Tag Archives: #May9

#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.

Solution to the Ongoing Problem

This is my fifth post on the Galesburg High School concealed carry story and the #ConfidentCarry campaign to raise awareness of the plight of menstruating girls and women everywhere.

My comments would be incomplete without offering a solution to the ongoing problem of inappropriate and inconsiderate behavior toward menstruating humans, and the lack of confidence many who menstruate have regarding themselves and their experience.

What’s the solution?

As I see it, the answer is multifaceted.

  1. Girls / teens / women must become comfortable with their own cycles and with menstruation.  (So what if someone knows!?!? It’s normal, natural and good. It’s okay to be on your period. Truth!)
  2. We all (men and women – young and old) need to stand up against negative views of menstruation and attitudes.  These attitudes are degrading, demeaning, belittling and we shouldn’t stand for them.
  3. We need to release the fear of discovery and embrace the wonders of menstruation in ourselves and in others.
  4. If someone forces rules and regulations upon us that inhibit our ability to function in a healthy manner (physically as well as mentally/emotionally) then we need to stand together against it even if it means we protest. (Yes, I said the P word.)
  5. Alternative products must be viewed as normal, healthy options if they are to become the norm.  Girls must be taught that there are options available to them besides disposable pads and tampons.
  6. We must work (all of us) to end menstrual taboos and embrace menstruation.  If the world sees that we are no longer afraid to menstruate and refuse to be defined by the myths and silly rules that shame us into hiding the wonder and glory of menstruation, the world will change for the better.
  7. The need for period wise school administrators, teachers, nurses and student advocates is staggering.  If you are one…please, be one! If you can help educate one, please take the time to do so.

Join us on May 9 for Confident Carry.   #May9  #ConfidentCarry

Happy or Meaningful?

Do you prefer your menstrual experience to be happy?


“Happy” speaks of self – of attending to that which makes self content and which moves self in the direction desired.  Happiness focuses on self first.

“Meaningful” speaks of others – our actions toward others uplift and help move them in a direction that is empowering.  Meaningfulness focuses on others.

So, I ask again.

Do you prefer your menstrual experience to be happy?  Or, meaningful?

Can it be both?

Sure it can.

But, instead of starting with “what will make my period a happy one” begin instead with “how can my menstrual experience, wisdom, knowledge, and attitude be meaningful to others?”

As you focus on empowering others period wise, you will find true happiness and fulfillment in your own menstrual experience.

Make a meaningful difference in the life of your girl – empower her to be period wise.  Encourage her to embrace her cycle.  Let her know it’s okay (by example) to confident carry and to stand up to those who would seek to embarrass her and shame her into denying her menstruation.

#confidentcarry #May9

Confident Carry? Who Me?

What does confident carry look like?

You tell me.

When you confidently carry menstrual products, what do you carry and how?

If you’ve never confidently carried menstrual products, what do you think it would look like?  And, how would you confident carry?

Who me? Confident carry?

YES! You!

Confident Carry day on May 9 is an opportunity for all to embrace menstruation as normal and natural – NOT something to hide or be ashamed of.  It’s an opportunity to raise awareness to the plight of girls and women all over the world who are shamed into secrecy about all things period wise.

Who would benefit from seeing you confidently and openly carrying feminine hygiene products? Your daughter?  Granddaughter? Your mother? A niece? Your BFF? A student? A girl new to menstruation? A woman with years of experience?  Your partner?

Who could you / would you impact by participating in Confident Carry Day?

At the very least, Confident Carry Day (if you choose to participate) will impact YOU.)

Before you say, “This is not for me because I…” let me say this: male or female, not currently menstruating / never have / or never will again – all are role models for the girl or the boy in your life.

Yes.  Confident Carry is not just about girls and women.  It’s about men and boys, too.

#ConfidentCarry on #May9 is for all.

Confident Carry

The Galesburg teen who was suspended for concealed carry (of menstrual supplies) shed light on a problem that sadly still plagues us – a lack of confidence among those who menstruate and a lack of understanding among those who do not.

Social taboos and menstrual myths abound and affect all.

Rules are established – and followed – without real consideration to the needs of half (and perhaps over half) of the population of a school…group…gathering…attendees of functions….

Special needs? No, I’m talking about normal needs.  Needs and the rights to meet those needs in a way that does not invade privacy or bring undo attention to the individual.

For a menstruating teen to be told she must obtain a medical permission slip from her doctor in order to carry a small purse containing feminine hygiene needs smacks of sex based discrimination. It’s demeaning, degrading, indefensible, and an invasion of privacy.

Schools should be a place where all students feel confident with themselves and within themselves.  Bullying is against the rules…but administrators can tell a menstruating girl that she must have a doctor’s slip if she’s to be given permission to carry concealed feminine products? And, she’s suspended when she doesn’t?  Hmmm….

These taboos place hardships on girls and undermine their confidence instead of providing practical wisdom that gives them wings and encourages them to fly high.

Oh, how I wish all girls and women felt confident enough with their menstruation to confident carry – to carry their menstrual products in such a way that they are in plain view without embarrassment and with total disregard to the social norms.  Maybe you are willing to give this a try on May 9 as a part of Confident Carry Day.

Menstruation is not a medical disorder to be ashamed of.  It’s a normal occurrence that we should all embrace, fully, completely, confidently.

#May9  #ConfidentCarry

Concealed Carry

A day ago I posted Concealed Carry or Confident Carry? and suggested the girls at Galesburg High School confident carry until the rule banning purses was rescinded, and ended with a call for a day of confident carry for us all on May 9.

In some instances and settings, concealed carry is not possible and confident carry could generate negative and unwanted attention.  So, in light of that, let me say this:

Menstrual cups rock concealed carry as well as confident carry.

Why?  How?

Menstrual cups can be carried within even before your period starts.  That’s concealed carry as well as confident carry!

What a difference it could have made for the Galesburg High School student, suspended for concealed carry of menstrual supplies, if someone had shared with her the wonders of menstrual cups.

Lunette, SoftCup, Keeper, DivaCup, and others offer a safe, discrete concealed carry option (internal) that other menstrual products can’t.  Cups are a great option whether you are new to menstruation or have years, or even decades of experience.

For more information on menstrual cups, click on the links above / contact the companies via email or through social media, visit the Menstrual Cup Support forum, and read Why it’s time to give ’em a try.

Concealed carry shouldn’t put you in suspension at school or prevent you from doing what you love.

#ConfidentCarry  #May9