All genders bleed, and people of all genders can have periods.
Anyone who has ever had them knows that they're an expensive health issue that we did not choose to have. Most states make it more expensive and annoying by adding a sales tax to tampons. California is one of them. That's right — some states tax something that we need to use because most of society is not conditioned to enjoy people bleeding endlessly through their pants for about a week once a month.
Honestly, it's a privilege to not only be able to afford menstrual products, but to be able to free bleed. Homeless women/people do not have this privilege.
"Tampons and sanitary pads usually top the list of needs at shelters, since they’re pricey and supporters don’t often donate them...compounding the issue is the fact that clean showers are also scarce, and not washing during menstruation can lead to infections," writes Eleanor Goldberg in a 2015 Huffington Post piece about this issue. But just because people are raising awareness and talking about it more does not mean it's fixed. Raising awareness and talking do help, but its actions that make change.
This is why we need more events like LET IT BLEED: "A Rock & Roll Tampon Drive designed to empower women, shatter the period taboo, add to the dialogue on the Tampon Tax and The Homeless Period, and most importantly, invite everyone to the conversation!"
Let It Bleed is bringing performances from Dead Sara, Wax Idols, Kera and The Lesbians, and The Tambo Rays. With pop-up shops by The Tidy Shoppe, Popshop60sand70s, Maiden Voyage Jewelry, and Sand Shed. Even releasing The Sea Witch Zine Volume III featuring words and images by Nicole Espina, Tessa Paoli, Emma Olswing, Brea Meinreb, Katie Chavez, Emily Ballaine, Stephanie Escoto, Keren MD, Paula Espina, Peter Danzig, Andrea Sonnenburg, Laura Sallack, Lauren Espina, Haley Scofield, Casey Price, Lauren Talysa Santos, Elizabeth Rofoli, Kyle DeMartini, Noemi Soto, Denise Espina, Sivan Lioncub, and Brittany Coy.
On Saturday, you get a rock and roll show, a shopping experience, and a tampon drive that allows you to bring unopened tampons, maxi pads, menstrual cups, pantiliners, and menstrual underwear and then be entered in a raffle so you can win a prize (like the "Feminist Book Bundle" from Green Apple Books on the Park) for being a good person. Don't we all wish we could win prizes for a good person? On Saturday, you can!
All products will be donated to Compass Family Services. In addition to all of this, Conscious Period will be providing free tampons for the women's bathroom. They make 100% organic cotton tampons with compact, BPA-free plastic applicators, and for every box they sell, they donate organic, biodegradable pads to women in need.
OK, this is a uterus' dream. My vagina is happy crying.
This is an event and opportunity to help out others and enjoy yourself. Wax Idols and Kera and the Lesbians just released some new music too, and are two of my favorite performers and musicians. Every time I see either of them live, I am left feeling empowered and less insecure, which I love and need and you probably do, too. "We are always down to support any cause that disrupts the system & assists those who are constantly being oppressed by it. While being born into a female body is of little importance to us in regard to our feminism, 3/4 of us do inhabit cis female bodies and know all too well how difficult it is to bleed for a week every month & how much money it costs annually to keep the blood in check, as per society's (bullshit) demands. Homelessness only worsens that burden for women. We are proud to be a part of this event," Hether Fortune of Wax Idols told me.
I also spoke to Kera of Kera and the Lesbians, who leaves us with this: "It feels exciting in a way to live in a time such as these. It can also be frustrating considering no one seems to want to address it. We've seen firsthand from the peaceful protests how powerful we are when we come together. We must continue to come together in Solidarity and do the very best we can to help one another out."
LET IT BLEED: A Rock & Roll Tampon Drive with Dead Sara, Wax Idols, Kera and The Lesbians, The Tambo Rays
February 11, 2017