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Bloody Good Fun

1946 Walt Disney Menstruation Animation Tells Us We’re Ok Just The Way We Are

No, this video from 1946 isn’t perfect as far as feminism goes but I have to say, I’m surprised to find it so…not 1946? Though I guess I’m even more surprised Walt Disney Productions made a video about our periods at all. 

The animated film is about ten minutes long and was sponsored by Kotex. As you may have guessed, it was shown in American schools. (Presumably only to girls because boys are not supposed to know periods even exist.) That being said, it’s quite the film.

According to Wikipedia, “Gynecologist Mason Hohn was hired as a consultant to ensure that the film was scientifically accurate. Hohn was hired to increase the likelihood that school doctors and nurses would allow the film to be shown. Hohn’s involvement led to a stronger emphasis on biology than other marketing by ICCC [International Cello-Cotton Company]. The Story of Menstruation increased its reputation when it received the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

Along with the video, students were given a booklet titled “Very Personally Yours” filled with tips for what to do that time of the month but also discouraged the use of tampons, and as you’ll see when you watch, gave very specific hygiene advice. They also gloss over the whole “blood” thing and don’t ever mention sex (though I could say it’s implied in the dance portion). However, it includes an important message for young girls – having your period doesn’t make you weird. Not to mention some very positive things are said about body image and it might have been the first film to use the word “vagina.”

But perhaps the best part of the animation is the animation itself. It depicts ladies doing all those activities tampon commercials have come to love showing taking part in; biking, horseback riding, but throws in inexplicable feats of strength. Give it a watch.

(via GeekTyrant)

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  • Orihara Kaoru

    We’re supposed to keep a menstruation calendar? Woops. Doing it wrong for 21 years…

  • Chanel Diaz

    This probably should’ve been shown to both boys and girls since boys even today keep assuming that a woman on her menstruation cycle is the same as a cursed man under a full moon (and the boys pretty much assume the menstruation cycle happens as much…).

  • Odkin

    People would be a lot smarter if the democrat-media-educrat complex still taught like this, instead of making everything about “social movements”. Kids NEED to learn about “health”. They do NOT need to learn about sex acts and ethno-lesbian poetry theory.

  • Ashe P. Samuels

    Someone wants to go back to the 1940′s.

  • Martha Gail

    My junior high actually showed us that video! In 1993!

  • Anonymous

    So the solution to all those mood swings is just to stop feeling sorry for yourself. Is this the new Secret?

  • Angel H.

    Maybe if we don’t talk about those “ethno-lesbians”, they will just go away.

  • Alasdair Murray

    What the heck is ‘ethno-lesbian poetry theory’, and what does it have to do with sex education?

    (And is there any school where you can actually study that? Because it sounds pretty cool.)

  • Kim Pittman

    I know! It’s apparently that easy. Gee, if I had known that just not feeling sorry for my self and taking a walk in sunshine would have fixed my debilitating cramps and moodswings… so much money saved on Doctor’s visits and drugs!

  • Kim Pittman

    Oh man, I absolutely LOVE how they totally avoid talking about sex. Like the lady decides she is going to have a baby and suddenly her eggs are just magically “impregnated”.

    How silly. At least they knocked out that whole “not bathing” myth. My family has talked about that one. ew ew ew.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    I’ve never heard that myth. What’s the story behind that?

  • mb presents

    hehe the baby looks slightly dangerous when yawning

  • mb presents

    it’s actually really helpful .. my gyn always wants to know when my last mens was .. nowadays there are smartphone apps for that .. even more helpful since the information now is always at hand

  • Diana Potter

    I saw this in elementary school! There was a problem getting an audiovisual person to run it, since of course they were all boys! Also, guards were put on all the gym doors to be sure boys didn’t see anything. Too funny. But it WAS good.

  • Diana Potter

    :) Try 1956!!

  • Diana Potter

    Just watched it again after all these years. Sad to note that ALL the characters, at all ages, are white. Even sadder that at the time I first saw it, I didn’t notice. We HAVE come a long way in respecting each other regardless of our differences, despite the long way we still have to go.

  • RobertaK

    I actually saw that movie when I was in 4th grade, which would have put it around 1968 or 1969. The fact that I still remember it (and that the boys got an extra recess, damn them) shows the impact it made on my life. (Or maybe it’s just PTSD.)

  • Jeyl

    That image of the girl sitting in front of the mirror combing her hair looking sad made me teary eyed. Just the sight of her trying to give herself comfort and not being able to reminded me about my ordeal in coping with tinnitus. I had so much of everything to help make me happy, but I just couldn’t cope. I was literally like her in getting angry over not being able to be happy and just cried1. It took a whole year and a half to get to the point where I was able to do things I usually did before I got it.

    As the video puts it, everything will be alright.

  • WellYesYouMay

    People who either A) really want to be pregnant or B) really don’t want to be pregnant and aren’t on a type of birth control that greatly changes your cycle often keep them. I’ve kept one every month since I was around 17, except when I was pregnant or trying a new hormonal birth control (all of which had awful side effects for me).

  • Dorkus

    So they basically describe seeing this film, or something very much like it, in “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret.” I read that book about a hundred times as a kid but I’ve never seen this movie. But it totally mentions the bathing thing and the avoidance of tampons until you are older, only the company is “Private Lady Supplies,” not Kotex. But it’s funny to realize after all these years that that was based on what Judy Blume probably saw when she was in school.

  • Anonymous

    Disney did a lot of training films for soldiers and factory workers during the war. They also did layouts and exploded assembly diagrams for war production training. I wouldn’t be surprised that they also did a VD warning film for troops overseas. I doubt they’d have animated condoms, but they’d probably mention condoms flat out. This film is less surprising if you remember that the big anti-sex crackdown didn’t come until the very late 40s and early 50s. The 20s and 30s encouraged more frank discussion of sex and the war in the 40s provided an excuse for a very practical nuts and bolts – ahem – attitude.

  • Anonymous

    actaually they have apps for it now! It’s super helpful, it tells you when your last cycle was, and when to be expecting your next. And you can keep track of symptoms you get around period time, like acne, cramps, cravings, headaches, all those lovely things :) It’s called “Period Tracker” and it’s free!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for mentioning this! That said, I went to look up “period tracker” in the Google Play store, and along with the app, it returned a movie result for Crimson Tide.

    Someone at Google has a sense of humor. :D

  • Anonymous

    Rofl, well played Google, well played.

  • Kim Pittman

    So when my mom was a teenager, they believed that bathing while on your period was a no-no. Like on top of the whole, I’m bleeding and we don’t have a shower, they believed that it cause some kind of “imbalance” that would lead to yeast infections and such. It was always followed by the warning of getting some scary disease in your vagina that would make you infertile.

    It was also pretty common that they only took a bath every few days, instead of everyday. So it happened if your period was extra long (8 days,,, mine used to be 8 days… urgh) you could theoretically go for almost 2 weeks without a bath.