The Speak Up Space 2020 Gift Guide

The Speak Up Space’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide
Curated by Ashley Williams

The holidays are going to be a bit different for all of us this year, but sadly that doesn’t make buying the right gifts for your loved ones any easier - but don’t worry! Over at The Speak Up Space we’ve been busy compiling a list of must have gifts which your friends and family will adore and, most importantly, that won’t break the bank. So, whether you want to make your significant other a mixtape of Bandcamp tracks, get your mum a bespoke feminist tea towel, or treat a friend to some adorable new earrings, we’re sure that there’ll be something for you here. 

Orbit Earrings from AMYBBY, £12. 

  • [ID: Photograph of a zine, the zine has an illustration of Amrita Sher-Gil on the front as well as her name in pink and blue font. Photographed against a half pink background, the other half is blue and white graph paper.] 

Pastel Green and Pink Flower Bead Bracelet from Buggo, £7. 

  • [ID: An image of a pastel green and pink bracelet composed of different sized glass beads which resemble flowers on somebody’s wrist. Pink love hearts and sparkles have been edited over the top of the photo.]

Peach Ice Tea Diffuser from Benji’s, £10.95

  • [ID: A peach coloured reed diffuser photographed next to its box against a white background]

Dyke Pendent from TrollFunk, $15.

  • [ID: A necklace which says ‘Dyke’ in capital letters, the word is composed of rainbow coloured gemstones, necklace is resting over a pink and red mesh turtleneck with love-heart print.]

Trans Rights Print from Robyn Janine £15

  • [ID:  An A3 print with orange, pink, blue gradient background and white text which reads “Trans rights are human rights”.]

Lemon Tea by Akemi Fox, £1.

  • [ID: A pink, yellow and black album cover which shows a woman laughing and looking out of shot.] 

Aphrodite, Hebe and Persephone by AyaCreative, £15.87. 

  • [ID: Three different prints, all of naked women depicted as goddesses. Aphrodite is a gold and white drawing of a woman holding up a rose, surrounded by sparkles and on a black background. Hebe is a peach coloured background with an orange and black woman jumping, surrounded by sparkles. Persephone is a pink background with a black woman, surrounded by sparkles. ]

Vulva Tea Towel from The Vagina Museum, £12

  • [ID: a beige tea towel with different shaped vulvas on it] 

Female Form Christmas Decoration from ABmarquerty, £7. 

  • [ID: An Christmas tree ornament which is the shape of the female body and made from different tones of wood.] 

WHY? By LCYTN,  $1

  • [ID: Young woman wearing a graphic sweatshirt and holding her arms in a star shape with clouds and a blue sky in the background.] 

Pack of 3 Christmas Cards from Lily Windsor Walker, £8

  • [ID: Three different Christmas cards with holly leaves and Christmas baubles in the background. The cards are multi-coloured abstract Christmas trees and decorations.]

Rock the Boat [Remix] by Tama Gucci, $1. 

  • [ID: A plain white album cover with the name ‘Tama Gucci’ in a gothic style font and a rainbow.]

In Their Shoes by Jamie Windust, £12.99. 

  • [ID: Image of a predominantly yellow and white book cover.] 

Domme Poster from Intelexual Media, $9. 

  • [ID: Poster of a black woman perching on a stool dressed in dominatrix gear with a dark red curtain behind her.] 

4 Brown Girls Who Write by Roshni Goyate, Sharan Hunjan, Sheena Patel and Sunnah Khan, £19.99. 

[ID: Image of 4 orange, yellow, pink and blue minimalist book covers next to a larger grey cover with green text.]

Abstract Nude A5 Notebook from LemonLoco, £9.25. 

  • [ID: A white notebook with abstract nude human bodies drawn on it, says ‘notes’ in black and has black binding.]

Hanukkah card from BubbelehCreations, £4.  

  • [ID: a blue geometric and snowflake print card that reads ‘Sending you a latke love’, photographed against a blue background with blue confetti.]

The Billionaire’s Woman - Kirby Sommers, $25. 

  • [ID: Book cover which shows a black and white image of a young woman looking out of shot, ‘The Billionaire’s Woman’ is in yellow over the top.] 

Apple Pie flavoured lip gloss from Luxury Kreationz, $6.  

  • [ID: a palm holding tubes of mauve lip gloss in front a leafy bush.] 

Feminist Christmas card from RachCreatesShop,  £3. 

  • [ID: A white greetings card with a black polka dot and yellow sparkles background, reads ‘on the first day of Christmas my girlfriend said to me let’s smash the patriarchy’ in multi-tone pink bubble writing.]

Chaser by Dharma Kelleher, £13.99. 

  • [ID: The top of the book cover shows the side profile of young woman holding a gun, this fades into a cityscape. The title of the book is in yellow.] 

Dreaming Elves by Roseoioi, £10. 

  • [ID: Photograph of a print – the print is two elves with green and pink hair against backdrop of yellow clouds.] 

Body Fo:mme Fem Candle Black from Fo:mme, £22. 

  • [ID: A black candle which is in the shape of a curvy female body, photographed on a white sheet.] 

Time to Reflect by JikaIllustrations, £15. 

  • [ID: A vibrant print of a partially naked young woman looking into her bedroom mirror.] 

Vanilla Fairy Soap from DecoreandmorebyCami, £10.29

  • [ID: five bars of soap which are primarily pink and purple – they have been carved into the shape of fairies.] 

Silas and Artemis Cries by SaintFlorences, £15.

