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Tampon Tuesday

New Tampon Tuesday Heads Bringing Change

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Continuing the legacy of Parker alum Nina Sachs (class of ‘17) will not be a problem for the new heads of the club “Tampon Tuesday.” Senior Isobel Bender, junior Emma Adelstein, and sophomore Paige Shayne are all thrilled to be spreading their informative messages and delicious treats throughout the Parker community.

Tampon Tuesday bakes batches of homemade cookies, brownies, and breads, then spreads them across the tables that fill the school lobby every first Tuesday of the month. During these numerous bake sales, Parker students and teachers can purchase treats using money, pads, or tampons. According to the club heads, all of the tampons that are collected during these events are donated to Chicago Period Project, which is an organization that helps homeless women all around Chicago access sanitation and menstrual supplies.

Tampon Tuesday helps not only the Chicago community, but the global community as well. In 2009, a study done by the Ministry of Education in Nigeria found that a greater distribution of sanitary pads, paired with sexual and reproductive health education, would increase attendance in school by 3.5 days per month. Through an organization called, Days for Girls, part of the money raised by Tampon Tuesday is donated to help unprivileged women and girls in Nigeria, who suffer from a lack of proper healthcare and menstrual supplies. Days for Girls also provides women and girls with health education and job training.

Along with donating money and supplies to those who are less fortunate, Tampon Tuesday hopes to spread awareness to the Parker community about the problems surrounding periods that occur all around the world. “I love Tampon Tuesdays because every time the word tampon or period is said in an announcement, or typed in an email,” Bender said, “we’re chipping away at the huge stigma around menstruation.

During Morning Ex announcements, when Bender makes an announcement about the club, clearly saying the words “periods” and “tampons,” the auditorium falls into a brief silence. The new Tampon Tuesday heads want to de-stigmatize sanitation because menstruation is a huge part of people’s lives. Bender said, “Even just having images of tampons and pads in emails is a good way to stop ‘silencing the period.’”

The new club heads would also like to inform more students in the school about Tampon Tuesday and its meaning. “We plan to expand to the Parker community to more than than just high school students,” Shayne said. “It’s such a good cause that I think anyone would want to take part.”

Sachs both created and led Tampon Tuesday for 4 years, making this the first year where multiple people are in charge of the club, meetings, and charity events. All three Tampon Tuesday leaders agree that they will focus not on changing the club, but on adding to it. Each Tampon Tuesday head holds an important goal, which they intend for the group to achieve this year.

As Bender begins her last year on Tampon Tuesday, she wishes to bring more recognition about the many different issues that women face all around the world to Parker. “I think a lot of people aren’t aware about the problems surrounding periods globally–lack of health care, lack of personal sanitation, shaming and the taking away of a woman’s dignity in her community, missing school because of cramps, etcetera,” Bender said. “Tampon Tuesday is bringing awareness to these issues that are often ignored because of the stigma around periods.”

Approaching her second year on the club, Shayne hopes to find more ways to collect supplies for donation. Shayne said, “We think it would be very great to have a pad slash tampon drive for hurricane Harvey and other events where help is needed.

Along with the new leaders, Tampon Tuesday also established a new position, called the Social Media Website Head. The purpose of the Social Media Head is to spread important information regarding Tampon Tuesday to a wider range of students, and even to people outside of the Parker community. This year, sophomore Ava Stepan will be taking on the role of expanding Tampon Tuesday across the internet.

“As we progress in the 21st century, almost everything is digital, so being able to have a website for Tampon Tuesday is really important to help spread the word,” Stepan said. “I’m especially interested in getting the perspectives of different feminists and posting that on the website, so that the website is more interactive with the readers instead of just dates and times.”

According to the club heads, they have tried their best to welcome new students to the upper school, as almost half of the club consists of freshmen. “Feminine products are one of the least donated items for shelters, and I think it’s because people aren’t comfortable addressing the issue,” new member, freshman Ava Ori, said. “I look forward to addressing this situation and forcing the conversation that will hopefully lead to more awareness!”

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Tampon Tuesday