#127: How Your Menstruation Is Regulated in America with Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

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What we’re talking about in this episode!

  • Examining the conversation around the taxation and profitability of menstrual products
  • Tips to get more involved in advocacy and how to commit to policy change
  • Ways that you can get your legislators talking about the economics of menstruation
  • How to embrace the political aspect of periods and remove the stigma
  • Exploring the lack of access to menstruation products in America and on a global scale

Episode Summary

Did you know that there are women in the US right now who cannot afford or gain access to menstrual supplies? The passion to bring awareness to menstrual product accessibility for women and girls all over the world is one I share with today’s guest, Jennifer Weiss-Wolf. A gender, politics and menstruation advocate, attorney and the architect of the US campaign to squash the tampon tax, Jennifer is taking her dedication and expertise to the policies and laws that we live our lives by. 

Over a dozen states have taken action towards menstrual accessibility in the past four years since Jennifer started working on this issue, and 32 have taken steps to eliminate the tampon tax. Jennifer is moving the needle in policy and actually moving lawmakers to action through vocabulary, framework, tools, and most importantly, support from women like you. 

Jennifer works to open up the conversation around the lack of access to menstrual products in the United States, and wants to ensure that menstruating does not pose an obstacle in people’s lives regardless of their age, race, or social status. By putting the issues around menstruation in front of legislators in a way they can understand, Jennifer expresses her civic duty to get everyone fully engaged in the conversation. 

It is time to change how menstruation exists in our public spheres and change the policy our government creates in order to accomplish global and locally appropriate solutions. Our current policies and laws do not reflect our wellbeing or our reality, and it is only through becoming involved in advocacy that you can be more represented in your legal structures and in turn push the issues you believe in into the limelight. 

How do you work to normalize the discussion around menstruation and impact systemic change? Share how you feel about removing the stigma around periods in the comments below.

Quotes

“I really sort of turned my attention to where my interest lies and where my skills could be most useful, and that was really in thinking about how we change the policies and laws by which we live to better reflect and represent all of us.” (12:33)

“It’s not just the few unfortunates who can’t afford these products, it’s that our entire systems are actually built and structured to not ensure equality and to not ensure equal opportunity for those who need it the most.” (16:16)

“If anything about menstruation, access to products, access to safe products or otherwise, inhibited or kept people from doing so, well then it was our obligation to right that wrong.” (22:40)

“Its been sort of extraordinarily high energy and really really exciting to be previewing and going public with these arguments that we have been toiling over for the past several years.” (33:06)

“For the 5 years that I have been doing this, I have to say my mind has just kind of been on fire since all of this. It’s just completely opened my eyes to an entire way of thinking and advocating and communicating and existing that is so much better than the 47 that lead up to it.” (40:48)

Resources Mentioned

Periods Gone Public by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

Follow Jennifer on Twitter

Tax Free. Period. Website

Period Equity Website

Days for Girls Website

Learn My Top 5 Oils for Creating Hormonal Synergy:

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