Periods are having a moment. From city councils voting to abolish the “tampon tax” to companies (well, one company) introducing a glorious workplace “period policy”—it’s clear the menstrual revolution has begun.
Of course, no revolution is complete without a rhyming battle cry.
Thankfully, on Wednesday, the first lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, blessed us with such a cry in a five-stanza ode to menstrual products. Titled “Tampons for All,” McCray—an activist, longtime poet, and the wife of Mayor Bill DeBlasio—published the work in five tweets.
McCray was inspired to write the magical poem after New York City legislators, led by Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, announced new plans to provide free tampons and pads in public schools and homeless shelters, as well as easier access to menstrual products at correctional facilities.
But enough of the backstory—without further ado:
Tampons for All
By Chirlane McCrary
Consider the tampon:
So essential, so taboo.
For decades we’ve been silent
Because they make some men go “Ew!”
But finally we are talking:
We say is “Enough is enough.”
Menstruation is part of life,
If you can’t handle it, then tough.
Our latest big win
-And this really is cool-
Is bringing free tampons
To twenty-five schools.
It started with Council Member
She saw we needed more supply
To match all the demand.
This is one small step for NYC
And one giant leap for womankind.
When it comes to menstruation
We all deserve peace of mind.
Ferreras-Copeland, whom I profiled last June, has spent the past year campaigning to make tampons available for free in public school restrooms. McCray references the councilwoman’s efforts in the poem, referring to the fact that 25 schools in Queens and the Bronx will be offering free tampons by the end of March.
When I asked McCray’s office for additional comment, I was simply told: The poem “speaks for itself.” Fair enough. Fair enough.