Through film and conversation, rePRO advocates for reproductive health, justice and bodily autonomy. We lift intersectional issues, using the power of storytelling as a catalyst for knowledge, intention and action.

The rePRO Film Periodical – featuring a new film and podcast each month – is generously underwritten and is FREE and available to anyone.

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VOLUME 11:

Puberty and other family matters

In the reproductive health space, the topic of family can be fraught. Our parents and other family members can support our body journeys … or make them so much harder than they need to be. At rePROFilm, we believe children have the right to go through puberty — and explore their sexuality and gender identity — in a safe, supportive environment. Sadly, that isn’t the reality for many kids. 

“La Macana,” our featured film this month, is a narrative about a divorced couple navigating their daughter’s first period. Inspired by filmmaker Maria Mealla’s own puberty experience, the film is a sweet-but-not-saccharine take on how families can support each other in their own loving, imperfect ways.

As you gather with family this winter, we hope you queue up “La Macana” and see what conversations unfold. When you think about your own experience with puberty, when did you feel ashamed? Supported?

Warmly,

The rePROFilm Team

PS – And to every parent with a teenager, peace be with you. ♥

Sol just got her first period, and she’d rather spend the weekend snuggled over the covers at her mom’s house than go to her dad’s, as dictated by her parents’ custody agreement. After all, what preteen girl wants to have that conversation with her father? “La Macana” is a tender film about what happens when everyone makes the best of a sometimes-messy situation.

with special guest Maria Mealla

 The director of “La Macana” chats with Asha Dahya about how her short film about a girl’s first period was inspired by her relationship with her father. This Periodical Podcast also touches on how Maria made the transition from theater to film, why she decided to make a movie about periods, and how her Latina identity informs “La Macana.”

“We always say that feminism is for everyone and that it’s available to [all genders]. Everybody needs it. And I think it’s important to give [men] that platform when it comes to reproductive issues, because reproductive issues are still so stigmatized and so hush hush in our culture.”
— Maria Mealla

FAMILY

Inspired by “La Macana,” our Volume 11 playlist is all about family — starting with Sister Sledge, of course! There may be waaaay more pop songs about romance, but let’s face it: Our most formative relationships are with our parents, siblings, and other members of our family tree.

‘My mother announced that I had become a woman’: why conversations about menstruation are so important

“Looking back on it, I understand this moment and the day of my first period as my first of many encounters with shame,” writes Rachel Kauder Nalebuff. By sharing her story, she found many others. They are collected in a new anthology, “Our Red Book.” 

( The Guardian )

When a girl’s first period calls for celebration, not stigma

Rayka Zehtabchi and Shaandiin Tome made a short film about the Ihuk, a traditional ceremony of the Karuk people of Northern California. “What began as a film about periods grew into a much greater story of community, family and tradition,” they write in their introduction to the film. 

( New York Times )

My Husband Wants to Wait Way Too Long to Have “the Talk” With Our Kids

Parenting advice columnist Emily McCombs takes a question from a parent whose partner disagrees with her approach to teaching their kids about sex and puberty. We love this interaction because it’s so common for parents to navigate this kind of dispute — even those who usually see eye-to-eye.

( Slate )

With abortion bans on the rise, kids need to know more about menstruation

Need help talking to your children about puberty and menstruation? Researcher Marni Sommer has evidence-based suggestions for age-appropriate conversations that go beyond the basics. Understanding when to seek medical care for menstrual problems has long-term health implications, she argues, and with new abortion bans, knowledge is more important than ever.

( NPR )

If you’re looking to cut down on clutter and change up your holiday shopping routine, we put together a list of some of our favorite organizations to support. Consider crossing a few gifts off your list by making donations in honor of your nearest and dearest.

National and international organizations:

The Center for Reproductive Rights uses the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights around the world. 

WRRAP is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization assisting women who are financially unable to pay for safe, legal abortions or emergency contraceptives.

Through an international network of affiliates, I Support the Girls collects and distributes essential items, including bras, underwear, and menstrual hygiene products, allowing women and folx experiencing homelessness, impoverishment, or distress to stand tall with dignity.

The Alliance for Period Supplies is composed of independently operated nonprofit organizations that collect, warehouse, and distribute menstrual/period supplies in local communities.

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence.

Malala Fund invests in education activists and advocates who are driving solutions to barriers to girls’ education in their communities. 

Some of our favorite organizations from our home communities:

The Period Pantry Project’s purpose is to create a consistent source of menstrual products available to anyone who needs them in the Central Ohio region. 

The Lilith Fund supports the right of all Texans to make their own reproductive choices, regardless of income.

NC MERA (North Carolina Midwifery Education, Regulation, and Association) is the state alliance of North Carolina midwives that includes Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs). NC MERA (in congruence with US MERA) envisions an integrative health care system where every woman has access to midwives and midwifery care that improves health.

The Kansas Birth Justice Collective is a grassroots, Black & Brown-led initiative made up of two organizations, Kansas Birth Justice Society and Kansas Birth Justice Action. Kansas Birth Justice Society provides public-facing services to Black, Latinx, and Native American families to improve the chances of survival and good long-term health for birth givers and infants. Kansas Birth Justice Action mobilizes the community to act in defense of Black, Native American, and Latinx birth givers and babies, who face extreme disparities in survival, long-term health and access to reproductive care.

OUR GENEROUS UNDERWRITERS

Thank you to our underwriters which enable us to bring you the rePRO Periodical for free, as well as compensate all of our storytellers and contributors. Learn how you can support this public media initiative.

Through film and conversation, rePRO advocates for reproductive health, justice, and bodily autonomy. We lift intersectional issues, using the power of storytelling as a catalyst for knowledge, intention, and action.
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