Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m co-founder and Chief of Good at The Good Registry - a gift website where you can give or ask to receive goodness instead of stuff. That takes up about half my time and the other half is filled with some communications consulting (currently with the Earthquake Commission and the Climate Change Commission), daily yoga, fitness, and friendships.
What does Dignity mean to you?
Respecting ourselves - every part of ourselves - and offering the same to others.
What was your experience with your period?
Periods felt like a taboo topic growing up. I remember being shocked seeing tampons on top of the toilet tank at a friend’s house - where anyone could see them!!! To me, period products were something to be hidden away. I found buying period products mortifying - lest anyone I know (especially of the opposite sex) should see me! Even throughout my flatting days I would 'protect’ male flatmates from the ‘embarrassment' of having to see my period products in a shared bathroom. And nothing could be worse than discovering you had a red splotch on the back of your dress. Then I discovered that if you were on the contraceptive pill you could skip the sugar pills and never have a period, so that solved all my worries for several years! (Please seek advice from a doctor before trying this …)
What is the best thing for you about being a woman and menstruation?
There are countless positives to being a woman - top of my list is that you get to have awesome woman friends, who you can chill with, laugh with, cry with, lean on and learn from. Of course, men can have woman friends too - but female to female friendships are something very special. We get each other. We lift each other up. We can be messy and vulnerable and crazy with each other :). The best thing about menstruation? …To me it’s just part of the package with the gift of womanhood.
What makes you feel empowered/comfortable in your skin?
Speaking up for - and taking action for - the things I believe in. Nothing is more disempowering and uncomfortable than silence.
What would you like to say to anyone getting their first period?
It makes me sad when I hear of young girls who aren’t doing sport or other activities (including going to school!) because they have their period. Whether or not that’s you, one of the best things you can do is talk openly about your period, make it a safe topic to talk about with your friends, and in doing so you can help to make sure that none of your friends are being disadvantaged through any pain, shame or cost associated with their periods. It doesn’t need to be that way for anyone. And I’d want them to know that charities like Dignity exist and are there to support them!