'There are lots of people that bleed': Diva cup air band event looks to destigmatize menstruation

On Saturday, March 16, air bands of many types will take the stage at the German Club to raise money for two different Sask. menstruation charities.

Organizer hopes to highlight access to menstrual items

Vicki Nelson and her husband have performed in air bands before with the Heritage Community Association. (Submitted by Vicki Nelson)

It's a musical performance without vocals and to raise awareness about menstruation, all through air band—and all songs by strong women.

The Diva Cup Air Band Extravaganza is on Saturday, March 16 at the German Club in Regina.

Groups can be up to five people and the money raised is being split between two Saskatchewan charities: Moon Time Sisters and Your Time. Both groups work to get reusable menstrual products to women.

The idea came after a friend wanted to do something called 'The Diva Cup', Nelson said. And with air band competitions being nothing new for Nelson, a group of them started planning.

"Air band competitions are awesome," one of the organizers Vicki Nelson told CBC's Saskatchewan Weekend.

And the pressure is off at the Diva Cup, Nelson said.

Moon Time Sisters sends menstrual products to Northern Communities. The Saskatchewan chapter was started by Nichole White in January, 2017. (Supplied/Moon Time Sisters)

"The stakes are low," she said. "It's going to be in a room full of people that are like super supportive. Most of them performing themselves and you don't actually even have to know the words."

Nelson is part of a group working on a Roxette song, a Swedish pop rock duo. Some groups have had a difficult time narrowing it down, Nelson said, but she's hopeful for the outfits.

"I imagine there will be a lot of some pretty fabulous costumes," Nelson said. But her dream is someone singing Joni Mitchell dressed like it's 1972.

Destigmatizing Menstruation

One of the reasons the event is called the Diva Cup is to have it be boldly about menstruation, Nelson said.

"We want to destigmatize that," Nelson said. "There are lots of people that bleed once a month and we don't talk about it."

"And I think we want women and especially young girls to know that there are lots of options like diva cups or reusable menstrual cups and also that we want to help make it possible for anybody to access."

Accessing menstrual products is essential for women and young girls, Nelson said. She hopes people don't feel the stigma and don't feel ashamed of their bodies, she said.

"I think it's so cool that Moon Time Sisters especially, they do drop off depots in really public places and so men, women, children can talk about what what these things are for," she said. "It's very public."

"It's like really important and it affects, you know, about half the people in the world."

Moon Time Sisters is a group that works to collect products of pads, tampons and reusable menstrual items and take them to Northern or remote communities.

Vicki Nelson said she hopes her daughter will know there are options out there and have an understanding of menstruation. (Submitted by Vicki Nelson)

"As women, we know that like menstruating it's just a pain on lots and lots of levels and it happens every month and I can't imagine also having to deal with not having supplies to sort of make that week of your life manageable."

Your Time is a Regina-based organization that tries to get reusable menstrual products to women in both Regina and overseas.

"Menstrual cups are great because you learn about your body, you see what's actually happening. You're a little bit involved," Nelson said.

Her own daughter and son both know about menstrual cups and the "time every month when mommy bleeds," but Nelson said it's important to appreciate it because it's the reason she has two children.

If anyone is interested in signing up for the Diva Cup Air Band Extravaganza, there is a form on the Facebook event page.

"You won't regret it," Nelson said.

"I'm just excited to see all these people come together and be a bit silly," she said. "This is like the best kind of party for me—I'm very excited."

With files from Saskatchewan Weekend