Nona Diaries is a series featuring some inspirational women and their period stories. Today’s feature is about Rahmani Nitiyudo aka @rahmani.
Rahmani is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Fempire. She is also a final year undergraduate student at the National University of Singapore, majoring in Communications & New Media and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She is also a Stanford IHP graduate with a passion for community development, entrepreneurship and social change.
Hi! Let's start with your name
Rahmani Nitiyudo from @rahmani
Tell us a bit about Fempire. We are a huge fan! What is it?
Fempire is a social enterprise dedicated to empowering Indonesian women’s personal and professional development through content, community, connections and curated events.
What inspired you to start it?
Growing up in Indonesia, it’s unfortunately typical to encounter sexism every day. I remember how I wasn’t allowed by my family to do certain things just because I was a girl. I grew up hating this idea, and I would always curhat with my best friends, Mandy and Yorin. As we grew older and went to university abroad, we realised that the work environment in the US and Singapore are way more progressive than Indonesian work environments. Starting university, internships and work is a challenging experience, especially for women. Dealing with imposter syndrome ourselves, we noticed a lack of tight-knit communities and platforms to support women when venturing into the workforce. We are grateful that we have each other to confide in, but what about the thousands of other Indonesian women who don’t have the privilege, access or resources? So then came Fempire, where we not only want to empower Indonesian women online through our webinars, social media content and communities but also offline through our social outreach program.
What words of advice do you have for other women?
As cliche as it sounds, I would say stand up for what you believe in. There is a toxic culture that I am not a fan of in Indonesia, which is the ‘gak enak’ culture. People view this as being polite, but most times, it prohibits women from speaking their minds or acting on their thoughts. This can give the perception that women are weak, especially during meeting discussions. So to all women, we have to start defying this stereotype. Do not be scared, do not be insecure, do not think you aren’t worthy of having your voice heard.
What are your other hobbies & passions?
I love everything and anything surrounding art. From painting, music, drawing to dancing. Art is definitely a way I express myself. My mum would always give me coloured pencils and paper and turn on some music while singing and dancing. This passion has grown with me to this day. I have also started doing yoga and meditating. Being an overthinker, these two things have really helped calm down the chaos in my mind and bring clarity to my thoughts.
Describe your period in 3 emojis.
What feelings do you have towards your period?
It’s a love and hate thing. I’m happy that I get it once a month, so I’m not worried about having any irregular periods. But I also hate the pain! The cramps, backaches, mood swings, cravings, the overthinking. Sometimes it’s a bit too much, but I like how it is my body’s way of telling me to wind down, relax and take care of myself.
Do you get any womanly intuition or signs when your period is coming?
Yes! I used to not feel this but as I got older I would get moody before my period would come, as well as heavy cramps when I'm ovulating.
Are there any habits that you incorporate into your lifestyle to honor your period?
I always need to have my heating pad, comfy pyjamas, snacks and panadol (if the pain is unbearable).
Do you remember the first time you got your first period?
Yes! I remember getting it and I was so embarrassed. My whole house knew that I got my period and suddenly everyone was concerned about me. I was really shy to talk about it. Not because I didn’t know that I could get my period, but because of the stigma and taboo surrounding how periods are dirty and how it’s a thing that everyone knows but never talks about. I also remember feeling a bit scared because the adults around me kept on saying that I’m gonna be an adult soon who’s responsible for my own sins. Overall it wasn’t the best period experience, but it also wasn’t the worst. I’d say it was just really awkward. But at the same time I was kinda glad because I was one of the other girls in my friendship group who hit the milestone of having her period.
If you could give your younger self advice when you first got your period, what would you say?
I would say embrace your period. Read up on your body, improve your period education and reproductive health. Periods are natural. It shouldn't be shunned, awkward or taboo. As I got older, I started not caring how uncomfortable my periods would make older ladies and men feel. I now openly talk about my period and am brave enough to bring my pad in public and not hide it in my pocket. So ladies, don’t be embarrassed for having your period. If it makes other people feel weird, then that’s on them and not a reflection of you!
Read more about other inspirational women in our Nona Diaries series. Want to nominate any other women for this series? Email us or let us know here!