Assemblymember Seeks Tampon-a-Thon Donations, Advocates for Menstruation Legislation

Donated products will go to Safe Horizon’s domestic violence shelters.

By Joy Bergmann

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal has organized the first-ever West Side Tampon-a-Thon, a collection drive for menstrual products to be donated to Safe Horizon‘s domestic violence shelters across the city. “With new people coming into these shelters all the time, they can never have enough of these products, which are costly,” says Rosenthal. “But the West Side is always so generous. We’re going to chip in and do our part.”

Anyone who would like to donate tampons, pads and/or panty liners should bring unopened packages to Rosenthal’s district office during business hours through the end of March, Women’s History Month. The office is located at 230 W. 72nd Street, Suite 2F.

Menstruation-related issues have become a recurring theme in Rosenthal’s work in Albany as well.

In 2015 she made her first foray into menstruation-related legislation, eventually eliminating all state and local sales taxes on menstrual supplies. “Anyone who’s ever had a period will tell you that access to tampons and pads is no luxury, and it shouldn’t be taxed like one,” Rosenthal says. “Once I passed that, I delved into the whole field. And there are so many inequities.”

Rosenthal has sponsored legislation to:

Why has Rosenthal become such a period rights activist?

“It’s about fairness, it’s about equal treatment…it’s about leveling the playing field…moving toward true equity,” she says. “It’s just a matter of justice.”

Rosenthal says that even in the 21st century the topic, “is stigmatized, people are afraid to talk about it, even young girls these days somehow know it’s something to hide.”

In a recent TEDMED talk, Rosenthal tells the story of her own first period, and the sense of shame she felt, hiding the news from her mother.

She says she’s inspired to bring menstruation out in the open. “We really need a shift. I think by passing legislation we will cause a shift in attitude, in protections and just normalizing something that is completely biologically normal and necessary.”

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Kat French says:

      Here is an easy way to donate: Order online and have it delivered to the office address noted. FYI, the ZIP code is 10023. If you are an Amazon Prime member, the shipping is free.

      • SMH says:

        Perfect. In the 80s I use to rant and rave at parties about feminine hygiene products being so expensive and taxed. My female friends agreed – the men laughed. Finally I think they are nit taxed anymore but they should be free for all women since it is nit an expense for men. I will donate to this and share with friends.

      • SMH says:

        Why don’t they set it up as a charity?

    2. B.B. says:

      Doesn’t the city already give away “free” ladies day supplies?

    3. Unplugged says:

      What’s missing here is that there’s now a pill for that with some birth control pills, or Norethisterone, among others. It’s possible to delay periods for up to a year, sparing women the nuisance, pain and discomfort, and also sparing the planet piles of unsanitary paper products. Let’s get with the times!

      • EricaC says:

        Surely you are not suggesting that it should become routine for women to mess with their hormones? I do think the environmental impact is an issue, and have been pleased to see some less damaging alternatives exist, but experimenting with the hormones of an entire generation seems more than a little risky.

    4. LD says:

      This makes me happy. Bravo Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal!

    5. Linda Wistar says:

      This is wonderful! The MoonCatcher Project, in Schenectady New York has been doing this for a few years. We collect menstrual supplies for local shelters and food pantries at all of our events. Learn more at https://www.mooncatcher.org/
      Our main event for collecting supplies is this week!
      https://www.mooncatcher.org/moon-bee-calendar/ellies-birthday-bash