Tag Archives: #ConfidentCarry

#ConfidentCarry – An Appraisal

Was #ConfidentCarry worth it?

Short answer: yes.

Long answer:  yes, it was.

Would I do it again?

You betcha.

In fact, I’m going to do it every time I leave the house.


Because I believe it’s important that girls, teens and women see #confidentcarry of menstrual products on a regular basis.

Why hide?

Be period wise and appraise your method of carry and the reason why.

#ConfidentCarry – How it Changed Me

For one such as I who was taught from youth to conceal carry menstrual / feminine hygiene products, the idea of #confidentcarry stirred fears I thought long extinguished and concerns that were not period wise.

These were nothing more than nonsensical taboos learned years ago and still mirrored in society today. But, for a brief moment, they felt real…so real.

For that moment, that brief moment when sweat broke out on my brow, I was that teen who was so afraid of discovery, so afraid of leaking, so afraid of embarrassment, so afraid that someone would know…would see….

It was not my first time to  #confidentcarry.  But, it was the first time that #confidentcarry truly changed me.


Taboos, even long forgotten ones, have power to enslave us.

#ConfidentCarry broke the final chains of the taboos of my yesterdays…taboos placed on me by well-meaning but misguided people and culture.

#ConfidentCarry freed me to be fully and simply me – whenever, however, with whatever I choose.

#Conficentcarry is period wise.

#ConfidentCarry – The Reactions of Others

I suppose the biggest concern about #confidentcarry and the reason most girls and women opt for concealed carry of menstrual supplies and other feminine hygiene needs is what others will say or think.

Pressure to conform to the norm is common in all areas of life.  People want what they are comfortable with and are quick to speak up when something attempts to move them beyond their comfort zone.

Nonconformity kicks the norm to the curb, ends taboos and creates a new way of doing things, offers a new attitude, and provides new insight.

Why is it such a “no-no” for menstrual / feminine hygiene products to be visible?  And, why is it a bad thing if others know we are menstruating? Why hide it? We act like menstruation is shameful. Did you know your attitude and behavior tells others who you are?  More importantly it tells them how they should treat you as well as how they should think and feel about things that concern you.

Ending menstrual taboos begins with us – with you and with me.

Reaction to #ConfidentCarry was a concern as I stepped out of my front door and into a world that expects (dare I say demands?) concealed carry and uses embarrassment as a means to control those who don’t conform.

As you read the reactions below, keep in mind that I was out in public with a large overnight pad stuck to the back of my shirt with #confidentcarry written on it.  5 or 6 large tampons were sticking out of my back pocket and I carried a clear plastic bag with brightly colored pads, wipes, a purple reusable menstrual cup and a disposable cup. All were highly visible and often carried with “in your face” attitude – from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Friday, May 9.)

Reactions to #ConfidentCarry:

  • From Daughter at various times before I left the house: You’re going to wear that on your shirt?  All day?  And, I’m going to be with you while you do? Does it have to be so big? I’m glad it’s you and not me. No way would I do something like that. This is crazy. Um…those tampons are going to show, you know.  Do you think you got a big enough plastic bag, I mean, how are you going to carry it…in your hand?
  • From Husband before he left for work: I know this is #ConfidentCarry Day. Does that mean during our date this evening you will, um…#confidentcarry? You will? Oh, boy…that’s going to be embarrassing.
  • Next door neighbor: quizzical look, frown, then smile and wave as I greet him.
  • Daughter as we drive to Home Depot: You’re really going to walk into Home Depot with that pad on your back? Oh, this I’ve gotta see.
  • Daughter upon exiting the car in the Home Depot parking lot: Go ahead Period Wise, I’ve got the camera. Hey, you just had to take the path that lead through the most people, didn’t you.
  • Customer Service Rep at the return counter when I placed my clear bag containing supplies on the counter: quick glance and nothing more.
  • Two salesmen approached us with an offer to redo our kitchen. They conversed for about 60 seconds and then I dropped my plastic bag and turned to pick it up. Daughter said their reaction was priceless when they saw what was in my bag, the pad on my back and the tampons in my pocket: Immediate shock – eyes big, mouth open, stuttering, looked at each other and back at me, then at her, then at my products again.  When I turned to face them again, it was evident they were flustered and embarrassed – faces red and they weren’t sure what to say.  They excused themselves and we parted ways.
  • Two women talking in Home Depot’s green house – as I passed them I slowed, their conversation stopped abruptly and there was a silent pause for a count of 10 and then conversation resumed as though nothing had interrupted them.
  • A group of 3 young female teens, displaying ethnic pride through their choice of clothing, paused their conversation and watched me, then whispered quietly amongst themselves.
  • A white haired man intentionally walked past me, paused and turned to look at me, walked past me again, paused and looked back at me once more.  For 5 minutes he wandered around with eyes turned my way, watching. When my eyes caught his, he smiled.
  • In Subway a woman took a picture of me from the rear.
  • While waiting in line at Subway a group of 4 young men seated at a table in view of me talked, pointed and snickered.
  • The man behind me in line at Subway took three steps backward when he saw what was on my back.
  • Two women followed me into the Subway parking lot and watched me get into the car.
  • At McDonald’s the only reaction I received was from a middle aged woman who seemed mesmerized by the pad on my back.
  • Several Walmart customers took notice – all women. No one commented. I received stares and smiles – not so much from the product I carried but from the pad on my back.
  • The cashier at Walmart saw my #confidentcarry clear bag when I placed it on the counter to count out $ to pay for my purchase. She looked at it long and hard, then at me, smiled and said, “Have a nice day!”
  • When I dropped by Mom’s house she asked, “What’s that stuck to the back of your shirt?” When I explained she said, “Well, it’s about time!” And, then, she said, “Are those tampons sticking out of your pocket? Let me see one. Wow, these are huge. I didn’t know they came this big!”
  • At Office Depot a man walked down the same aisle I was on, saw the pad on my back and wheeled around and exited quickly.
  • At Office Depot a tampon fell from my pocket and a worker said, “You dropped something.” I waited to see if she would pick it up for me and when she didn’t I thanked her, picked it up in such a way that I was sure she knew about #confidentcarry and then turned to look at her – eyes wide open…mouth, too.
  • At Kroger two people noted my #confidentcarry bag but said nothing and moved on.
  • At Kroger a girl noticed the sign on my back and asked the woman she was with what I had on my back and what it said.
  • At Zaxby’s four young women at a table began a #confidentcarry discussion upon seeing my #confidentcarry.

