Feminist, activist and artist, Sarah Maple recently came out with her latest artwork: Menstruate With Pride. A piece on breaking down the stigma of womanhood, she hopes to make the phenomenon of a woman’s period more of a social norm than a taboo.
“Initially I didn’t want to make work about menstruation because I thought it was a bit of a cliché. But as I was looking more into the idea of women and shame, I felt like I couldn’t avoid it!” Maple laughs. “I think there’s a phenomenal burden of shame on women from word go. When I started my period I was absolutely horrified, I felt it was humiliating. I didn’t tell my mother for 3 years, I felt I was letting her down. I think this may have been a cultural thing.”
In The Independent’s article, Women, Vaginas and Blood: Breaking Menstrual Taboos With Artist Sarah Maple, Charlotte Rachael Proudman explores why menstruation is so hushed – especially by women.
“Some of the harshest critics are women, hence the painting has equal men to women. Women seem to have accepted an image of themselves as being monthly rotten. Sometimes people cannot see what is right in front of them. The hard thing about being a feminist and outspoken is the absolute hatred you get from people, like it’s the worst thing in the world. One girl said how ‘selfish’ it was of me to go on about feminism when there were so many other problems in the world like rape. Rape is not a feminist issue?!”