We want free products, period.
Islander Feminists Club teams up with PERIOD to fight for free period products on campus.
December 2, 2018
The Islander Feminists club on campus has initiated a campaign to bring free period products to the university. To do this, they are partnering with Corpus Christi’s branch of PERIOD, an organization that is geared towards getting period products to those who need it most.
“We are partnering with Period Corpus Christi,” said Ariana Rodriguez, president of Islander Feminists. “They are part of a national non-profit that focuses on periods and gives to providing products for women who would otherwise go without or for destigmatizing the negative stereotypes around periods. So, we are working with them to do that.
“The submission they’ve been wanting to do for a while, and they reached out to us because we’ve worked with them before, we’ve donated to them before. It is very similar to what we want to do, just bringing awareness and products to the campus.”
In order to bring this movement on campus, Islander Feminists have already proposed the idea to the Student Government Association and the university, but they need and want to show that faculty, staff and students on campus are also interested and are in support of this change.
In order to show this support, Islander Feminists have started tabling to petition for signatures from their fellow Islanders.
Jaquelynn Cortez, junior Criminal Justice major, is one student who believes in the benefits of bringing free period products on campus.
“I think it is a very important topic that we need to talk about,” said Cortez, “because it involves all the women in the world, obviously. It is something that we need. We didn’t ask for this. It is a necessity that we require just like food or water. We’ll need it for the rest of our lives. It’s part of our reproductive bodies that we need. … We need these products to help us and the worst feeling in the world is not having that kind of protection when you start.”
Cortez spoke of some personal experience with having to find and buy products on campus and how expensive and inconvenient it can be.
“I started in the middle of class one time and that was entirely scary,” said Cortez. “I didn’t know what to do. I had to put toilet paper, I had to run to the UC and buy some. A whole pack for $8. That was expensive. … I had to go put my time for something that I desperately need that I didn’t ask for so its really hard. … If I didn’t have to worry about it, that’d be great. But it is something I do (have to worry about) and I spend — we spend so much money on pads. It is so expensive. It is extremely expensive for the good stuff.”
Another important aspect about this movement is that the Islander Feminists are not advocating for “feminine hygiene” products. In a recent post promoting their campaign on Instagram, the club explained:
“As feminist we always strive to be inclusive! ‘Feminine hygiene’ products is not inclusive for the transgender community, non-binary people and for women who don’t get periods. A period doesn’t make someone more or less feminine, or someone more or less a certain gender. Our language shapes our thoughts and is the (key) to being inclusive. You can change your language to make the world a little better.”
Rodriguez believes that bringing the products to campus will not only help those who need them but can also spread awareness about an issue that some students may not realize affects their fellow classmates.
“It definitely is not just for students who identify as female,” said Rodriguez, “but for all students even … transgender students. It’s a great way that they don’t have to worry about something like this. If you start in class or you ran out of products, it’s available on this campus. If we can give food to Izzy’s food pantry for students not having to worry about going hungry, we can definitely give students a way to not worry about missing class or having to miss something because oftheir periods.”
After their first day of petitioning for free period products, the Islander Feminists collected over 100 signatures. They have continued to advocate for this cause and hope that their fellow Islanders will see the need and help bring the menstrual movement to TAMU-CC.
For more information about Islander Feminists, look for their club on I-Engage and follow them on social media @isanderfeminists. For information about PERIOD, please visit their website.