This girl-hero petitioned to get free pads and tampons in her school
Think back to your own middle school experience — were pads and tampons readily available? Chances are, they weren’t, thus making the fear of Aunt Flo’s arrival even scarier. That’s why we love Cordelia Longo, who brought pads and tampons to her middle school. We especially love the fact that she wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she believed in, and knew that there was no shame in making sure that she and her classmates had the supplies they needed.
Longo, who currently attends Islander Middle School in Washington, realized that the only place to get supplies was in the nurse’s office. But even then, that was a solution that many of her classmates were unaware of.
While her school had machines available, none of them worked. And that’s a problem that surely every woman can relate to. So often, the coin dispensers are not serviced or restocked, leaving us in a tough spot.
So Longo created a petition and took action.
"Why are tissues and toilet paper provided free at school, but not sanitary pads and tampons? she said in her letter to the administration. "As toilet paper and tissue are used for normal bodily functions, sanitary pads and tampons are also necessary to address normal bodily functions that happen naturally. The only difference is that only girls need pads. Girls do not choose to have periods. So girls are being penalized and made to pay for a bodily function they cannot control."
Well said, lady.
Her school soon took action. But, well, not as quickly as Longo did. In fact, Longo brought in her own basket of pads and tampons for the ladies room, to make sure her classmates had access to everything they needed. And these weren’t just your standard supplies — they included a powerful message.
“Women’s rights are human rights. Human rights are women’s rights.”
Not only are we proud — her mother, Jennifer, couldn’t be happier with how proactive her daughter was.
"Why do they charge for something that's akin to toilet paper?" her mom said in an interview with Teen Vogue. "They don't charge for toilet paper and make [boys] walk across campus for some secret room."
Longo’s actions are so important. For one, women shouldn’t be ashamed about their periods. We shouldn’t have to be secretive, or embarrassed, about the natural process our bodies go through. She also proved that anyone can take action, regardless of age. Longo is only 14, but proved such an incredible point to the administrators at her school.
We truly hope that other schools follow suit and make sure that feminine supplies are readily available (and free) for young women across the country.