5 min read
by Laura Blackburn | 02/25/2020
Since the launch of our Thinx2020 campaign, our office has been humming with big periods-are-not-partisan energy. To date, we’ve racked up more than 20k petition signatures — and we’re proud to stand in solidarity with y’all in demanding that our presidential candidates take up menstrual equity as a core issue this election season.
With a groundswell of grassroots support, we’re all fired up in our fight to end period poverty. But when the going gets tough (ahem, looking at you, Tennessee) we like to return to the *why* behind our work. Members of our United for Access coalition and Team Thinx are here to put some fuel in your activist tank and share why they signed our petition and what motivates them to keep fighting the good fight for menstrual equity.
I’m standing with Thinx2020 and demanding that all presidential candidates announce an inclusive menstrual hygiene plan this year because it is long overdue. Periods are normal, biological functions that affect half the population and yet open dialogues and education about menstruation and the reproductive system are severely neglected in schools, government, and society. Access and education will lead the way to equality.
We signed onto the Thinx2020 platform, because we wholeheartedly believe in the power of collective action to advance necessary change. This election cycle is too often characterized by polarization. However, supporting menstrual equity is essential because dignity is universal.
WeDeliverPeriod believes progress on this issue requires commitment, conversation, and action. Candidates can demonstrate their commitment to this cause, the willingness to engage in once taboo conversations, and the will to act to influence programming, policy, research and funding to advance menstrual equity.
We all bleed red. That is a thought that constantly flashes through my brain anytime I think about fighting for menstrual equity and defining the complexities and harsh reality of period poverty. Every single person with a menstrual cycle deserves access to safe, affordable, and accessible period products. Period.
Menstrual equity means no matter what your socioeconomic status or political beliefs are, we all bleed red.
I signed on to the Thinx2020 platform because I cannot believe that as a country, we still do not have period products readily available in public spaces. I personally have experienced various scenarios in which I did not have access to period products and the anxiety that came with that, and I want to fight to turn that experience around for others.
Presidential candidates should address period poverty because it is real and important!
As a cis man, this is a struggle I will never experience. However, any man that has a mother, a sister, a wife, or a friend who has a period should understand the need to make sure they have the power and support to make the best health decisions for themselves. The way to change the “taboo” perception of this topic is through education and discussion.
As a society, we should be able to openly talk about periods and end the era of embarrassing conversations. This is why I am supporting menstrual equity and asking my elected officials to help provide health accessibility and education to support people with periods, no matter their financial status.
Period poverty is an issue overlooked by most politicians, yet over half of Americans menstruate and have a monthly need for basic menstrual supplies, which can be expensive. PERIOD and the menstrual movement supports candidates and policies that provide crucial hygiene supplies for all people, and understand that period items are not a luxury.
We have more at stake than ever in 2020! Help our leaders wake up to this issue by working to repeal the tampon tax, allow menstrual supplies to be covered under WIC and SNAP, and understand that this is a gender justice and human rights issue. We need to vote, rally, educate our friends and contact all candidates to tell them about menstrual equity!
Our hundreds of period warriors in chapters across the country are tomorrow’s national leaders, and they are at the forefront of this issue. Rather than wait for elected leaders to do the right thing, let’s show them the way.
As a cis man, I feel it’s important to show support for people with periods because none of us would be here without them! An important part of normalizing any “taboo” topic is for folks who aren’t directly dealing with it to join the conversation, and my goal is to be an example of that.
Why does menstrual equity matter to you? Share in the comments, and sign our petition to add your voice to the growing movement!
by Laura Blackburn
Thinx in Conversation with the National Menopause Foundation
by Team Thinx
Why We Need to Change the Way We Talk About Periods
by Keeley McNamara, CNM, and Jen Swetzoff