‘Menstrual Health’ for ‘Individuals Who Menstruate’ a ‘Human Right’

POLITICS & POLICY

This is the kind of thing that now obsesses the editors of the world’s leading medical journals. The Lancet Public Health has a piece out titled “Menstrual health is a public health and human rights issue.” First, the authors define the crisis. From the piece:

Achieving menstrual health is fundamental to the equality, rights, and dignity of all individuals who menstruate. Nonetheless, menstrual health is still not considered a priority by all.

What is “menstrual health?” It’s not healthy menstruation. It’s, well, a circularly defined concept:

Menstrual health is defined as complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing in relation to the menstrual cycle. This definition reflects the multifaceted nature of menstruation and the many ways the lives of those who menstruate can be affected by their ability to properly manage their menstrual health.

Something must be done!

There is a strong need to provide an enabling sociocultural environment for those who menstruate to manage their menstrual needs with dignity and comfort. We can transform the social environment by creating structural level changes, such as promoting messaging to challenge societal norms by including men and boys, along with those who menstruate, towards reducing menstrual stigma, which is often a product of patriarchal norms.

Who thinks, writes, and talks like that? Nobody who has to interact with the real world.

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And note, the continuing depersonalization and erasure of the feminine from these journals. The Lancet was, after all, the journal in which “bodies with vaginas” was coined.

Obviously, no girl or woman should be stigmatized for a natural biological function. And certainly, women should have access to necessary sanitary products. But is this topic a matter of such urgency that it deserves the imprimatur of a noted medical journal? The article is not, after all, a scientific treatise. It is a . . . heck, I don’t know what it is. But it illuminates a major problem with the priorities and perspectives of the medical intellegentsia.

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