What was your reaction to #ConfidentCarry? What would have been your reaction if you’d seen me?

#ConfidentCarry – What Surprised Me

There were several surprises Friday, May 9 as I engaged in #confidentcarry. And, there were some in the days leading up to it.

I was surprised by those who did participate and by some who did not.

I was surprised that more women didn’t respond.

It surprised me that the reporter who broke the concealed carry story had no apparent interest in  sharing #confidentcarry with the mom or 17 year old daughter.

My daughter’s reaction and comments surprised me. As did my husband’s.  And, my mother’s…oh, they were precious!

The cold sweat that I broke out on my brow just before I stepped out my front door caught me by surprise.

The difficulty I had in choosing which products to #confidentcarry surprised me.  I thought I would just grab some pads / tampons / cup and head out.  But, no…I found that I wanted to go colorful.

My excitement was a surprise.

The confidence I felt as I went through with #confidentcarry was a total surprise – a wonderful surprise.  It made me more confident…more self-assure…more settled…more centered.

I was surprised that most people didn’t notice – not the huge overnight pad stuck to my back, the tampons in my pocket, the clear bag full of brightly colored products….

The fact that I wanted to continue to #confidentcarry (long after the pad slipped from my back early evening and refused to stick anymore) was a surprise.

The freedom I felt…the liberation and the openness surprised me.

The reactions of 3 men came as a complete surprise.

While I’m always comfortable in the feminine hygiene aisle, I was surprised that I felt so at home there.

It surprised me when I forgot that I was engaged in #confidentcarry and that there was a pad on my back. It felt natural – normal.

I was surprised that most people had a ‘so what?’ attitude toward public display of menstrual products…about #confidentcarry.

It came as a surprise when I actually felt different when #ConfidentCarry Day ended. I was surprised #ConfidentCarry changed me.

#ConfidentCarry – the biggest surprise is that it gave me a taste of what can be…should be.  And, that taste was delicious and demands more.

What surprised you about #confidentcarry?

#ConfidentCarry – What I Learned

As one who spends a good bit of her day talking menstruation (menstrual products, body awareness, cycle consciousness, etc) I was taken aback by the repression I felt before I ever stepped foot out of my house #ConfidentCarry morning.

Pressure to conform to behavior that brought NO attention to menstruation was applied through subtle questions and not so subtle comments made by family members.

I knew to expect some resistance from without.  But, from my own family? And…from deep within myself?  That little voice of reason within kept whispering ages-old-wisdom to me (aka taboos).

Menstrual shame is so deeply ingrained within us, within society. Societal norms contradicted everything I was about to do.

As I stepped from my front porch and walked toward the car, I felt as though a spotlight was on me and my very being was magnified larger than life.  It had been a long, long time since I’d felt that self-conscious.  I felt like everyone was looking at me…at the pad on my back.

In fact, no one was.

