely natural, but by refusing to show it becomes something not just shameful, but something that feels unnatural.
Rose Thorns: Menstruation for a lot of people hurts. I for one have had my fair share of menstrual cramps, so I think it’s right that we remind people of the pain. And there is no better way to do that than through looking at, “the thorns on the stem, which represent the pain of menstruation”. It is time to remind ourselves that period pain happens and should not be swept under the carpet, but nor should it be naturalised so that women who suffer with acute period pain or endometriosis are made to think that they are over exaggerating or are too embarrassed to talk about their pain.
Symbol of Love: Manjit said that the idea behind the post quite simply was about bringing love to the period:
“The idea being is that if you give somebody a red rose its a symbol of love so the thought we are trying to say is instead of feeling embarrassed or ashamed of your period, let’s bring love back to it. So you can say I love my period because if I have a healthy period, I am able to create life and really that is such an empowering place to be in. And if we can turn conversation around menstruation from that embarrassment to that empowerment then that’s the job.”
And with Valentine’s day today there is no better time to take part in the #BintiRosePose movement and show someone that you love everything about them, including their period.
Turn it upside down: The final stage of the #BintiRosePose is the turning of the rose, “what we do is turn the rose upside down, of course, and that becomes the #BintiRosePose. And it signifies I respect her.” Notice that last line, I respect her, this pose is not just for women showing solidarity with each other (although this is incredibly important), it’s for men to stand united with women and what they go through. To show that they respect women for going through menstruation, and that they do not have to be ashamed or embarrassed.
The #BintiRosePose is so important because it brings love back to the period and it puts it in the public eye. Too many times have I seen periods been treated as something shameful, something to be hidden away in our drawer, in our bag, up our sleeve and not talked about.
By letting periods become something shameful, we inevitably view ourselves as shameful because of it. That’s why it is so important to take a picture doing the #BintiRosePose to open up the conversation, to say yes I am someone who gets a period, or respects people who do get periods. Periods are not something that should be hidden away and treated as something disgusting. They are part of life, and although for a lot of us do not feel like they are a beautiful thing a lot of the time, they are beautiful, more than they should ever be thought of as shameful.
You can send your #BintiRosePose pictures to Binti through:
Let us be the generation to bring dignity back to the period. Together we can fight to #smashshame this Valentine’s day and bring love back to periods.