We propose a positive new culture of menstrual wellbeing, helping women and girls to more deeply understand and trust their bodies, and giving them important tools to challenge, and disrupt, the status quo.
Menstrual silence, shame, ignorance and awkwardness is not only counter to women’s fundamental health and wellbeing, but also to the realisation of their full human rights – to be able to avail themselves of the opportunities and resources in life, to live without discrimination; and to be able to participate fully and freely as citizens and consumers in their communities, workplaces and society at large. A world in which women are relegated and demeaned by negative attitudes concerning their bodies can never be an equal world.
All women and girls are entitled to respect, dignity and a belief in the integrity of their bodies. In this work, we build on these goals, multiply the solutions, and share our plan to revolutionise menstrual culture and transform our whole society.
Because it’s about bloody time.
KAREN PICKERING is a feminist writer, organiser and advocate for women’s rights. She founded Cherchez la Femme, Girls On Film Festival, SlutWalk Melbourne and edited the book Doing It: Women tell the truth about great sex. She has appeared in print, on radio and television, and at festivals throughout the country, where audiences appreciate her knowledge, warmth, compassion and humour, and is currently working on a national initiative to support new and first-time mothers. She believes the answer is always other women.
JANE BENNETT is a social worker, writer and educator. She created A Celebration Day for Girls and Fathers Celebrating Daughters, and co-created Mense-Ed and The Rite Journey Year 9 program for girls. Jane now trains facilitators internationally to run these programs. She is the author of A Blessing Not a Curse and Girltopia, and co-author of The Complete Guide to Optimum Conception, The Natural Fertility Management Kit for Contraception, WomanWise Conversation Cards and The Pill: Are You Sure It’s For You? In 2017 Jane founded the Chalice Foundation, a not-for-profit social enterprise for the promotion of positive menstrual culture.
Since 1985, the Victorian Women’s Trust has fearlessly advocated for the rights of women and girls. ABOUT BLOODY TIME: THE MENSTRUAL REVOLUTION WE HAVE TO HAVE is a crucial part of the gender equality project. The Victorian Women’s Trust brings together the writing talent of Karen Pickering and Jane Bennett to produce a ground breaking work that will change lives.
“The effort, time and skill that Karen Pickering and Jane Bennett have put into collating this essential text cannot be underestimated. To be able to have a conversation as honest as this is so necessary, and to have it curated by the Victorian Women’s Trust is a profound gift. I am so proud to be associated with this work, and to collectively work towards a future in which shame and fear are no longer associated with bodily functions as straight-forward as menstruation and menopause.” – Clementine Ford
“The Victorian Women’s Trust’s new publication About Bloody Time by Karen Pickering and Jane Bennett, is both a balm and a fire starter. Grounded in extensive data (from the lived experiences of over 3000 girls and women), it’s highly engaging, positively educational and absolutely necessary.”
“While I know that this is pitched towards women and girls, I hope everyone who buys this book encourages all the men and boys in their life to read and understand ❤”
“I’m so happy to see periods finally getting the positive attention they deserve, and in such a beautifully executed way. Thank you!”
“This book should be in every primary school in the world.”
“This is a terrific book and I so wish it had been around when I was in my teens. Removing the stigma and embarrassment of periods is very necessary to making the lives of our young women that little bit easier. It’s tough enough being a female teenager without feeling embarrassed every month that someone might find out you are menstruating. And then of course at the other end of the cycle is menopause – another subject that is still somewhat taboo, especially in the workplace. I loved hearing about the surveys but more importantly I learnt quite a deal from the factual information. Congratulations to Karen Pickering and Jane Bennett and the Victorian Women’s Trust.”
“It is a great book, a great resource, from the content through to the illustrations.” – Natasha Stott Despoja (CEO, Our Watch)
Please send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from readers of the book.
28 April 2019 – ‘IT’S ABOUT BLOODY TIME WE TALKED MORE ABOUT PERIODS!’, Meet Me at Mike’s blog
30 April 2019 – ‘About Bloody Time: The Book’, Tom Co blog
4 June 2019 – ‘The lesson boys need to learn as much as girls’, co-author Karen Pickering, Rendezview (subscriber)
12 June 2019 – ‘Breakfasters: Respecting and Understanding Aunt Flo’, 3RRR
August 2019 – Featured on page 21 of frankie magazine (issue 91)
14 August 2019 – Book review: About Bloody Time, Jean Hailes News
5 September 2019- ‘About bloody time’ excerpt, common ground magazine
13 December 2019 – ‘The books we loved in 2019’, Sydney Morning Herald (subscriber)
13 August 2020 – ‘Ending Period Poverty’, The Period podcast
15 August 2020 – ‘Should “period leave” be on the agenda?’, 9Honey
Our menstrual workplace policy, co-written by Casimira Melican and Grace Mountford in 2016, and supported by About Bloody Time research allows staff members who are experiencing symptoms of menstruation or menopause the option to work flexibly.
The VWT has been trialling a menstrual leave policy and it’s been a great success. VWT staffers Casimira Melican and Grace Mountford explain the importance of contemporary and progressive workplaces in supporting people who experience menstruation and menopause.
Read about HACSU's campaign to introduce Reproductive Health and Wellbeing Leave as one of their key claims in their current Mental Health Enterprise Agreement bargaining.
Known on Instagram as Young Papadum, Michelle Pereira makes character driven illustrations. Her subjects are trendy and fierce, seen riding motorbikes next to ravens without a care in their world. No wonder we can't get enough of her work.
so that in this lifetime we can be: