period. end of sentence. review

You Need To Watch 'Period, End Of Sentence' Right Now, End Of Sentence

Imagine if all you had access to was ash, leaves, or rags to use as hygiene products during your period.

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This incredible documentary short, directed by Rayka Zehtabchi, is about tackling the taboos around menstruation in rural India. This film was taking subject matter, which is so normal in western countries, and putting it into perspective in countries like India where when you're on your period, you are to distance yourself from everyone and everything and isolate yourself until it's over.

You learn that there are girls who consider dropping out of school once they start getting their period because it takes a toll on them and is even somewhat humiliating, for them, hiding from society is the only way to be accepted.

People in Hapur, India are far from educated on what menstruation is, especially the men. There is a scene where guys are being interviewed and they literally have no clue what periods are and that they were ever a thing, all they knew was that once a month, the girls in their family would leave for a couple days and come back, not knowing the reason behind the leave.

In this part of India, there is no access to pads or any sanitary ways of dealing with your period.

Instead, they use things that are far from sanitary and can cause major discomfort. A group of female high school students from North Hollywood came up with the Pad Project. This project was to raise money for pad machines to be built and placed all over places who don't have feminine hygiene products beginning with India as seen in the film. The arrival of the pad machines are captured in the film and women are taught how to use them, package them, and market them, selling them all over small shops in the streets.

Due to the fear of the men shutting this effort down, they were told that it was a machine to make diapers for children. Women were taught how to use them and soon enough, the pad machines were up and running and women were hearing about pads and were eager to try out this product.

This documentary short is so eye-opening.

It really makes you think about how in some countries, women are made to believe that getting your period is actually an illness and that the only way to deal with it is to be secluded and to attempt to be clean with rags that barely soak anything up. I can't imagine how uncomfortable that would be.

What really stood out to me was a scene that was shot in a classroom where the teacher asks the students if they knew what menstruation was. A girl stands up looking absolutely terrified, and the shot is only about thirty seconds long. I read in an interview with Zehtabchi and Refinery29 that that shot was actually three minutes and that the girl was just as petrified and looked as if she was about to faint.

The Pad Project is offering efforts to open up the conversation and to reassure women that it is OK to talk about periods.

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I Support Late-Term Abortions, That Doesn't Make Me A Baby-Hating Monster

A late-term abortion is a horrible, devastating and heartbreaking choice... but one I'm glad women have.

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If you think that late-term abortions are for mothers who get to 8.5 months and then randomly decide they no longer want to have a baby, then don't even read this article. This article is not to argue with ignorance. Read some unbiased articles, actually, think about it for two seconds and then realize that women who are due any day now aren't just going to terminate their pregnancies because it is "legal" now. (It is not.)

I've seen so many posts and comments and arguments, the crux of them being, "I can't imagine aborting my child after 24 weeks."

Well, guess what... The women this law will apply to probably can't imagine it, either.

Nearly all abortions occur in the first trimester of pregnancy (approximately 91.1%). This tells us what is (more than likely) a pretty obvious fact: That beyond the first trimester, most women are planning to keep their baby (or give him or her up for adoption). So you can imagine that even being presented with the option of termination would be heartbreaking.

Imagine this: You're pregnant and absolutely ecstatic to bring a child into the world. You go in for an appointment at 30 weeks. During the exam, your doctor is quiet. You are growing extremely anxious. They tell you that they have some bad news. Your daughter has a serious condition, one that will allow her to live less than a year. They can perform a c-section, she will be in the NICU for a long time, but even once you take her home, she has an extremely low chance of survival. Her life will be painful. Or, they can perform an abortion.

What do you choose? For some, they absolutely cannot fathom the idea of termination. They'd rather take a chance at life. And for some, they cannot even fathom the idea of watching their child live a painful, short life that will end in incredible heartbreak.

Both of these are traumatizing decisions. Your pregnancy and your hope for the future and your plans for the child you are so excited for have come crashing down. This is not a lightly made decision. And if you would choose to take your chances, pray for a miracle and get to hold your child in your arms, you should have every single right to.

But if you decide that the trauma of terminating your pregnancy without having to fall further in love with your child and watch him or her struggle every day and deal with the gutwrenching pain of losing them, you should have every single right to make that choice, too.

This is not cut and dry. This is something that changes from woman to woman, from family to family. But one thing stays the same: Learning that the life that you planned for your baby can no longer be as you desperately hoped is heartbreaking. It is a uniquely horrific feeling that, you're right, you can't imagine. No one can imagine it until they're living it. I write about it and I think about it and I have to assume that there is nothing in this world that can prepare you for it.

Posting and commenting that women who choose the path of late-term termination are monsters or killers or heartless is wrong.

Picture this: A pregnant woman and her husband, sitting in an exam room alone after learning devastating news about their pregnancy. They're holding one another, sobbing, thinking through their options. Trying to decide if ending their pregnancy, crushing the hopes and dreams they had for their little baby is the right choice, or continuing on and hoping for a miracle but knowing they should prepare for the heartbreak of their lives. Picture them, through tears, while holding an ultrasound photo to their chest, telling the doctor they choose to terminate. Picture them going home, sitting in the nursery they decorated, calling their parents and telling them their grandchild won't be arriving.

Are you picturing a couple of monsters? A couple of heartless killers?

Or do you see a family put into an impossible situation, trying to make an impossible decision for themselves and their unborn child? A family who threw a baby shower and decorated their nursery and argued over the perfect name for months. Who took progress photos of their baby bump, who talked about what sports their kid would play, who had to hear the devastating news that turned their world upside down?

I don't see a monster. I don't see a killer.

I see pain, I see hardship, I see love.

And I hope that you do, too.

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