Menstrual Hygiene Day 2017

Venus of LausselOn this Menstrual Hygiene Day — May 28, 2017, let’s celebrate the knowledge that 30,000 years ago, humans knew that we women bleed 13 times a year in sync with the Moon — and we do not die. Reverence behold for the women of Planet Earth during this pre-history time and beyond. A time when we lived in balance and in awe of Woman and Nature, natural truths we are re-membering today. This 30,000 year old bas-relief “Venus of Laussel” cave art from France, records a woman holding a crescent moon-shaped horn engraved with 13 lines — one for each of the 13 moons of the year — while she points to her womb. Perhaps this was a menstrual teaching manual for our ancestral sisterhood. This women’s knowledge is our millennia-old inheritance.

 

Today’s girls and young women are clamoring for silence to be removed from Our Periods – our lives and cycles in tune with Mother Nature. The world is moving toward re-membering our woman-rite in so many ways:

Menstruation-MattersWomen’s Voices for the Earth fight for non-toxic menstrual products.

Support Women, Period in Minnesota provides Menstrual products to homeless shelters, transitional housing and shelters for victims of domestic violence – all places that depend on donations of supplies.

WASH United in Africa is making Menstrual hygiene management a worldwide priority.

Global Citizen shares new magazines on women’s health and women’s rights, period dramas and girls in Nepal.

Oxfam in Nepal is teaching women to sew menstrual napkins and earn a living doing it!

See what’s happening in classrooms right now​​​​​​​ around the world and a great video!

Menstruation-Matters-3And just in case you doubt the wisdom and artistry of humans 30,000 years ago, it has recently been discovered that the depictions of animals on the walls of caves at that time were seen to move or gallop in place with the flickering of cave fires. Our ancestors were in fact videographers – a person who records images.

Celebrate International Menstrual Hygiene Day this May 28th, and the knowledge that “We Bleed and Do Not Die” with women around the world and through time!

Our organic, non-gmo, chlorine free tampons are on sale 20% to 30% Off!

Maternal Death Rates & U.S. Health Disparities

pregnant-bellyIn the news this week: Why is the U.S. maternal mortality rate going up?


The U.S. has the only rising maternal mortality rate in the developed world. Rita Henley Jensen broke this story in Women’s eNews! The emphasis now is on keeping premature and low birth weight babies alive vs. maternal care to increase the birth weight of their babies. The reasons women die are embolisms, infections, hemorrhaging and Pre-eclampsia — which is 50% avoidable!

Carolyn Gage interviewed Rita Henley Jensen
for our Feminism Telesummit.

carolyn gage and rita henley jensen on maternal mortality

(You can listen to the free interview here.)

Here is What We Learned: Maternal Death Rates & U.S. Health Disparities

U.S. hospitals are not prepared or equipped to deal with obstetric emergencies!

Women’s mortality rates indicate the effectiveness of a nation’s healthcare system. There is no consistency in state’s reporting of maternal death due to their refusal to add this reason for death on Death Certificates.

African American women die 3 to 4 times more often of pregnancy than white women.

The World Health Organization (WHO) U.S.  Maternal Death Rate statistics are higher than the CDC’s.

African American women experience racism by Medicaid when in pain.
Women need a partner or advocate in delivery! “Every pregnancy needs a Midwife and a Doula,” says Rita.

100 Anti-Abortion Laws were introduced in the first two months of 2015!

What becomes news and what becomes the national conversation is determined by money and polls. Women journalists are widely unreported advocates of women’s stories. Rita Henley Jensen has a tremendous love for basic fairness. She founded Women’s eNews and is impassioned to “change journalism.” Women’s eNews has a focus on optimism, and the push-back by women toward solutions and advocacy to make things happen.

You have to stay informed to make change.” Rita Henley Jensen

More articles:

Jane Crow: Black Maternal Health
To Curb Maternal Death, U.S. Hospitals Urged to Weigh Bleeding Pads
California Project Quietly Battles Maternity Risks
Doctors Open Window on U.S. Maternal Care Crisis
NYC Reports Black Moms’ Risks 12 Times Above Whites
Hospitals Train to Track, React to Maternal Bleeding
Healthy Births, Healthy Moms: Black Maternal Health in America
In Detroit Hospital, Black Babies Are Latching On
Simple Language Helps Catch a Killer: Preeclampsia
National Initiative Tackles Rising U.S. Maternal Deaths
U.S. Hospitals Hinder Black Women’s Breastfeeding
New Twitter Storm Is About Public Breastfeeding

 

Don’t Use Monsanto’s RoundUp

Don't use Monsanto's RoundUpAre We Creating Cancer Clusters, Putting Our Health & Property Values at Risk When We Use RoundUp in Our Yards and Gardens, Parks and Recreation Areas, Schools and Senior Communities?

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. It is predicted that nearly 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. in 2016. We’re experiencing a cancer epidemic, and evidence is growing that pesticide exposure is a key contributor to this disturbing trend.

