I've never been so passionate about something before in my life. Here for Her started for a few reasons. It really started with my mom Sharon (a nurse) who educated and helped young women her entire career and was always there to answer my questions (and my friends' questions) in a supportive and non-judgemental way when growing up. I’ve since realized my privilege in this situation and it is not a common experience for most young folks. Periods, vaginas, women's health and so many health issues in general are still stigmatized. God forbid you hold a pad in broad daylight on the way to the bathroom... right? Now how about getting access to menstrual products in the first place? Not everyone can afford menstrual products (on top of all other expenses) yet menstruators have been forced to just "figure it out" somehow. Not only female-identified individuals menstruate... trans folks, gender non-conforming and non-binary people menstruate as well and we're focused on making this community and our advocacy efforts as inclusive as possible.
I personally had an issue in 2017 with my vagina and it took 2 months of walk-in clinics and improper diagnosis (I didn't have a family doctor so it was a bit of a process) and finally a visit to the ER (my poor sister joined haha I'll tell that story another time) to figure out what was wrong. I felt embarrassed to discuss what was going on... but why? The gynaecologist even told me that she had seen this before many times. WHO KNEW?
It's bullshit. Especially in the menstruation space, why is our health still stigmatized? Health, both physical and mental, are equally important. Here for Her was born on July 25, 2017. Here for Her is a social enterprise discusses health and challenges norms. The more we know about our health, the more informed decisions we can make. We discuss things such as health at every size, diet culture, pregnancy, infertility, sexual health, anxiety, depression, break-ups, grief, parenting, menstruation, and more. We also focus on challenging norms in our every day life... things that society tell us we should do and now it's our time to do what feels right for US!
I hope that with more awareness, education and discussions about our health, the privilege associated with health and barriers to accessing healthcare, we can make some serious progress. Specifically, menstrual inequality is REAL and it affects over half of the Canadian population. Why are we being penalized for our health? Any who, I'll stop ranting... feel free to email me to chat more!
Rachel Ettinger, Founder, Here for Her
Check out some of our print archive, including a shoutout from Richard Branson himself: