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04 August 2008 @ 12:55 pm
I just want to thank you all for this community.

I am currently in a summer English course (essays every weekend *groan*), and the paper I just wrote is a product review of menstrual cups. The essays are supposed to be persuasive evaluations. Using menstrual cups, or at least reusable products, is something important to me, so it was an easy topic.

Every Monday, we have peer reviews. We're divided into groups of three, then we read the essays of the other two people and mention flaws we see and things we like. I spoke to my teacher (a male) before I wrote the essay, and I made sure to mention I would prefer not being in a group with males because I don't think they could quite relate. My teacher was incredibly supportive and kept saying how fantastic the idea was, and he put me with a few other females today.

Well, these girls read my paper and could not stop saying how amazing and informative it is. I have all of you to thank for that. Neither of them had any idea menstrual cups exist, not to mention any other reusable products. My paper hit the five page limit. When they finished reading, they both had more questions and seemed genuinely interested. I thought about bringing one of my cups to class (especially the Diva I haven't even touched in a year) to show them, but wasn't sure it was a wise idea. Now, I wish I had! They wanted more information about the shape (I tried to draw it, but I'm no artist) and the flexibility.

Even if I didn't create a few converts, now there are two more women in the world who know what cups are. I really hope my paper was enough to get them to want to research it on their own, and perhaps we'll see them here!
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
(Deleted comment)
Melissa: R&J - balcony joyprincessy on August 5th, 2008 10:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, they were very receptive to it and even excited about the topic. I think it was fairly original. Most of the people in the class wrote a music review or something similar. :)
Kai: pic#74324509kuradi8 on August 4th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
Bring the Diva with you to your next class.
Melissaprincessy on August 5th, 2008 10:01 am (UTC)
I'm thinking about it. There's not much opportunity to interact in class, though, so I'd have to flag the girls down as they're leaving.
Kai: pic#74324509kuradi8 on August 12th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
Did you get to show the girls yet? What did they think?

Back in college, I did a similar "sensitive subject" presentation on an educational-TV show based on a book called "Birth Without Violence" by Fredrick Leboyer. At the time (which will betray my age) it was a revolutionary new technique in which the mothers to be used "birthing chairs" or gave birth in large bathtubs so they were semi-weightless. Instead of harsh lights and smacking the baby on the butt to get him breathing, it was a quiet, serene atmosphere in which they massaged the newborn to start breathing, etc.

I presented that to a co-ed class of about 30. And surprisingly few people squirmed in their seats throughout it. It was for a Public Speaking class and my professor gave me bonus points for picking and presenting a potentially "uncomfortable" subject.

I'm sure you racked up bonus points for choosing cups as your subject too. :o)

Did you point the girls over to this forum to learn more? I wonder if they're here already?
Melissa: Tiki curiousprincessy on August 12th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
I got to show one of the girls because she sits behind me. The other girl sits on the other side of the classroom, so I haven't had an opportunity.

When I pulled the cup out (I decided to take my Mooncup UK because it's smaller and much less intimidating than the long Diva), I showed her a few different folds. She asked to touch it and kept saying, "Wow." I didn't point her towards the forum, but I know that we come up as one of the first results for menstrual cups. :) I hope that if she wants more information and decides to search for it, she'll stumble upon us if she needs help. She knows she's welcome to ask me for more information, too.

I don't know that I got bonus points of any kind, but the teacher wrote on my rough draft that it was wonderfully informative and "truly-needed." I've done the same thing this time with sensitive subjects: my current paper is about suicide prevention & awareness programs in schools.

Edited at 2008-08-12 08:16 pm (UTC)
simmmchen on August 4th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
Great! I was gonna ask you to post the paper, but then I read it's 5 pages :( I guess that's too long.

What a cool (and brave!) way to get the word out though! I have told 4 close friends about it so far and I was so worried how they would react. 2 of them reacted in a negative way, but one of them bought a Mooncup UK and the other did some research on the internet (which I count as a success!).

