Reflections from Break the Barriers: A Wellness Event
Hi! I am Taylor Pulver, the founder and head of the Surge Club at The Latin School of Chicago. Surge has always been a big part of my life as my family has been involved for a while. This year I was lucky enough to be asked to speak at the Surge Menstruation Day Event. Let’s be honest here: when I first thought about speaking about my period/periods in front of people who I didn’t know, I was a little nervous. Growing up, I have learned never to be embarrassed about my period but it still seemed a little bit nerve racking. Even just the word “period” has so much stigma around it. When I look back to the event, I am proud of myself for letting go of the stigma and talking freely about periods.
For the event I spoke in front of many other women and educated them on alternative period products such as Thinx underwear, reusable pads, menstrual cups, and organic pads and tampons. Not only did I learn about different products, but I also learned so much more about periods in places all over the world. For example, I just got back from a service trip to Bali and even when I was there I learned a bit about periods. Before the trip started our tour guide asked everyone if anyone was on their periods. In Bali, blood is considered to be un-sacred so anyone who has their periods in unable to step inside a temple or any holy place. Additionally, I recently watched the short film Period. End of Sentence. I learned so much in such a short amount of time about how girls can be shunned because of their periods. Some even end up dropping out of school because their period has taken over their life. Also, I was watching TV and an ad for Always Tampons and Pads came on with the slogan along the lines of “periods don’t stop women”. Now for many this is true. In the United States, for example, many people have access to tampons and pads and are able to go through their day without a difference. Whereas somewhere else, like in the film, girls can be shunned from their communities and are forced to stay home from school.
Speaking at the event was eye opening for me because not only did I learn so many new facts about periods but I also learned to never be embarrassed while talking about periods. I look forward to using what I learned to teach my school club more about menstruation in underdeveloped countries and what we can do to help. Even if that means teaching girls at my school about alternative period products – a little can go a long way. It really meant a lot for me to have the experience of being part of such an amazing event. I am excited for the school year to start so I can restart my club again!
Surge is grateful for Taylor and her school club’s dedication to ending the global water crisis!