Hello, I am Thamara and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I love art in all its forms, reading, and writing. I am a freshman at American University and I will be studying International Studies. For as long as I can remember I have been very interested in social justice issues especially in relation to poverty and women's rights. I have been a self-proclaimed feminist since middle school so joining the menstrual movement feels right.
Why do you care about periods?
Periods are a major part of the health and wellness of any menstruator. Like any other facet of a person’s health, periods should be taken seriously. The emotional and physical health of a menstruator is just as important as non-menstruators. When access to sanitary items is not equitable and there is a global stigma around menstruation, the opposite is true. That is the case in many parts of the world including our own here in the United States.
I believe if we want to see equity of class, race, and gender, caring about periods is the first step. Our fight for social justice is not intersectional or effective if we forget about the ways menstruation affects all lives. In short, I care about periods because I have to in order to make the change I want to see in the world happen.
When was the moment you realized you were interested in becoming a part of the menstrual movement?
A few years ago I read an article for class about the stigmatization of menstruation around the world. The article featured a story about a group of girls who were isolated from the rest of the village every month during their period. I remember being confused and outraged. I did not understand why this was the reaction many had to periods in other countries.
As I grew older, I came to realize that the stigma was not just a problem in villages abroad, rather it was something that was systemic. Menstruators all around the world have missed school or do not have access to menstrual products. We have our own stigmas surrounding menstruation here in the United States, too. Education about menstruation is not required in all schools and sanitary products are taxed as if they are non-essential items in the U.S.
For a while I knew this information and I wallowed in it. I had no idea what to do about this issue. I was even more clueless to the fact that while I was learning all these things that a menstrual movement was simultaneously forming. When I discovered PERIOD, I realized solving these issues was not out of reach. I now knew a concrete way I could work to end the global stigma surrounding menstruation and I became obsessed. I looked into more organizations like PERIOD and read about the many activists working towards menstrual equity. I would say it was at that moment that I became interested in joining the menstrual movement.
What do you hope to accomplish during your time working with PERIOD, The Menstrual Movement?
I hope to accomplish a few things while working with PERIOD and the Menstrual Movement in general. First, I hope to gain confidence as a menstruator myself. Despite having gone to an all-women's school, I know I have internalized the stigma surrounding menstrual health. I want to become comfortable talking about this issue outside of my small circles. I know doing so is necessary if I want to be a part of this movement. Second, I hope to help PERIOD further its goal in ending the social stigma around menstruation. As I am creating digital content, I want to come up with ways to both educate and encourage conversations about periods. Lastly, I hope by creating content that raises awareness that more menstruators are served and more people join the menstrual movement.