Chinese netizens focus on women’s monthly ‘struggle’ amid Henan floods
Published: Jul 22, 2021 06:41 PM
Zhangzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province Photo: VCG

Zhangzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province Photo: VCG

Central China's Henan Province has become the center of attention in China after the region was hit by heavy rains and massive floods that trapped some locals in waist-deep water on the streets and even in subway cars. But cold rain is not the only thing pouring into the province, generous donations and aid are also flooding in to the region from concerned netizens, who are working to make sure people have needed necessities such as clothing, water and, something often overlooked, sanitary napkins. 

"Henan rain while on your period" has become a viral hashtag on Sina Weibo that has earned nearly 200 million views in less than two days. It is special as it particularly focuses on women and involves providing a helping hand or tips to women who may find themselves trapped in water while dealing with their monthly visits. 

Many women from outside the region have taken to social media to express compassion for their fellows, discussing how uncomfortable and awkward such a situation must be even though it may appear to be a "less" important matter considering the life and death matters local residents are dealing with. 

Public figures, such as celebrities, have also shown support for the movement. 

On Wednesday, Chinese actress Yuan Shanshan said on Sina Weibo that she has donated 1,000 boxes of sanitary products to Henan Province. Additionally, male idol singer Ren Jialun has also donated 200 boxes of women's products to Henan, a move that has particularly touched netizens, many of whom have said they see it as "a rejection of period shaming." "It feels so good to see a man backup women" wrote one netizen, while another called the action "even warmer than donating money." 

"This really makes me like him more because he appears daring and frank to me. Male idols do not often donate such products, but he did, which made me feel he really wants to help and knows how to help," Tracy Liu, a fan of Ren's in Beijing, told the Global Times.   

Netizens also said they feel that the emerging focus on the topic shows that Chinese society is caring more about the women issues and that attention paid to such a "small" issue shows Chinese people's "attentiveness," "compassion" and "generosity" when it comes to humanitarian issues.  

The topic also inspired experts with medical or health backgrounds on Sino Weibo to leave useful tips for helping women who may encounter flood waters. 

"In the worst-case scenario that you cannot find a dry place, please drink more water, that could decrease the possibility of urinary tract infection," Qin, a doctor in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

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