Rally gathers for advocacy of menstrual equity

November 1, 2019

Oct. 19 was the first ever National Period Day in history. The global nonprofit PERIOD created it this year, and it was celebrated with over 60 rallies in the U.S. and three other countries. In Massachusetts, this rally took place at Boston City Hall Plaza. 

Linzy Rosen ’22 was the lead rally organizer and had firsthand experience working with an organizing team of various students in the Boston area. Several Brandeis alumni and current students also attended the rally, most of whom were members of the Brandeis PERIOD chapter. Rosen explains that the intention of National Period Day is to bring people together to advocate for the end of period poverty and menstrual inequity. “National Period Day strives to provide an energetic space for individuals to learn about menstrual stigma, issues facing their communities, their local legislative agenda, and feel more empowered to join the menstrual movement,” she said.

At the rally, Rosen felt tremendously empowered looking out at the crowd while she was on stage. “It was refreshing to see a variety of genders and ages and everyone was so full of energy. It was incredible to see so many women and their non-menstruating allies in attendance. The entire rally felt surreal. I had been working tirelessly to organize the event since July, so having the day finally materialize was riveting.” Her favorite moments included seeing both the hilarious and inspiring posters, hearing everyone chant passionately and having the opportunity to listen to speakers share their stories. Rally speakers included local elected officials, students, community activists and menstrual equity researchers. Hearing the personal narratives of individuals battling menstrual stigma in their lives as people of color or as transgender individuals was particularly moving to Rosen. 

Rosen also expressed her own motivations in creating this event. “After founding the chapter of PERIOD at Brandeis last semester, I knew I wanted to get more involved in the global organization. I am very passionate about ending menstrual stigma and inequity. I felt compelled to organize the rally in order to get more people involved in this advocacy and expand my efforts outside the Brandeis campus.”

This was only the first National Period Day of many more to come in future years. Rosen recommends attending next year, regardless of menstruation experience. “Attending a rally about menstruation and screaming about periods in a major city is not something anyone would normally do,” she acknowledges. “That is exactly why more people need to experience it! Feeling uncomfortable about periods is normal, and we will only come closer to breaking the menstrual stigma if we allow ourselves to receive the support of others as we enter uncomfortable spaces.” She emphasizes that supporting menstrual equity is fun, inclusive, and powerful.

To get involved with PERIOD, check out PERIOD’s weekly meeting at 8 p.m. on Thursdays in the SCC Room 313. PERIOD can also be found on Facebook at PERIODBrandeis and on Instagram as PERIOD@Brandeis.

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