At Cora, we talk about periods all day, every day. And we love sharing resources that empower us with knowledge and inform us not only about our cycles, but also the much larger implications of how we, as a society, talk about periods. Whether you have horrendous cramps and are looking for a cure, or you just learned that up to 70% of girls in India have missed school due to their period and want to better understand period poverty, there’s a resource for you. Here, we’re sharing some of our favorite books and podcasts for learning more about your cycle.
It’s Only Blood: Shattering the Taboo of Menstruation: Swedish journalist Anna Dahlqvist conducted interviews in Uganda, Kenya, Bangladesh, and India throughout 2015 and 2016, to better understand the effects menstrual shame has on girls and women around the world. In the book’s opening dialogue, she asks Saudah, a 14-year-old girl in Kampala, Uganda, if she gets angry when the boys laugh and tease her. She responds no, Dahlqvist asks her why not, and Saudah replies, “They’re laughing because the girls can’t keep themselves clean.” Dahlqvist explains, “It is said as a matter of course. A simple stating of facts. Those who laugh are not doing anything wrong. The girls with the blood stains are. They simply have themselves to blame if they fail to hide the menstrual blood. If they cannot keep themselves clean.” The book explores how shame is at the root of period poverty.
Recommended if: You’re interested in a well-reported look into global period poverty.
Period Power (new this week!): Written by 20-year-old Harvard student Nadya Okamoto, Period Power is a primer in menstruation written by a young author for a younger audience. She begins with the story of her first period, works her way through period products and the history of stigma, period poverty, and policy, and ends with a very actionable chapter on taking action.
Recommended if: You’re beginning to learn about menstruation and are still a bit squeamish on the subject, but care about learning more and making periods better for all people.
Molly Hayward on Starting a Period Revolution (The Amber Lilyestrom Show): Branding strategist and business coach, Amber Lilyestrom interviews Cora Founder, Molly Hayward, on building a business that gives back to women and takes a firm stance on women’s health and empowerment. Molly shares how trusting her intuition has not only fostered a more positive menstrual cycle, but has also allowed her to grow her business.
Recommended if: You want to connect more deeply to your cycle and bodily wisdom; you’re interested in female founder stories; you want to do meaningful work and are looking for guidance.
Period Power – Embracing Your Cycle With Megan Lierley (Everyday Woo Woo, Episode 17): Blood and Milk’s managing editor, Megan Lierley, talks about how menstrual shame is impacting the global economy, why she no longer feels embarrassed talking about periods with the men in her life, and the magic of being a woman.
Recommended if: You feel passionately about certain issues but are nervous to take a public stand, want advice for how to get involved in empowering women.
Molly Hayward: The Purpose-Driven Entrepreneur (Healthy, Wealthy, & Smart): Molly discusses how passion and perseverance disrupted the period product industry and how Cora’s mission is helping women in developing countries.
Recommended if: You’re interested in entrepreneurship in the women’s health space.
Here’s What’s Next on Our List…
- For heavy periods: Heavy Periods 101 With Robin Srigley (The Period Party)
- If your period affects your work: Bleeding at Work (PERIOD Podcast)
- If you want to talk women’s health more broadly: Doing Harm
- For “the classic,” according to Molly: Her Blood is Gold: Awakening to the Wisdom of Menstruation
Which resources would you add? We’d love to hear in the comments.