Oscars judge says men won't vote for menstruation documentary because periods are 'icky'

Period. End of Sentence is about a group of women in India working to end cultural stigma around menstruation

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 23 February 2019 12:53 GMT
Period. End of Sentence.: Netflix introduces documentary seeking to end stigma surrounding periods

An Oscars judge has said he and other men on the panel are unlikely to vote for a documentary about periods because the subject is “too icky”.

The anonymous member of the Academy Award’s 519-person directors branch wrote an extensive piece for the Hollywood Reporter explaining his reason for voting in each category.

Commenting on the best documentary short category, he said he would not vote for End Game because it was a Netflix film, then continued: “Also Period. End of Sentence — it’s well done, but it’s about women getting their period, and I don’t think any man is voting for this film because it’s just icky for men."

Period. End of Sentence., which is on Netflix now, follows women in Hapur, India. They learn to make sanitary pads and educate men and other women in their community about menstruation, where the subject has been deeply stigmatised for decades.

“We learned that [menstruation is] very complex, and it’s a multi-layered issue — something that has been deeply rooted, a stigma deeply rooted, in Indian culture and society forever,” the documentary's director Rayka Zehtabchi told Refinery.

She said many women interviewed for the documentary had never heard of pads before, or felt too embarrassed to buy them. Others couldn’t explain what a period was but believed it was bad. Ms Zehtabchi added: “When so few people talk about it, and there’s very little information around what this natural phenomenon really is, it starts to build fear around it.”

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