Why do you care about periods?
As my mom likes to put it, I’ve been asking questions since I came out of the womb. Therefore, at the ripe age of six she nonchalantly explained to me everything I needed to know about periods. Since my mom didn’t make a huge deal out of it (maybe because it isn’t a big deal?), I had a very casual perception of menstruation. That view was upended in fifth grade when my class was divided into boys and girls and we were scurried off into separate class rooms. As girls we got to learn how our bodies would change and we were even coached on how to be especially discreet during school so that no one would be aware of what we had “going on down there.” In hindsight, this educational presentation was
wrought with shame and negativity towards menstruation; which, is pretty awful considering that anyone who menstruates can’t control it.
It’s that unnecessary cloak of shame that periods have been cast with that has ultimately led me to care so much about periods and changing the narrative that goes with them.
When was the moment you realized you were interested in becoming a part of the menstrual movement?
I came across an article featuring PERIOD almost two years ago. As I read it I was hit with a wave of emotion as I realized that I had never before considered the unmet needs of menstruators in my community. I have always been passionate about grassroots efforts aimed at fulfilling the unmet needs of those around me, so I was naturally eager to take action. This energy combined with my unsettled feelings about the shame tied to menstruation, made it natural for me to join the Menstrual Movement.
What do you hope to accomplish during your time working with PERIOD, The Menstrual Movement?
I think that there are some glaring issues in the way of menstrual education. If any in school education is provided about menstruation, often times only female students are informed about periods, but menstruation impacts everyone and there is no reason that it should be kept a secret from half of the population. I would like to reform the standard of in school menstrual education. It should not be touch in such a tabooed manner, and it should be taught to all students. Additionally, I believe that it is vital to support menstruators in their earliest cycling years so that they don’t carry unnecessary shame with them. One way to accomplish this would be by ensuring access to menstrual care products for middle school and high school students. Therefore, I hope to work with school districts and state legislatures to push for free access to these products in school bathrooms. Finally, even the eldest of menstruators are inherently unaware of the truth of menstruation. Therefore, I intend to work to increase the access to accurate information about everything that menstruation entails.