TAIPEI, TAIWAN (Merxwire) – Founders Wen-Fei Shih and Yuan-Yi Chen of GoMoond, a more than decade-long advocate of period products in Taiwan, embarked on a journey to Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (SMCR) Conference, held in the Washington D.C. metro area from July 20 to 23, 2023. Engaging with menstruation enthusiasts and scholars worldwide, Shih and Chen shared Taiwan’s perspective through flash talks and a modest exhibition. The focus of SMCR Conference discussions revolved around menstruation, examining it from three dimensions: business, culture, and policies. Shih and Chen’s intention was to disseminate Taiwan’s experiences with policy changes, promoting diverse period products, facilitating open conversations on menstruation, and influencing shifts in societal values.
Organized by the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, the titular conference is a biannual event with a history dating back to 1977. Over the past 46 years, the SMCR Conference has maintained its status as a prestigious international gathering of menstrual researchers. Unfortunately, the 2021 conference fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic and was canceled. The 2023 conference is, therefore, a long overdue one after four years. Menstruation enthusiasts from over 20 countries such as the U.K., U.S., Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, Nepal, India, Turkey, Taiwan, and Hong Kong traveled to the Washington D.C. metro area to attend the four-day event, where countries showcased their significant progress in menstruation policies and development. During the opening ceremony, the chairperson talked about how the changes in the world since the last conference kept participants from meeting again until 4 years later. The event this year was exciting and heart-warming, with many familiar faces welcoming other menstruation enthusiasts to the conference for the first time.
At the conference, the Taiwanese GoMoond team presented period panties and the evolution of period products in Taiwan. GoMoond’s co-founder, Yuan-Yi Chen, presented a flash talk titled ‘More than Menstrual Equality: Towards Menstrual Abundance’ at the conference, recounting the rapid expansion and growth of Taiwan’s markets for innovative period products such as menstrual cups, period panties, button-free cloth menstrual pads, menstrual discs, and sportswear designed for menstruation.
In the flash talk, Chen suggests the expanding period product markets in Taiwan have played a pivotal role in reshaping societal norms and perspectives surrounding menstruation and the use of period products. The success of Taiwan’s period product market is driven, not by MNCs like other countries, but by the public’s passion for these products and consequent transition in entrepreneurial roles, which is also a testimony to Taiwan’s free and democratic social climate.
GoMoond founders Wen-Fei Shih and Yuan-Yi Chen first became involved in the social movement advocating for diverse period products in Taiwan over ten years ago. Shih and Chen have since supported the launch of Taiwan’s first branded menstrual cup by crowdfunding. After years of advocacy, Shih and Chen founded GoMoond, conceived Taiwan’s first brand of period panties – GoMoond, and acquired several exclusive patents to further advance their cause.
In 2019, during the nascent stages of GoMoond, Shih and Chen attended SMCR Conference for the first time, to speak up for Asian countries and share the Taiwan perspective. Looking back, Shih recalled that they were inspired by the conference’s tone to create a new period boxer in support of gender neutrality, ensuring that those with diverse gender identities would feel comfortable with this variation of period panties. In 2022, GoMoond organized the GoMoond Period Party to destigmatize periods, cultivate a social climate where periods can be discussed openly, and promote the concept of ‘Menstrual Abundance’.
During the past four years, GoMoond also published two books: ‘Creating Period Equality: From User to Entrepreneur,’ Taiwan’s first book chronicling the development of period products, and ‘Lucky Womb – Come to the Uterus! A Beginner’s Guide to Navigating Menstruation from Scratch’. The first compilation on the development of period products, the former gives a detailed account of the histories and policies of diverse period products in Taiwan from 2008 to the date of publication. The latter, on the other hand, is an original comic that personifies our body’s inner workings so that even elementary students can quickly understand our physiological compositions. It was later delivered to 50% of Taiwan’s public elementary schools with the help of crowdfunding to support early menstrual education.
As an advocate for menstrual education in Taiwan, GoMoond has sold over 300,000 period panties and benefitted even more people. The products have also been launched in Japan, kickstarting a fierce competition with Japan’s period panties, enticing major players into the market and, thus, progressing the development of period products in Japan. Four years ago, GoMoond took inspiration from the SMCR Conference. Today, GoMoond returns as speakers, sponsors, and donors that provide travel scholarships to those passionate about menstruation research but lack the funding required so that everyone can celebrate the abundance of menstruation.
Traditionally, the chairperson of SMCR passes down a bronze tampon as a keepsake to the next chairperson during the closing ceremony of the SMCR Conference. This year, Mindy Erchull, the current chairwoman of the organization, will pass down the bronze tampon to Janette Perz, the next chairwoman. Mindy recalled how she was still a graduate student when she attended her first SMCR conference; never did she imagine she would be the person standing on stage to pass down the bronze tampon today. SMCR is made possible by many dedicated scholars who spent years researching this topic. In the Red Moon Howl party held after the conference, a group including former chairwomen usually perform a menopause-themed fan dance as a classic segment of the event. The conference has successfully concluded; many are looking forward to the next gathering in two years.
Artemis Medical Devices Co., Ltd.
SOURCE: Artemis Medical Devices Co., Ltd.