Period Party on the Plaza
Ending period poverty through education, advocacy, and service
By Marley Richmond
If forced to choose between buying a meal or buying necessary menstrual hygiene products, which would you pick? This is an issue faced by many menstruators worldwide, one which Period.MN, a local chapter of the nationwide nonprofit, demonstrated at their Period Party on the Plaza on October 2nd. At the “Menstruation Station,” students added their thumb print in red paint to a poster and were then asked to choose between a free donut or a napkin. This simulated the often overlooked and stigmatized issue of “period poverty,” one which Period combats through education, advocacy, and service. Their Period Party on the Plaza was a mix of all three!
Period seeks to normalize the discussion of menstruation while showing that there is no one “normal” way to menstruate. At their Period Party, tables on menstrual health and sustainable menstrual products offered information for both those who have periods and those who don’t. Period partners, Planned Parenthood and the National Council of Jewish Women, also had stations educating on safe sex and registering students to vote. The Period Party held a menstrual product drive, collecting products to be distributed at one of seven local homeless shelters with which Period.MN partners.
Period also uses advocacy to support representatives fighting period poverty through policies such as those to end the luxury tax on menstrual products (the “tampon tax” or “pink tax”) and to provide free menstrual products through all public middle and high schools. To support this cause, join Period—and many other co-hosts—for the National Period Day Rally on Saturday, October 19 from 2–3:30 p.m. on the Northrop lawn. Help end period poverty so no one else has to answer the question, “food or menstrual hygiene?” when the stakes are higher than a free donut.