This month we partied for a cause, a bloody good cause: menstrual equity for all who menstruate. We threw Period Party in support and celebration of Congresswoman Grace Meng’s Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2019, and it was a taboo-smashing success.
“What's menstrual equity?” you wonder. Let’s unpack that.
Menstrual equity refers to the equal opportunity for all menstruators to access the hygiene products they need for a healthy and safe period. It’s based on the premise that menstrual hygiene products like pads and tampons are a basic necessity, not a luxury.
The Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2019 is the first comprehensive federal bill that addresses the hardships of affording and accessing menstrual hygiene products.
Among its provisions, this bill would ensure free menstrual hygiene products are available to students, low-income individuals, homeless individuals, people who are incarcerated, those working for large employers, and in all public federal buildings (looking at you, U.S. Capitol).
What went down at Period Party
De Lune joined forces with Platform—a nonprofit political training and lobbying organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of womxn. Together, we took over the ballroom at Eaton Workshop—a purpose-driven space at the intersection of culture, hospitality, and progressive social change in downtown DC.
We kicked off the night with a panel of incredible leaders at the forefront of the menstrual movement: Nadya Okamoto, Founder and Executive Director of PERIOD and author of Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement; Jewel Addy, Co-Founder of Red Dot Campaign; and Coretta Johnson, DC Organizer for Happy Period.
Our panelists mused about what inspired their menstrual activism, the importance of menstrual equity for all, and why period stigmas must end.
“Isn’t it crazy that you can walk into a room and everyone or no one could be menstruating at the same time, and no one would ever know?” said Okamoto, “Raise your hand if you’re on your period!”
Wine was sipped, connections were made, Lizzo was blasted. Spirits were high and quality period talk was had by all.
Our friends from Period Portraits snapped photos of partygoers in front of our bold backdrop made of pads. Meanwhile, our allies from famed local bookstore Kramerbooks provided a smorgasbord of feminist period empowerment books to check out.
Local wellness boutique Boketto also lent their support in making the evening a success. Attendees left armed with signed copies of Period Power and goodies from our partners Natracare, Kali, and Hooha.
We partied, then we lobbied.
Once the red glitter was swept up, we got to work to make menstrual equity the law of the land.
We once again partnered with Platform and organized a post-party Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, where we met with Congressional offices and amplified the voices of menstruators and allies to lobby for improved access to menstrual health and hygiene products.
The best part of all of this? Our advocacy is working. In the time between our Advocacy Day and the writing of this article, nine congressional representatives have signed on to the Menstrual Equity for all Act. Nine!
This, friends, is what progress looks like. The passing of this bill would signal a historic change in how menstrual hygiene is treated in the United States.
The menstrual movement is upon us, and it’s long overdue.
P.S. Let's make Period Parties a thing. If you're hosting your own Period Party (and we highly recommend you do), let us know and we'll happily help promote your event.