Bloody hell: Disney made an animated ‘period’ short about menstruation

Beginning in 1946 and continuing into the 1960s, Disney gave young women the “talk” about their periods with an educational animated short titled The Story of Menstruation. The 10-minute stylized animation, produced by Walt Disney Productions, was backed by the company behind tampon brand Kotex (then it was the International Cello-Cotton Company, now it’s Kimberly-Clark). Kotex boasts that it taught 105 million girls, in health education classes across the United States, about puberty and good ol’ Aunt Flo.

All these millions of girls were also given Very Personally Yours, a propagandic booklet that expands on the film’s knowledge.

The female narrator explains that this booklet “explodes that old taboo against bathing during your period.”

Not only can you bathe, you should bathe. Because during menstruation, your perspiration glands are working overtime.

These young women were also given pointers on how to suck it up when they are feeling irritable:

Don’t let it get you down. After all, you have to live with people. You have to live with yourself too. And once you stop feeling sorry for yourself and take those days in your stride, you’ll find it’s easier to keep smiling and even tempered.

 And as for the old taboo against exercise, that’s nonsense. Exercise is good for you during menstruation. Just use common sense.

Darnit.

Watch it for yourself and see if you learn anything new about that time of the month.

via Bloody hell: Disney made an animated ‘period’ short about menstruation | Dangerous Minds.

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This Woman Is Posting Vintage Magazine Clippings That Show Just How Sexist The World Used To Be

Writer Kate Long posted this letter from The Ladymagazine, sent in 1977, to Twitter yesterday, and it was widely shared.

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Long posts these vintage clippings twice a week – she’s been doing it for about three years.

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She told BuzzFeed News: “I read a lot of mags like this, ranging from the youth titles such as Jackie and Mates, through the glossies and more specialist titles like Spare Rib.”

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“It’s just a personal hobby, possibly prompted by the fact I was never allowed such magazines as a teenager myself.”

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“In my reading, I’ve been struck by how incredibly sexist we were only a few decades ago, actually in my lifetime (I’m 50).”

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“Because I was only a child in the 70s, I didn’t fully appreciate how dire this country was for women before the Sex Equality Act.”

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“And although a lot of the clippings I post are designed to make people laugh…”

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“…outrageous fashions, silly advice on how to deal with boyfriends…”

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“…some of the material is very dark indeed.”

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“I have several examples on problem pages of young girls writing in to say they’re being pressured for sex by much older men, and getting very little help from the agony aunt.”

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 “Kids effectively being told it’s their responsibility to sort it out.”

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“There’s a particularly vile article from a woman’s magazine called Eve – no relation to the modern title, I think…”

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“…where the journalist waxes lyrical about ‘the lighter side of rape’.”

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“I once posted an extract from that, but got so worried that it would upset people, I took it down.”

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If you want to see the article in question, it’s here.

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She added: “So although I post to entertain other Twitter users, I’m keen to convey the message that the good old days were not so good for women…”

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“…and we have a lot to be thankful for and we owe a debt of gratitude to the people who fought for equal rights.”

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“I know there is still lots of sexism about, but as we struggle on up the mountain, we need to pause sometimes and look back at how far we’ve come and what we’ve left behind.”

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BuzzFeed News also got in touch with Matt Warren, the current editor of The Lady.

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He sent us a selection of covers to show how the magazine has changed over the years. The cover on the left comes from 1977 and the one on the right from 1974. As he says, the covers also show how much things have changed: “For a start, they only cost 10p in 1974. … In a 1974 a picture of a rusty anchor on Glasson dock was deemed to be a draw. Who says women aren’t interested in commercial shipping?”

He added: “Nor were cover lines the clever confections they are today. Back then, ‘Tradesman’s Signs’ would get the readers salivating. One thing hasn’t changed, though. Beauty sold magazines then as it does now.”

He also sent us this fascinating cover from exactly 100 years ago.

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He said: “Go back 100 years and women’s magazines are even more prosaic. They’re broadsheet in scale and the cover is a wall of ads – no grinning celebrities here. And the only cover line? ‘Rifle Shooting for Ladies’”.

And he added: “The Lady’s original 1885 mission statement promised that The Ladyshould ‘provide information without dullness, and entertainment without vulgarity, and be at once useful and necessary without ceasing to be bright and lively’. It also promised that in achieving this, ‘we will not restrict ourselves to the old paths, but shall seek the aid of novelty’.

“I couldn’t agree more.”

via This Woman Is Posting Vintage Magazine Clippings That Show Just How Sexist The World Used To Be – BuzzFeed News.

Lego’s Fantastic Instructions For Parents In 1973

If you care about inspiring children with an interest in engineering and aspirations not bound by their gender, this note may bring a tear to your eye. Two tears actually, both because it is so eloquently beautiful, and because it shows that in a lot of ways we have gone backwards over the last forty years.

Lego has been criticized recently for its move to gender its toys, creating “girl’s Lego” and producing, in the words of one seven year old, female characters that “sit at home, go to the beach, and shop,” while the boy characters “saved people, had jobs, even swam with sharks!”

To their credit Lego has taken this on board to some extent, with a line of women scientists, but the sad thing is that they needed to be pushed. Because there was a time when the Danish company got these things so, so right.

When reddit user fryd_  posted this image at imgur and said it came from a 1974 box of Lego, plenty of people disputed its authenticity.

However, io9 have weighed up the evidence and found it is more likely than not that this really was what Lego was telling parents back then.

Most convincingly, this is a pretty good translation of what the German version of Lego was telling parents.

The above ad from the same era went viral with people frustrated by the way Lego went backwards in this regard starting in the late 70s, a process traced by Anita Sarkeesian.

Still, given their recent responses to criticism, maybe Lego could think about releasing a retro line with the original instructions. There might be a few children of the 70s who’d quite like to buy it for their own kids.

via Lego’s Fantastic Instructions For Parents In 1973 | IFLScience.