Justice

This College Student's Facebook Post About Period Shaming Is Going Viral

A college student in Southern California is earning hero status by using a fanny pack filled with tampons to fight against period stigma.

 

Melanin is en vogue.PC: http://www.aaimagery.com/

Posted by Chance Ward on ;Friday, October 16, 2015

Chance Ward, who is studying critical theory and social justice at Occidental college, earned viral fame after writing a Facebook post about a woman who appeared to be embarrassed about asking a friend for a tampon at the gym.

According to the post, Ward was exercising on an elliptical when a nearby woman asked her friend for a tampon. The woman appeared flustered and apologized for talking about her period in front of Ward, who is referred to as "they" in multiple news stories (ATTN: has reached out to Ward to confirm how Ward would like to be identified for this article). Ward responded by whipping a tampon out of their fanny pack, sending the message that menstruating is no cause for shame.

 

So I'm in the gym today (getting my life to Truffle Butter on this elliptical ofc) when the girl next to me asks her...

Posted by Chance Ward on ;Tuesday, March 22, 2016

 

"By the look on her face you would have thought I did a magic trick and pulled 36 titty-tasseled bunny rabbits out that damn bag," Ward wrote in a viral Facebook post. "This is so sad. Why don't y'all love y'all friends that menstruate? Like men will make whole guest rooms in their house just in case someone needs to stay. But god forbid that person menstruate, because I bet you won't be no extra pads or tampons under that guest bathroom sink."

Ward concluded by letting their female friends know that they always have products for menstrual needs:

"Ugh anyway to all my menstruating friends, if y'all need it, know I got it. I keep some in my fanny pack when I go to the gym, and some in my backpack all the time. Never feel embarrassed for asking for one. Never feel embarrassed for being human.
@everyone who doesn't menstruate: keep your menstruating friends in mind and stop being so shitty."

Ward's message about fighting the period stigma was met with lots of enthusiasm on Facebook:

Facebook

Perhaps Ward's message was so well-received because of the great cultural stigma surrounding periods. Many young women are advised not to talk about their periods in polite conversation, and people still frequently assume that a woman must be on her period if she appears to be in a bad mood.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump famously perpetuated the stigma surrounding periods last year when he said Fox News host Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her... wherever" after she called out his negative treatment of women at the first presidential debate. Trump would later deny that he was referring to her menstrual cycle, but most women weren't buying it, as evidenced by the #PeriodsAreNotAnInsult campaign.

Earlier this year, Mic editor E.J. Dickson tweeted about being shamed for talking about her period on the plane, further highlighting the stigma facing women:

RELATED: Here Are 4 Cultures That Actually Respect Menstrual Cycles