Hello lovelies! Today for my “make a change” post, I decided to talk about a cause that also aligns with my intersectional feminist beliefs; FEM Project.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a FEMbassador, meaning that I am an affiliate of FEM Project. However, the reason I got involved with them all has to do with social media and my never-ending Instagram obsession.
Before I delve into all that FEM entails, I thought I would share my period-horror story to combat the idea that menstruation is “gross” and “unnatural.” This is a part of who women are (and other’s that menstruate) and is a normal part of life!
When I was in middle school, I attended a Valentine’s Day dance lesson, essentially just a partner dance class. A boy I liked was supposed to meet me there to dance with me, but he never showed up. When I went to the restroom later that night, I had a new friend. SURPRISE! My period had arrived. I was so embarrassed, and had to call my grandmother to come get me. She helped me and gave me feminine hygiene products as well– which is the most important thing.
Thus, let me tell you a little bit about FEM and what they’re doing to make an impact in the Los Angeles area. Hopefully they will continue to grow!
FEM’s mission is to destigmatize the period and empower women to own their femininity! (YES!) They do this by supplying menstrual products to women all over LA. Their fearless leaders are constantly working to make a change, and empower women to own their femininity every month– one tampon at a time!
Feminine hygiene products can cost up to $70 a year, and without them, women risk getting infections as well as habitual discomfort. FEM works to provide women that can’t otherwise afford these products with them, while also battling to change the conversation about the period.
Since getting involved with FEM, I’ve met so many feminist-frands and became part of a rad community of people fighting the period stigma!
The FEM community is filled with headstrong mama’s that have come together for this cause. I reached out and asked some of them why they love FEM–
@amy.moralesp: “I love that I’ve been able to forge friendships with some of the raddest people ever.”
@a_nnabae: “I love being a FEMbassador because it’s introduced me to an amazing group of empowered, kick-ass girls. Plus, it’s amazing knowing that I’m helping girls get the tools they need to prevent their period from interrupting their daily life. Tampons and pads are far more important than people realize.”
@venejasco: “I love being a FEMbassador because it signifies that women are now becoming more comfortable with talking about their period and body. We don’t care how it makes others feel because it’s normal and a part of our anatomy. It feels good to be amongst women who stand up for this and this and that we are able to give back to our community and women in it.”
@kate.ripley: “The FEMproject has been so much more than I ever thought it would be! Everyone is so friendly and the LA group is full of bad ass babes doing bad ass things. Everyone is so supportive and the goal of this organization is so kind and needed. I’m looking forward to being more and more involved as I continue to help plan period parties and meet ups!”
@ailirene: “Something that originally attracted me to the FEM Project is how this organization and platform honestly interacts with fem and period stigmas. I especially like the emphasis on homeless women, particularly in Los Angeles. Growing up as a lower-SES person of color in a small town on the port of LA—where the statistics on homelessness is consistently high—I have developed a huge heart for homeless individuals, especially women, in my area. I have worked in partnership with various organizations to aide individuals with various necessities, however, I would like to join a movement specifically working with women. I am passionate about social issues. I am passionate about individuals. We so often overlook the people around us and I am grateful for organizations like FEM Project, who are actively working to make a much needed change. I want to be part of this change.”
And, one of our fearless leaders, @isabel_fields: “Every cis-female (and others) gets their period; it isn’t weird or abnormal, in fact it happens every month like clockwork. There is simply no reason women should be made fun of, ostracized, or told that they are less because of the normal act of menstruation. Why is the fact that I’m bleeding out of my vagina weird? FEM bridges the gap between homeless women, by providing them menstrual care, and those with the ability to give back, by allowing them the opportunity and platform to not longer feel ashamed. FEMbassadors bring this opportunity to their communities bringing everything full circle! Truly, FEMbassadors are the heart and soul of FEM!”
Make sure to follow these lovely ladies on Instagram!
The stigma around menstruation creates a derogatory conversation that the ladies of FEM are trying to bring an end to by providing feminine hygiene product to homeless women in LA; however, you can get involved as well! If you follow one of the links below, you can find out how to set up your own “period party” where you package and deliver tampons and pads to local women’s homeless shelters in your area!
I’m proud to be a part of FEM and host my first period party sometime this summer. Let’s change the conversation, and have a celebration of menstruation!
In the midst of #PrideMonth, I am sitting here reflecting on my past with the LGBT+ community and how it has impacted me.
I remember sitting in my room on June 26th, and reaching for my phone. I logged onto Facebook (because that’s where everyone gets their news these days, right?) and I saw that LOVE WON. We did it.
As I raised my arms in celebration, I wondered why it has never been this way before. Why couldn’t people accept that love, in every form, is love? What is so hard to comprehend that sexuality is a spectrum?
While this baffled me, and still does to this day, I remember that not everyone can understand for the belief that it’s against their religion; or even coming down to being heterosexual and unable to relate to anyone that differs in sexuality. With “straight” being “normal” we are predisposed to the idea that any other sexuality is wrong.
We are taught that describing something as, “gay” is negative, and “no homo” is a phrase used to justify doing something semi-romantic with the same sex.
These are words we should stop using in derogatory ways.
The people in my life that identify as LGBT+ are the best people I know. I love them inside and out, and would never try to change them. Who am I to try to alter the way someone chooses to love?
The closer I am to the city, I more often see openly gay and lesbian couples, but in my small mountain-town it is a rarity. There is more of an elderly demographic, despite the college smack in the middle of town. However, the few people I do see that are out (my dear friends, you know who you are) are simply the happiest people I’ve ever known.
They’re absolutely beautiful, and this is what “normal” should look like.
So, we go to the pride festivals, we wear rainbow with tutu’s and knee-high socks. We celebrate love in it’s loveliest form: it’s true form.
Love does not take shape in one certain way; it comes in all shapes and sizes, and fills the hearts of everyone it touches.
Donating money to charity is something I firmly believe in, but on my college-student-raman-noodle (just kidding, I’m vegan) budget, I can’t often find much to donate. However, every dollar counts!
So this month, I’m featuring one of my favorite foundations that is worth donating to: The Happy Hippie foundation.
This foundation was started by Miley Cyrus (aka the love of my life) to help disadvantaged/homeless LGBT youth. If you’re passionate about education, LGBT rights, and women’s rights, social justice, homeless youth, mental health, the environment, and animal welfare (so EVERYTHING I’m passionate about) this organization works towards being active in those areas.