Pathfinder editorial board holds period product drive to destigmatize periods and help end period poverty

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Angie Jia

Senior Nayeon Ryu organizes a bin of donations. Donations were dropped off starting Jan. 21. “This is an important issue we are tackling because it isn’t normally talked about in high school,” Ryu said. “This is because many of us are privileged enough to have easy access to these products.”

Increased awareness of period poverty has ignited discussions surrounding the Pink Tax and providing free menstrual hygiene products in public restrooms. In fact, a new bill in the Missouri House of Representatives has brought this issue to the forefront. 

As a result, the Pathfinder editorial board decided to collect donations for the St. Louis Alliance for Period Supplies (STLAPS) in journalism teacher Debra Klevens’ room until Feb. 7 

Senior and news and sports editor Lydia Roseman began researching the topic after learning about House Bill 1954, sponsored by State Rep. Martha Stevens.

“The bill will require all public and charter schools to provide period products in every bathroom for students in grades six through 12,” Roseman said. “There are huge advocates who are a part of the STLAPS. You can apply to host your own drive, and I thought it was a great idea.”

The STLAPS works to reduce period poverty in St. Louis, where 46% of women have had to choose between menstrual hygiene products and food. 

“You can bring products themselves like tampons, pads or sanitary napkins, or you can donate monetary donations as well,” Roseman said. 

Organizations, like the Go with the Flow Club, are working to destigmatize menstruation at school. 

“This topic is something that is becoming less taboo, and I want to continue that,” Roseman said. “I think that everyone, especially boys who feel uncomfortable with periods or don’t know how to talk about them, can learn. I’m a girl that’s really open about it. I can’t help that I have a period, it’s just a part of life, so there’s nothing that I should be ashamed of.”