Michael Sheen in #Pads4Dads Helps Fathers Get Comfortable Talking About Periods With Their Daughters
Let's not leave Dads out of the bloody conversation.
Michael Sheen, a one-time vampire, is teaming up with the U.K. group Hey Girls to help fathers get more comfortable with talking with their teenage daughters about menstruation.
Hey Girls is an organization that creates “no leak, super comfy, chlorine and bleach free, environmentally friendly products” that tackles period poverty in the U.K. by donating sanitary equipment to those in need. The term “period poverty” came from a survey by the charity Plan International U.K. found that “one in 10 girls or women aged 14 to 21 in Britain cannot afford sanitary towels or tampons.”
While most of the children in America are being raised in a two-parent household, single-parent households are the second most common, with single mothers being the majority, and with the rise of more same-sex adoptions, there are a lot of dads as full-time or part-time custodial guardians of young, cis teenage girls.
Periods can sometimes be really difficult for fathers. Speaking for my own dear papa, despite often using the fact that he was raised with three older sisters as shorthand for his knowledge about young women, even now, when I talk about my period casually, I am quickly cut off with an “alright!”
Sheen says in the video, “If you’re out shopping for your daughter, you know what food they like, right? But when it comes to pads and tampons, you don’t have a clue. I have a daughter. I get it. It can feel hard to start the conversation. But that’s okay. ‘Hey Girls’ […] is here to help us Dads end the stigma of talking about periods and buying period products for the young women in your life.”
According to the statistics from the Hey Girls:
“45% of Dads are unsure what the signs are that a girl might be about to start her period.”
“41% of Dads say they feel comfortable talking about periods with their kids and nearly half haven’t chatted to their daughters about them,” and “one in 3 dads have never purchased period products.”
These are statistics based on a survey of men in the U.K., but I can say that my father has never once brought me pads, nor could even recall a brand name. The site also contains a handy cheat sheet for dads out there who are looking to better educate themselves about menstruation.
Men, especially fathers, knowing about menstruation better can also help them be better advocates for not just their daughters, but women and all people with uteruses. A lot of the time, doctors talk down to women and trans men with uteruses, dismissing everything as a cramp. Dads can use this information to be better advocates for their daughters’ needs and health, especially since there are times a doctor will trust a male guardian over a female one.
Not only is this a great initiative, but with this and the documentary Period. End of Sentence, I’m glad there is more mainstream attention the way menstruation affects the lives of young girls and others.
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