We need to end the stigma around periods, period.
It’s normal, it’s healthy, and it’s also inevitable.
Speaking from personal experience, there’s seldom feelings that compare to that of the utterly anxious panic that ensues when you may or may not be starting your period during the school day.
If you’re able to work up enough courage during class to stand up to go to the bathroom, will the whole class see a blood stain on your pants? Or are you just being paranoid?
Even if you are able to make a break to the bathroom, you might find you don’t have any pads or tampons to stop the flow, or the panic.
Your heart is pounding out of your chest.
What options do you have?
If only there were free and accessible period products conveniently available in the bathrooms to ease the hassle and anxiety that come along with this natural, physical process once a month.
Recently in California, new legislation has been put in place which will require schools and universities to supply pads and tampons, free of cost, in all public schools starting in the 2022-2023 school year. For the menstruating students of California, this likely comes as a big sigh of relief. Now, there will be reliable sources for essential period supplies.
California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia said that in the most ideal situation, “menstrual products would be as common in restrooms as toilet paper and paper towels.”
It’s 2021. The menstruation cycle has been around since the start of humankind, and only now are we beginning to see easy, free, access to pads and tampons. Still, California is one of the first states to pass legislation regarding menstrual equity. Other states have gotten rid of taxes on period products, but California is the first to create mandatory accessibility of these products to students.
Last year, Scotland declared that having access to menstrual products is a human right — which just further proves why there should be easy, free access to period products.
It is time to destigmatize the conversation around menstruation. It is not a dirty thing or a dirty word, and should not be treated as such. Trying to ignore this inevitable issue won’t ever make it go away; the only thing it does is add to the stress levels of those who have periods.
In each and every bathroom across the country, regardless of gender so that the needs of transgender or non-binary students are met as well, there should be free menstrual products—especially in schools. This needs to happen specifically at La Salle, if the needs of students are truly a priority.
The last thing that anyone, especially students, need more of is stress and anxiety. When that time of the month comes around, it is not fair that there is such a lack of free resources. In some bathrooms there are coin-operated dispensers for period products, but who carries change in their pockets these days?
To support menstruating students there should be easy access to pads and tampons in the bathrooms, ready to use. As opposed to being located in some undisclosed location which would require some searching, again, adding unnecessary stress.
This issue has been ignored and seen as taboo for way too long.
It is time for our La Salle community, and the rest of the world to take action and provide access to period products.