LIFESTYLE

Woman Behind Period-Proof Underwear Discusses The Past, Present And Future Of Menstruation

'This is really all about men, women, power and fear.'

12/04/2016 14:44 | Updated 12 April 2016

Over the past 100 years, there have only been three major innovations in feminine hygiene surrounding periods.

In 1931, the tampon was invented - by a man, no less.

Almost 30 years later, the adhesive strip was added to sanitary towels so they would stick to women's underwear. (Prior to that our grandmothers were wearing menstrual belts.)

And then, in the 1980s, menstrual cups became popular. 

In the video above, Miki Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of period-proof underwear brand Thinx, says menstruation has been a societal taboo since, well, forever. In fact, she adds that the word 'taboo' comes from the Polynesian word 'tapua', which means menstruation.

"The most uncomfortable thing that we can possibly talk about is a woman's period, the thing that creates human life - that makes absolutely no sense," she says.

Cat Greenleaf, host for HuffPost Rise, responds: "Okay but don't you think...men are afraid of women because women have the power to create life and it's the period that allows that?

"So this is really all about men, women, power and fear."

"For sure," says Agrawal.

And this is the precise reason she came up with Thinx.

"I think because we've created period innovation that actually works for women, when women are wearing these, [period taboo] actually starts to become a thing of the past."

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Greenleaf says that Thinx's adverts have proven controversial and got a lot of people talking about periods. 

One of the ads features an image of a grapefruit, which looks a bit like a vagina, juxtaposed next to a picture of a woman wearing the underwear.

Meanwhile another shows a picture of a raw egg falling vertically, which represents a woman's egg being released once a month during ovulation.  

People responded to the adds calling them "offensive", "suggestive" and saying that they "definitely won't work".

To which Agrawal basically said, they can use grapefruits in place of breasts in other adverts, but not as a subtle nod towards the vagina?

And with that response, nobody really had a leg to stand on.

"We really fought the man and we won, which is really cool," she added.

"We definitely are on the forefront of talking about women's issues, gender inequalities and the patriarchal brainwashing that is still happening in a progressive city like New York."

She continued: "We're really fighting for women's rights. We're still in the waves of feminism."

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