  • [ID: Two prints hanging on a wire rack next to a paintbrush pot and a houseplant. The first print is a woman with silver hair, a halo and big earrings against an orange background. The second is a naked woman with her head in her lap surrounded by her own hair.] 

Period Products: What is on the market?

Illustrations: Robyn Janine

Author: Caitlin MacLeod

There are so many different products on the market for people with periods, we’ve done the research and complied a shortlist of pros and cons to each product: giving you a jumping off point to finding the ideal product for you!  

Whilst sustainability is certainly important, it’s something to work towards – so please don’t feel guilty for choosing one product which is less sustainable than another. Everyone’s body is different and we want to empower you to find your ideal fit!

To break this down we will start with internal products – these are products that are inserted into the vagina and collect blood. These may not be comfortable for some people and that is completely normal, there are different sizes for most internal products but sometimes they just don’t work for people’s bodies or schedules. Internal products are great if you want a discreet period product, eg. for swimming.

What are they and how do I use them?

What: A thin tube of soft, absorbent material that is inserted into the vagina and absorbs the blood. 

How: Insert it into your vagina until it feels comfortable. There is a string attached which you pull on to retrieve the tampon. You need to change them every 4-8 hours and should never leave a tampon in for over 8 hours due to health risks.  Some tampons come with applicators that help guide the tampon into place.

Top Tips: Never use fragranced tampons, or any fragranced products in or around the vagina - this can upset your natural PH balance and make you uncomfortable.

+ Pros

  • Easy to find in most supermarkets and pharmacies.
  • CBD infused tampons are available! These can help with menstrual pain, particularly for those with conditions such as PCOS, endometritis or fibroids. 

- Cons

  • They can increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) if left in too long. It is worth mentioning that TSS is not caused by the tampon itself but by bacteria entering the bloodstream and releasing toxins. This can happen to anyone – not just people who have periods or use tampons.
  • Some people are not comfortable with using tampons and do report that their cramps are worsened by their use – this is not an official side effect though and may not happen to you.
  • They are expensive in the long run as they need to be purchased new every month.

Our best picks!
CBD Tampons by Daye!
Non-Applicator Organic Tampons by TOTM!
Reusable applicator tampons by DAME 

What is it and how do I use it?

What: A menstrual cup is a small, curved cup, often made of silicone or other bendable plastics, that is inserted into the vagina and collects blood. They can be left in for up to 12 hours. There are anti-bacterial cups on the market that wipe clean, but most need to be boiled clean between periods.

How: They are folded at the cup end into a fold and inserted into the vagina. There is a bit that you will be able to pull on to remove.

Top Tips: Only use 100% medical grade silicone as anything else can be harmful and store in an unbleached 100% organic cotton bag (these usually come with the cup).

+ Pros

  • They are more sustainable as one can last years (if cleaned correctly). 
  • They can be a money saver because you wouldn’t have to buy new products each month.
  • They require less maintenance as they can be left in for longer.

- Cons

  • You should not use these if you have an IUD or other birth control/implantations that are in the vulva. If you want to use one, please consult a doctor before use.
  • Finding the right size is a learning process, there are guides to help you figure out what size – but given these are more expensive in the short term, it can be daunting to try and invest in one of these.
  • They can be messy and harder to learn how to use and keep than other products.

Our best pick! 
The MoonCup!

External products are products that collect blood from being inserted into the seat of your underwear, or in the case of period pants – they are your underwear. These can be great for people who don’t like internal products or with conditions that make inserting internal products painful. 

What are they and how do I use them? These are strips of absorbent material that are inserted into the seat of your pants, they will often have a sticky strip to cling to the material in your pants, sometimes with wings that will stick underneath the outer layer of your underwear. 

+ Pros

  • No insertion required.
  • They can be worn for long periods of time.
  • Minimum upkeep/cleaning required.
  • Easy to find in most supermarkets and pharmacies.

- Cons

  • More expensive long term, due to buying new products each month.
  • Some people find them uncomfortable or noisy.

Our best pick! 
Superdrug Liners

Re-usable pads and pant-liners

What are they and how do I use them? Re-usable pads and pant-liners are much like disposable pads, but instead of sticking they’ll usually clasp under the outer layer of your underwear. These are machine washable and can be reused again and again, rather than being thrown away after each use.

+ Pros

  • Sustainable! They are a great alternative to disposable pads for those who can use them.
  • No insertion required.
  • Can be worn for long periods of time.
  • Money saver in the long term – once you have them, you don’t need to buy any new products each month.

- Cons

  • They can be awkward to change when out and about.
  • They can be more expensive to start with as usually people would buy multiple pads, so they don’t need to wash between each change.

Our best pick! 

Wear ‘Em Out Re-Usable Liners

Period Pants

What are they and how do I use them? Period pants are a pair of pants designed to absorb blood. They come in various absorbencies and some are designed for lighter or heavier days.

Top Tips: Check the material is primarily organic cotton. There should be no antibacterial or antibacterial treatments, as they can be harmful. There should be no nanomaterial silver either. If there is not full disclosure of materials and treatments used, do not buy.

+ Pros

  • Sustainable! Once you have them, you can wear them over and over again with washes.
  • Maximum comfort – no need to insert anything or to attach anything to your underwear.
  • Money saver.
  • Can wear for longer periods of time.

- Cons

  • Start up cost is higher, need to invest in multiple pairs or deal with washing every day of your cycle.
  • Some people feel wetness in their underwear.
  • Can be awkward to change on the move.

Our best pick!

Modi Bodi Period Pants

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