As my daughter and I headed to our scheduled stops, I imagined several possible scenarios – reactions, interactions…and what I hoped to accomplish in each.

#ConfidentCarry was a terrific learning tool.  Here are some things I learned. (I say “some” because I am continually discovering things I learned as I play the event over in my mind.)

  • Menstrual shame is deeply ingrained in society.
  • Public display of personal feminine hygiene products is beyond the comfort zone of most.
  • People are curious and amazingly open.
  • Older women are more accepting of #confidentcarry than younger.
  • Men displayed the most discomfort and the most curiosity.
  • Young men were more apt to vocalize their uneasiness with laughter and crude comments.
  • Girls and teens are watching…ever watching.  They notice everything.
  • Self-consciousness fades as self-confidence builds.
  • #Confidentcarry triggered something (memory, comment, event) deep within every woman who noticed the overnight pad stuck to my back.
  • The longer I was in #confidentcarry mode, the more confident I became – I didn’t feel a need to hide ANYTHING. It was liberating.
  • After the initial surprise of seeing the pad on my back for what it was, life went on…conversations continued…it was nothing to get excited about.
  • Period products are packaged for #confidentcarry – have you noticed?
  • I found myself wanting to show my product off, inquire of others what they were carrying, and compare (like kids with collectable cards).
  • There is great curiosity about menstruation and menstrual products. And, a great need for openness.
  • We fear what we don’t understand and create taboos. Breaking taboos can be as simple as #confidentcarry.
  • Menstruation education is woefully lacking – for girls and for boys.  Concealed carry only adds to the mystery, perpetuates myths and strengthens taboos.
  • People become comfortable with what they are repeatedly exposed to. Over a brief time, #confidentcarry became the norm.
  • Hey – it’s a tampon…pad…cup. What’s the big deal anyway?

Truth, as I see it.  And, period wise, too.

What did you learn from #confidentcarry?

#ConfidentCarry Reflection

Three days out, I turn to reflect on #confidentcarry. Throughout the coming week, posts here will cover the following topics.

  1. what I learned
  2. what surprised me
  3. the reactions of others
  4. how it changed me
  5. an appraisal of #confidentcarry
  6. the narratives of others

#ConfidentCarry is still changing me and those nearest me even thought it happened 3 days ago.

Public display of #confidentcarry began a journey not only for me, but also for those nearest me because it changed the way they will forever see and feel about menstrual / feminine hygiene products.

Here’s an example:  Last night while Hubby and I were at Lowe’s he noticed what he thought was #confidentcarry.

“Look,” he said, “her tampons are showing – she’s doing the #confidentcarry thing!”

I followed his gaze and saw a young women in jeans.  It appeared that she had something pink sticking out of one of her hip pockets.  We walked closer for a better view and realized the pink was not in her pocket, but rather an applique above her pocket.

Hubby’s #confidentcarry experience during our Friday night date forever changed him and opened his eyes to the possibilities and freedom that #confidentcarry offers.

Can you imagine a world where #confidentcarry is the accepted norm?  #Confidentcarry has the power to change the world one person, one attitude at a time.

Can you see that #confidentcarry of that which society says is forbidden to acknowledge has the power to end shame and bring about an attitude of #confidentcarry in all aspects of life?

Confidence – isn’t that what we want for our girls?  for ourselves?

#ConfidentCarry – My Experience: An Overview

#ConfidentCarry Day began rainy and gray with a heavy flow that surprised me by its early arrival. 

Rain and high humidity are not friendly where menstrual pads are concerned, as anyone who has worn them can attest.

The pad I planned to wear wasn’t to be worn beneath my clothing, against my body. No, it was going to be worn on the back of my shirt and across it would be written #ConfidentCarry. (Initially, I intended to wear two – one on the front and one on the back of my shirt – but the pad on the front refused to remain in place.)

Within a zip-top clear plastic bag I placed several brightly colored disposable pads (various brands/sizes), a cloth pad, a menstrual cup and a feminine hygiene wipe. This I carried in my hand, or under my arm like a clutch.

In the right back pocket of my black slacks I tucked 5 large tampons of various brands and colors. The pocket was shallow, and the tampons protruded above it.

My daughter agreed to accompany me to take pictures and to observe.

As I stepped out of the house and began my walk toward the car, I immediately felt like the whole world was watching. And, I wondered what anyone who saw thought of the pad on my back and the tampons in my pocket.

It was amazing how self conscious, exposed and vulnerable I felt. And, how my thoughts turned to what others would think.

A quick mention of this to my daughter brought this comment from her: “I doubt anyone noticed.  Everyone’s busy with their own things.  Nobody pays that close attention…really.”

