Rally to Raise Awareness of Period Poverty this Weekend 

Tennessee National Period Day rally at Overton Park this Saturday.

Period., Inc. and its local chapter Period at 901 Memphis will host a rally this Saturday to address the issue of period poverty and advocate for making menstrual products accessible for all and ending the tampon tax.

For Ainsley Feeney, 16-year-old leader of Period at 901 Memphis, it all started when she saw a YouTube video talking about how homeless women often have to improvise and use cardboard and trash to take care of their periods.

click to enlarge Ainsley Feeney (front) with her crew at the bake sale that made their donation of the period packs possible. - AINSLEY FEENEY
  • Ainsley Feeney
  • Ainsley Feeney (front) with her crew at the bake sale that made their donation of the period packs possible.

"It was kind of a gut punch to me because that was never something I thought of before," she says. "I've always been privileged to have access to menstrual products."

A month or two after her realization, she found out about Period, Inc. and jumped at the chance to start a local chapter. She started with a bake sale and donation drive, putting together 120 period packs to be donated to the Shelby County Crime Victims and Rape Crisis Center.

Now, Feeney wants others to be aware of and join the cause.

"We have access to toilet paper," she says. "I use the example that if public bathrooms didn't supply toilet paper, there would be riots in the streets. But why is it any different with menstrual products?"

Tennessee is one of 35 states that charge tax for what should be considered an essential, untaxed item, and with 46 percent of low-income women having to choose between period products and meals, Feeney thinks it's certainly time for a change.

"We're not going to stop until every single menstruator has access to menstrual products and can feel confident and clean on their period," says Feeney.

Tennessee National Period Day Rally, Overton Park, Saturday, October 19th, 2-4 p.m., free.

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