I would like to see a 1970 to 2016 graph paralleling the growth of cancer rates globally alongside the worldwide growth and sale of Monsanto’s RoundUp-Ready Crop/Seed/Fertilizer/Herbicide Systems.

DIY – Safe Weed Killer = No RoundUp:

1 gallon of white vinegar. (More Uses for Vinegar Here.)

4-6 oz lemon juice.

½-cup castile soap. (More uses here.)

Salt for extra strength! (Not good for brick or plants.)

Fill your spray bottle and label with the recipe.

 

When transitioning from lawns to sustainable landscaping, the last thing we want to create is a “Cancer Cluster” in our neighborhoods, cities and towns.

Don't use Monsanto RoundupUnless we are very specific about what chemicals we want and don’t want used on our properties, landscaping companies are using pesticides and herbicides like Roundup to kill existing lawns and weeds, as well as other systemic neonicotinoid insecticides that have been identified by the EPA to weaken bees’ immune systems causing colony collapse.

Important: Let your landscapers and Home Owners Associations know you do not want RoundUp used on your property!

The international scientific community announced two very loud wake-up calls in March 2016.

First, the U.N. World Health Organization’s prestigious International Agency for Research on Cancer released a consensus report that RoundUp is a “probable carcinogen.” A few days later, a team of international scientists based in New Zealand reported that RoundUp can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance in disease-causing bacteria.

In addition to these findings, there’s a growing body of evidence of health impacts associated with exposure to RoundUp such as endocrine disruption, organ damage and birth defects. The facts are established: Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is harmful to humans and animals.

85% of Tampons Contain Monsanto’s ‘Cancer Causing’ RoundUp/Glyphosate

Don't use Monsanto Roundup

Use Organic Tampons!

Most of the cotton production in the U.S. is genetically modified cotton that is resistant to RoundUp. The cotton is sprayed with RoundUp when the bud is open and the RoundUp/glyphosate is condensed and goes straight into the product.

RoundUp is the most popular weed killer in the U.S. and Roundup Ready cotton, soy and corn crops have been genetically modified to withstand applications of the RoundUp – but we cannot withstand this toxin without experiencing health effects! And if we are not using organic cotton in all instances, we are using RoundUp in these intimate applications. We carry organic Menstrual options here.

The U.S. Geological Survey has detected Roundup in 75% of our rain and air samples.

Roundup is also found in our food supply, streams, ground water, and Mothers’ Breast Milk. Roundup is flowing freely into the groundwater in areas where it is being applied, contaminating our drinking water.

Don't use Monsanto's RoundUpDo we want to contribute to this contamination?

We are trying to save water with our new more sustainable landscapes and conservation efforts — not destroy it, along with our health! To make matters worse, weeds are becoming increasingly resistant to RoundUp, prompting a new stronger product that’s a mix of glyphosate and the herbicide 2,4-D.

Do we want to contribute to this resistance? Let us heed Rachel Carson’s 1962 warning! Today’s experts are saying RoundUp is worse than DDT.

The U.S. and Canada are conducting formal reviews of RoundUp’s safety, lawsuits are pending, and some groups are calling for a global ban.

The European Union Parliament voted to ban RoundUp for most uses in April 2016; 30,000 of Argentina’s doctors have demanded Roundup be banned because it is associated with spontaneous abortions, birth defects, skin disease, neurological disease and respiratory illness.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the France-based cancer research arm of the World Health Organization, said RoundUp has been found in the blood and urine of agricultural workers, showing the chemical has been absorbed by the body. A summary of this study was published in The Lancet Oncology.

I do think landscape companies are unethical that offer RoundUp as a viable solution for our transition to drought tolerant landscaping. Why endanger the ground water when we are trying to save ground water???

Please consider the health of humans, pets, wildlife, bees and other pollinating insects – not to mention property values if cancer rates skyrocket in your community creating a “Cancer Cluster.” There are safe and sustainable options to RoundUp.

Don't use Monsanto's RoundUpMonarch Butterflies are becoming extinct due to RoundUp.

RoundUp has killed off most of the Milkweed plant across our nation, and it’s the only plant Monarch caterpillars eat while fattening up to become butterflies. I plant Milkweed in my yard to give the Monarchs food and a place to lay their eggs.

Let’s give Monarchs and our Self a helping hand by demanding our local stores stop selling RoundUp. Boycotts are a good call in this situation. Let your local store owners know that you will be back when they discontinue these products.

I called my local Ace Hardware that I rely on often, spoke to the manager, and let her know that local health and our water supply trumps corporate policy. I will not shop there as long as RoundUp is on their shelves.

Bee well, and vote Genny

Lean Into Green with Erin Switalski – Women’s Voices for the Earth

 Lean Into Green with Erin Switalski - Women's Voices for the EarthOur Health. Our Future. Toxic Free!

We interviewed Erin Switalski for our Lean Into Green Telesummit. Erin is the Executive Director of Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE)
(www.WomensVoices.org).

WVE is one of those organizations you want to be involved with. Sign up for their Newsletter, and they make it very easy to add your voice to their tremendously important campaigns to keep toxins out of our lives.