Anyway I just wanted to say: you're brave for talking about about cups to "strangers" in your class! YAY!
Melissa: Little Mermaid - silhouetteprincessy on August 5th, 2008 10:08 am (UTC)
I appreciate you saying it's brave. I don't think I've ever thought of it that way. It's really just a passion for wanting people to be aware that there are choices that can benefit the body and the environment. I've already converted about three girls at work, and I'm not shy about bringing it up in the break room whenever the discussion turns to menstruation. Another girl is interested, but doesn't have the money gathered for it. I might try to help her out, at least. :)

Discussing it at school is slightly different, I guess. It was sort of weird bringing it up to my male professor, but his response was, "If you're okay with writing it, then by all means, do so." I told him I didn't want to exclude him or males who might read my paper, and he said something about taking a gender studies course and how the guys would likely have to deal with it with girlfriends/wives. He also made sure that I was grouped with women, which was actually better: not only could they comment on the structure of my paper, but I could see the persuasive argument work. It was exciting!

I'm sorry two of your friends didn't react well. It is such a personal decision, and we're all different. I mostly get confusion and curiosity as a response. :)
simmmchen on August 6th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
I think it's particularly brave, because in school the group dynamics are just so... intricate sometimes. Not sure if that makes sense.

I wasn't really offended by the negative reactions I got from my friends. My main point was getting the word out. I'm so happy with my Mooncup UK and I was just trying to help. Maybe they were so grossed out by it that it made them google it ;) which I would count as a success as well. Who knows.

Anyway! I think it's great that you spread the word like that!
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hypergurl7 on August 4th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
That's really cool. I'm in highschool and I'm planning to get cup companies to donate cups to my health class. I hope my plan is as successfull at yours!
Melissa: celestial diamondprincessy on August 5th, 2008 10:10 am (UTC)
Good luck with that! I wish I'd known about cups in high school. I definitely think that all menstrual options should be discussed -- not to overwhelm, but to show that there are choices besides disposable pads and tampons.
e_moo1e_moo1 on August 5th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
That's awesome! I'm almost in the same boat as you. I'm in a summer english class and for the final 2 projects I have to write a proposal (1) for a research paper (2) dealing with answering a question or solving a problem in some topic relating to my major, environmental science. I've run the idea of the environmental issues brought on by disposables and solving the problem by eco-friendly alternatives by the professor via email and hope I haven't alarmed or scared him and that he'll approve. Bold, I know, but you did it so there's hope.

If you did some research for your paper, would you mind sharing your sources with me? The more sources the better.
Melissa: the moonprincessy on August 5th, 2008 10:17 am (UTC)
Hopefully your professor has a similar mindset to mine. I think my professor was just so excited to have something different. You are obviously passionate about cups, as well, and I think it will come through in your research paper. The first rule my teacher has about writing something with substance is to care about the topic.

This paper did not particularly require hard facts that needed to be cited. I mostly did searches for how many products end up in landfills, but found different numbers from different websites. Instead of a numbered estimate, I said that "billions" of tampons, applicators, and pads end up in landfills and make their way to beaches/oceans. I also mentioned the cotton in tampons that is treated with pesticides and bleached, and how those chemicals seep into the marine environment. I'm sorry I don't have any true references, though the Miacup website has many sources listed on their website. Perhaps those will help you?

When I asked my professor about citing sources (I mentioned this community as an amazing source of knowledge), he said that he was clueless, and I was obviously "the expert" in such a situation. I didn't need to go outside of what I already knew, really. =/

Let us know what your teacher's response is. :) Good luck!
lipvixen: nicebeelipvixen on August 5th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
That is really great! Getting any info out is great and a starting point for others to at least give the cup thought.

BTW, I LOVE your Kate icon<33
Melissa: Sense & Sensibility - 13 smileprincessy on August 5th, 2008 10:24 am (UTC)
They were so shocked that they've never heard of cups! I hope they are intrigued enough to research more on their own. Rather than actual cup use, the paper itself highlighted the benefits over using disposables. There are so many tips and tricks that it would be impossible to fit everything into a five-page paper. :)

And thank you! I <3 Kate Winslet. The twins of iconzicons make some amazing icons. I'm a huge Sense & Sensibility fiend, but they recently made some stunning icons of Kate from "Titanic."
cherrysecret on August 22nd, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
So wonderful and brave of you