Our first stop was Home Depot.  I needed to return a purchase.  That meant intentional interaction. It also mean I had to get out of the car with that large, overnight pad stuck to my back and walk through the parking lot and into the store.

This was about being intentional, so I chose the path that took me by the maximum number possible.  The idea was to be seen…for #ConfidentCarry to be noticed and the idea picked up, processed and passed on I had to be seen.

The customer service rep who assisted me was a young woman, early 20’s.  I handed her the item I was returning and placed my clear bag on the counter in front of her. It received a quick glace and nothing more.

Everywhere I went (Home Depot, Subway, McDonald’s, Walmart, Kroger, Zaxby’s, Office Depot…) I received similar reactions from women – a glance and then it was business as usual. Occasionally, I would pass women who would pause in conversation – evidence that the pad on my back had been seen for what it was – but only briefly and then they would pick up where they were and go on.  And, there was the occasional picture taker who pretended to be texting while holding the phone in camera mode. 😉

The only real interesting reactions were from males.  And, that surprised me.  When I say males, I’m not referring to little boys or teenagers.  I’m talking about grown men…men in their 20’s and older.

And, there was a group of young teen girls who were chattering away until I walked up with my plastic bag containing products, a pad on my back and tampons protruding from my pocket.  As I passed them, I watched their expressions. First, there was surprise.  Then, there was disbelief. Then, I noted discomfort as they glanced around to see who else might see. Then there was questioning: Should I feel embarrassed?  And, then…oh, then there were smiles!

There’s no way I can cover my #ConfidentCarry experience in one post.  There’s just too much to share.

Consider this post an overview.  In the next few days additional posts will follow that will share more of what I learned through #confidentcarry.

Please, if you participated in #confidentcarry, share your account.  Email me at Suzan @ periodwise.com, tweet @periodwise, comment to me on Facebook – provide your story, links to your pictures, etc.

If you chose not to participate I’d like to hear from you, too.  Share your thoughts on why #confidentcarry wasn’t for you this year and if you’d be open to it next year.

#ConfidentCarry Day

As I write this, my thoughts are more on the day ahead than on what I’m going to say here.

The arrival of flow (far earlier than was expected) necessitated an adjustment in plans.

The “flow” I’m referring to isn’t menstrual – it’s RAIN.

Super absorbent pads are good at one thing – absorbing.

This is a heavy flow day and I’ll need a lot of product to get me through if I #ConfidentCarry in the manner in which I’ve planned.

What are my #ConfidentCarry plans?

The picture above is of a pad I’ve created to wear on the back of my shirt.  I’ve another to wear on the front. From the small hip pocket of my black pants, tampons will protrude. And, in a zip-top bag my menstrual cup, wipes, and a few large, brightly colored pads will accompany me…in my hand, on a table, desk…beside me wherever I am.

Where will I be today?

This morning, I will be at my desk. Work will occupy me until late morning.  Beyond work? Ah, I’ve several things planned.  A trip to Home Depot to return a purchase, lunch out with my daughter, Walmart, Kroger, a visit with my mom, dinner out with Hubby….

These are my plans for how and where I will #confidentcarry.

What are yours?

Why You Should #ConfidentCarry

Look around you – who watches you?  Who sees you day after day after day?

Who are you influencing?


Are there girls in your life…girls who see you, watch you…learn from you…pattern their habits, thoughts and attitudes after you…?

What are you teaching them as they watch you?

Oh…they are watching you.  Of that you can be certain.

Society tells girls every day that menstruation is shameful and that if anyone knows they are menstruating…they should be ashamed.

What message are you giving the girls in your life? within your sphere of influence?

Do they see you conceal carry your menstrual products?  Do you provide them with instructions on how to conceal their own?

Have those within your circle of influence ever seen you #confidentcarry menstrual products – openly, within sight…visible?

If not…why not?

What does your choice to conceal carry tell them?

What would #confidentcarry say to them?

Step up. Step out. #ConfidentCarry tomorrow, #May9.  Do it for the girls.

What’s Your Excuse?

I’ll admit…the word “activist” scares me.

Why?  Probably because of all the other words associated with it.

Words like…

  • opponent
  • revolutionary
  • abolitionist
  • fanatic
  • extremist
  • radical
  • zealot
  • militant
  • protestor

…bother me – a lot.

But, there’s another side of activism that’s far more positive than is typically portrayed.

Take a look at the terms that follow and see if any appeal to you.

  1. advocate
  2. devotee
  3. visionary
  4. mover and shaker
  5. person of influence
  6. proponent

If you’ve hesitated to embrace #ConfidentCarry day on #May9 because of concern over what people may think of your activist efforts, please take a moment and look again at the 6 terms above.

Can you envision yourself as any of them? #ConfidentCarry will provide you with the platform to be one.