Listen to Erin Switalski as she shares with us WVE’s top 10 tips for reducing toxic exposure. Erin also shares recipes for making your own products and saving money, and your family’s health!

WVE’s campaign to get Tide to reformulate its laundry detergent and leave the carcinogens out is one of her amazing success stories. Listen in for healthy tips, recipes, and ways that you can join her campaigns for change, it’s as simple as opening your email!

Become a WVE ActionistaBecome an Actionista! Women’s Voices for the Earth Actionistas are a group of Sheroes who help spread the word on WVE campaigns, go the extra mile to take action, and build leadership among women for a healthy future. Click here to learn about some amazing Actionistas. 

Safe Cleaning Products: Certain chemicals in cleaning products have been linked to fertility problems, birth defects, increased risk of breast cancer, asthma and respiratory disorders, and hormone disruption. There is no federal law requiring cleaning product companies to list all the ingredients in their products on the label. This means companies can keep toxic chemicals a secret from you. Warning: Products you clean your home with shouldn’t contain toxic ingredients in the first place. Take Action here. 

Join Women’s Voices for the Earth “No Secrets” Campaigns: Are Air Fresheners, Feminine Care Products, and Musk Fragrance disrupting your hormones? Plus 10 tips for reducing toxic exposure, recipes for saving money and your family’s health!

Lean Into Green Telesummit at greenwomanstore.comSign up for all our Lean Into Green Interviews with 21 amazing women leading us toward a Collective Quest Toward Sustainability!

Pilgrimage to MichFest for Self & the World

 

Monarch Caterpillar on our bush this summerIn one week, I begin my yearly pilgrimage to MichFest, the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. This Festival is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year. Ten years ago, I joined in this journey ‘home.’

If you can imagine a place on this earth built and created by women electricians, carpenters, cooks, and healers, a village that takes shape in the woods of Michigan over a period of three months, and is then inhabited by thousands of tired women weary of the past year’s struggles and accomplishments, joining together to be renewed spiritually, emotionally and physically. This is our MichFest: Thousands of women and not one piece of litter! 

Monarch Cocoon this summerBy night, we cocoon in our tents among the trees and ferns and wild mushrooms, listening to the final remnants of evening concerts performed by generations of the most talented women musicians, singers, songwriters, dancers, and sign language interpreters on the planet!

In the morning, we wander through the woods, waking up to sisters walking every path on the 600 acre space-out-of-time, making coffee at our campsites or standing in line with other women, still wearing our handwoven warm beanies and jackets while we wait for coffee, tea, gluten free — and not gluten free — donuts and pastries thoughtfully brought in from town by early bird sisters of good heart.

TransformingAn hour  or two later, the cooks who are both staff and volunteers, have our breakfast prepared. Again we line up with sisters from around the world, every size, color, age and  energy level, serving up our washable plates with good nourishing vegetarian food. All food and entertainment provided with the price of our ticket. Three times a day we complete this ritual! And at dinner, out by the “Watermelon Tree,” is a long table that has been set up by Amazons and loaded with cool slices of locally grown watermelon with seeds.

I am one of a hundred or so craftswomen who bring our wares to share and sell. At the start of each day, I head to my booth inside one of the huge craft area circus tents to get ready for women who come to shop before and after their activities of the day. Then, when my booth partners arrive for their work shifts, I walk the winding foot-hewn pathways through the ferns with thousands of other women to workshops, the subjects of which never play in my home town.

Rebirthing monarch butterflyThe offerings and activities are so numerous, and so diverse, that the paths are never crowded. No cars are allowed into the village center, so women young and old, able bodied and differently abled, are free to walk and cross the unpaved roadways freely, visiting and exploring as our spirits guide us. Every child is safe because she/he has thousands of Aunties looking after their safety. Mothers are free too because they know that they and their children are safe from all harm. This freedom is what enables transformation — the turning to liquid and releasing all that has gone before — so we can know where we are going, and who we truly are.

Birthing our SelfLike the butterfly, we transform our spirit and our spirituality, our bodies and our generations. This millennia old experience of women gathering is held sacred by those of us who come, and by those of us who know we come, not just for ourselves, but for the world to continue to exist in a good way.

We learn from each other here, and we reconnect and recommit to our Self, our World, and our Truths. At the end of each Festival, the woman-owned 600 acres returns completely back to Mother Nature. We leave her as we found her: Ferns and forest, and the wildlife who have been watching us from a distance. Wise women gathering, communing with Nature and each other, for the benefit of all. MichFest is a “Menstrual Mind Revival” space. There is talk of this being the Festival’s last year. I hope it continues. We need it now more than ever, it  seems.

Transforming the worldThese lovely Monarch Butterfly photos were taken outside our kitchen window over the past couple weeks by my daughter, Denise. Nature’s reflection of our transformative spirit. I’m hoping to see some of you there, and to share photos of the wild mushrooms outside my tent when I return with plans for more Menstrual Mind Revivals.

If you are on your way to Michigan, or some other place to renew your spirit, check out our green and healthy Camping, Hiking, and Outdoor Living products made by women entrepreneurs. Bee well!