My name is Jamie, and I’m one of the co-presidents of Princeton Students for Gender Equality (PSGE). We teamed up with the DivaCup to hold a Menstruation Celebration, an event to break the menstrual taboo, educate students about menstruation, collect product donations, and most of all, celebrate periods!
Why Hold a Menstruation Celebration?
It all started last summer when I was texting with a guy friend who is studying to be a doctor and the topic of menstruation came up. It soon became clear that he knew the science behind it and the technical terms, but had no idea what periods are actually like for those who have them.
He thought we changed a tampon two or three times per period! I was shocked! I texted a dozen other non-menstruating friends and found that many also had no idea what people who menstruate experience on a monthly basis.
Something had to be done!
So, PSGE decided to partner with Princeton Students for Reproductive Justice (PSRJ) to plan the Menstruation Celebration event!
We Spread the Word!
To advertise the event, we hung up posters and put the word “menstruation” all over campus!
We also interviewed Princeton students who don’t menstruate about what they know about periods for a hilarious and surprising video.
I definitely recommend you watch it!
The Day of the Event!
We held the event on November 18th in our central campus center, and it was a huge hit! Hundreds of people stopped by to talk about and celebrate menstruation.
There was so much to do and see, including:
- Homemade period-themed snacks: vulva cupcakes, pretzel tampons dipped in white and red chocolate, uterus cookies, and chocolate-chip ovary bread.
- Fun games and activities: pin the ovaries on the uterus, a uterus piñata full of red candy, a photo station with a giant uterus and period trivia with The DivaCup notebooks as a prize!
- Informational posters about what a period is, period myths, periods and politics and how to use trans-inclusive language when talking about periods
- Alternative products station featuring a demonstration of The DivaCup!
- Access station featuring stories from people who struggle to access period products.
- Collected donations for Distributing Dignity, an organization that provides pads, tampons, and bras to those who need them.
- A raffle for The DivaCup and Diva Wash, as well as some other great products.
We collected some amazing menstrual product donations and we raised over $700 for Distributing Dignity!
The event had a huge impact on campus, people were talking about menstruation in dining halls and dorms across campus.
Thank you so, so much to the DivaCup team for the support and the incredibly generous donation. Tons of people came into the event confused or unsure about the DivaCup and left with far more information and excitement. (And a personal thank you to the DivaCup for getting me through hiking trips, my gap year in Senegal, and life at Princeton!)
Jamie O’Leary is a sophomore at Princeton University from Rutland, VT. She is an Anthropology major with a Gender and Sexuality Studies minor, and she is especially interested in studying and breaking taboos around women’s bodies and sexuality. She is one of the founders and co-presidents of Princeton Students for Gender Equality (PSGE), an activist group and an inclusive, intersectional forum for discussions of feminism, gender, sex, and sexuality. Check it out here.