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OP-ED: Penn Period Project Needs to Up Their Inclusivity (The Free Tampons Were Too Petite for My Monstrous Heavy Flow)


Photo by The Daily Pennsylvanian

The other day when I found myself fighting battles in the 1920 commons bathroom, Penn Period Project’s container of free tampons was a welcome beacon of hope on that slick, off-white countertop of a horizon.  But my heart sank when I read that fateful word on the tampon’s packaging: regular.  Erm… as if there’s a “regular” type of period to have.  Do I only deserve proper menstrual care if the heaviness of my womanly flow fits society’s rigid concept of normality (which, I assure you, it does not)?  But I digress.  I had just regained my composure when I glimpsed the sign reading, “Got your period? We’ve got you!” as if to mock me and my untamable, tsunamic crimson tide.  Needless to say, I left in tears.

I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.  I mean come on, I’m all for free shit, but I’m gonna need a little more than a pathetic cotton wad half the size of my pinky to suffice for my moon time.  Is a pack of Super Ultra Absorbency Maximum Heavy Flow Tampax Plus really too much to ask for?  Even my 20 minutes of daily Kegel exercises didn't prepare me to nearly reach a life-threateningly high level of blood loss as I waddled to class with a strip of single-ply toilet paper strewn in my panties.  As a passionate advocate for justice everywhere (I did student government in high school) and a proud feminist (I went to the women’s march in 2016), I will not stop until I see equality.

I’m just a girl… A girl with big dreams.  And I dream of a world where I can get any specific, tailored product I want at any time for free.  I look forward to hearing from you soon, Penn Period Project.  The ball is in your court.