Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf


Half of the people in the world have periods. Menstruation was once a taboo topic associated with superstition and prone to stigma, but in the 21st century it is still a taboo topic associated with superstition and prone to stigma.

Wait, what? Unfortunately, it’s true.

Periods Gone Public touches on this subject, as well as the lack of access to menstrual products in some parts of the world (something that disrupts education for girls, as they have to stay home each time they have a period due to the lack of sanitary items and/or no private area in which to tend to their needs). Problematic issues closer to home include the lack of menstrual products for the homeless, as well as an inability to acquire these necessities. Pads are rationed for women in some prisons, and the inadequate supply is often of inferior quality, leading to soiled clothing the inmates have no choice but to wear—leading one to the obvious conclusion that the subsequent humiliation is used as another form of control over the already powerless.

These are but a few of the issues discussed in this book. Most of the topics included are things that I was completely unaware of, and made me realize that, for some, being on their period caused a great deal more disruption in their lives than I ever thought possible.

Final Thoughts

I enjoy books that make me think, and this one certainly gave me a lot to think about. I was completely unaware that “period activism” was even a thing, but after reading this book? I can see why it’s needed.

 I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Arcade Publishing via Edelweiss.

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Author: Jennifer Weiss-Wolf
Title: Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity
Genre: Nonfiction, Women’s Studies
Publication Date: October 10th, 2017 by Arcade Publishing
Rating: 4 stars

About the Book

The first book to explore menstruation in the current cultural and political landscape and to investigate the new wave of period activism taking the world by storm.

After centuries of being shrouded in taboo and superstition, periods have gone mainstream. Seemingly overnight, a new, high-profile movement has emerged—one dedicated to bold activism, creative product innovation, and smart policy advocacy—to address the centrality of menstruation in relation to core issues of gender equality and equity.

In Periods Gone Public, Jennifer Weiss-Wolf—the woman Bustle dubbed one of the nation’s “badass menstrual activists”—explores why periods have become a prominent political cause. From eliminating the tampon tax, to enacting new laws ensuring access to affordable, safe products, menstruation is no longer something to whisper about. Weiss-Wolf shares her firsthand account in the fight for “period equity” and introduces readers to the leaders, pioneers, and everyday people who are making change happen. From societal attitudes of periods throughout history—in the United States and around the world—to grassroots activism and product innovation, Weiss-Wolf challenges readers to face stigma head-on and elevate an agenda that recognizes both the power—and the absolute normalcy—of menstruation.

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