Periods happen. It’s a fact of life. About every 28 days, people of childbearing age with uteruses get their periods.
It’s a beautiful process of biological renewal: The uterus cleans itself in anticipation of a possible future baby, and women everywhere who get caught off guard by the arrival of their monthly visitor can experience the unique joy of asking strangers in public bathrooms if they have an extra tampon.
Very recently lawmakers have started to acknowledge that helping people manage this time with grace and ease is a wonderful — and long overdue — thing to do.
Last summer, the government of Canada agreed to stop taxing tampons, pads, and menstrual cups. In mid-March, the Chicago City Council voted unanimously to stop its tax on all feminine products and reclassify them as medical necessities. And in New York City, a brand-new bill will supply girls in 25 schools with free tampons and pads, plus give free menstrual products to female-bodied prisoners in homeless shelters and city jails.
The first lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, was very excited about that last bill. An accomplished poet, she channelled her enthusiasm about it into a delightful poem titled “Tampons for All,” which she shared in a series of tweets.
McCray’s ode to tampons — and its message — are so great, but Twitter moves on quickly and these tweets should not be forgotten.
So here it is, in all it’s tampon-y glory:
If you’re inspired by McCray’s words, let her know on Twitter. And if you’re a resident of one of the majority of U.S. states that still tax menstrual products, maybe it’s worth sharing this with your lawmakers as well.