LOCATION • Barcelona,Spain.
Menstruation is still a taboo in our society. Women, experience all types of taboos regarding this theme: I grew up listening to women saying that while I had my period I couldn’t make homemade mayonnaise because the ingredients would separate, seeing women whispering in need of tampons as if it were a drug and feeling so ashamed of bleeding. Many religions and cultures stigmatise menstruating women. Throughout history you can see taboos and fables that surround the period.
“Women are taught to detest the "feminine burden" with a repulsion that reflects the male superstition that the period is dangerous and needs to be hidden. This concept is clearly manifested in the attitudes of women generation after generation, mothers pass these beliefs to their daughters. As a result, it perpetuates the myth”. (Carvalho,1997).
Inspired in a Gloria Steinem essay, where the author wonders what would happen if men could magically menstruate I created thought-provoking photographs compiled in a photobook along with the highlights of my research. The obvious representation would be to show different situations where the protagonist was the woman, since they are the ones that experience the menstrual cycle. My purpose was to go a step further and represent the man in the same situations in which women find themselves monthly. This being said, I intend to draw attention and make a critique about the normalisation of menstruation and an approach of whether this taboo would exist if males experience periods. Also, after studying and researching extensively about this taboo, I hope this project inspires men to put themselves in the shoes of women as an effective way to fully understand and be aware of how the taboo around menstruation affects women daily.
I conducted ethnographic research on the taboo regarding menstruation. As part of my research I created thought-provoking photographs compiled in a photobook. During my research I interviewed many men and created an intimate atmosphere with my models to recreate, as natural as possible, the “men-struation”. This also helped me to better understand the male perspective and to portray menstruation in a way that is more accessible and relatable to men.