Today is Menstrual Hygiene Day—which we’re reclaiming here at Ms. as Menstrual Equity Day! As the global movement to fight period poverty, end the tampon tax and provide necessary menstrual products to women and girls gains momentum, we’re taking today to celebrate the progress we’ve won and prepare for the stigma-smashing and policy-passing left in this fight.
That’s why today, we’re kicking back to watch “Keep Calm and Tampon,” the short musical directed, written and acted entirely by women that pokes fun at our societal shame and silence around periods and ultimately declares the power of every single menstruator who takes on the patriarchy, everyday sexism and even the state in their fight for equality.
The 16-minute comedic musical, directed by Claudia Lonow Rapaport and written by Allie Jennings, tells the story of teenager Mel, who gets her period for the first time and confronts double-standards, stigma and even a singing uterus in her desperate search for a single tampon. Actors Allie Jennings, Kimia Behpoornia, Izzy Roland, Lindsey Moore Ford, Cecily Breaux, Sandra Saad, Lauren Holt, Erin Dellorso and Sarah Khasrovi bring the story to life with vibrant—and hilarious—performances that will get every viewer singing, laughing and raising a fist in solidarity by the close.
Since its release in 2017, the film has also become an organizing tool. On its website, viewers and future fans can find up-to-date information about pushes to end the tampon tax, provide menstrual products to incarcerated women, fight for girls’ education with menstrual health access and take other critical actions to transform cultures around the world.
In the midst of political turmoil, menstrual equity has become an unexpectedly uniting issue in the global fight to end sexism and lift up women and girls. In the U.S. and abroad, lawmakers and communities have come together to fight period poverty and menstrual stigma and provide more education, access and resources to menstruators—providing pivotal advances to women’s economic justice and health and rights in the process.
As we continue to forge ahead and fight for worldwide gender equality, let’s keep calm and tampon. Menstrual equity might just be the perfect starting point for a global, political movement for women’s rights—and we may find some laughs along the way.