Anna Loulou, a bar in Jaffa, has come up with an original idea for happy hour discounts that might be a global first: 25 percent off the bill for any customer who declares that she’s having her period.
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The women behind the initiative, Moran Barir and Dana Etgar, say that since women are menstruating for 25 percent of their lives, they deserve a 25 percent discount for one night, at the very least. The “Bloody Hour” discount will be given on an honor basis, with no need for forensic evidence.
“The whole idea is to give a discount, attention and a treat to someone, to say ‘we recognize you, we are aware of the special situation you’re in right now, and hey, we want to do you a favor,'" Barir told Haaretz.
The idea began at Anna Loulou itself. “I sat at the bar and ordered wine,” Barir explains. “The bartender couldn't remember whether I’d asked for red or for white so I told him simply, ‘Here’s how you’ll remember: I’m on my period, so bring me red.’”
The whole thing can be looked at as just a gimmick, but it can also be viewed as part of a wider global trend.
“Beyond the initial childish embarrassment, ‘cause that how it is with anything connected to the body, we want to speak about this important issue,” Barir says. “There is no platform for addressing the subject of menstruation and there’s no legitimacy in the public sphere for discussing it without people immediately going, ‘Ick, why are you talking about that?’”
For now, the 25 percent discount will apply from Monday through Wednesday and on Saturdays. The menstruation discount was launched on Saturday night and included themed material, such as video art and an appearance by stand-up comedian Chen Zausmer. The organizers hope to turn such evenings into a regular event.
The topic definitely embarrasses many men. But will an evening at a bar in Jaffa end the awkwardness? Barir says that the nightlife spots are part of the public space shared by men and women – and another place in which the dialogue must take place.
“Since we come from that world, happy hour is an appropriate means for raising awareness,” she says. “We want women to say, ‘Hey, I’m on my period,’ and for it to have a deeper and broader resonance, for it to be legitimate for women to talk about it. When it comes to men, I think these evenings will begin to normalize the situation – yes, women menstruate, and [men] should also ask questions and gather information about the subject. It’s not only girl talk.”