Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Meet Sue Magina: the woman who calls politicians to tell them about her periods

sue magina periods for pence politicians.jpg

Funnily enough, the men who are most vocal about what women should and shouldn’t do with their bodies nearly always seem to know the least about how they work (and be the most uncomfortable about the fact they do anything other than look nice).

So one woman decided that if the men in charge were so worried about her body – specifically, whether or not she chose to reproduce – that she’d call their offices and let them know exactly what it was up to.


Read more: Teens in Nepal document the stigma surrounding periods


As cosmopolitan.com reports, Laura Shanley’s decision to start calling the office of Republican Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana and Donald Trump’s running mate, was sparked by his signing of a controversial bill in March limiting women’s access to abortions – including banning abortions based on disability and forcing women to listen to the heartbeat at least 18 hours before the procedure.

The law also opened up doctors to the possibility of being sued for wrongful death and criminalised tissue collection or transferral, which would have had a knock-on effect on life-saving research. Additionally, it would have made cremation or burial of foetal tissue mandatory, with women liable for the cost, whether from an abortion or a miscarriage.

Outraged, Shanley set up a Facebook page posting transcripts of her period calls, encouraging others to join her in letting Pence know via phone or Twitter the vagaries of their menstrual cycles “since he's so concerned”. 

Women started approaching the governor in person at his meet-and-greets too, with one writing to Shanley to say she’d asked him how best to let him know when her period started:

“[I] announced to he and the crowd that I would be starting my period next week and asked how he would like me to let him know. He ignored me so I told him that I'd just call next week because I knew how concerned he was about my cycle.”

The page, called Periods for Pence, quickly garnered tens of thousands of likes and shares, and after the law was blocked by a preliminary injunction in June and Pence was later named Trump’s vice-president-in-waiting, Shanley focused the group on highlighting women’s issues and decided to reveal her identity via her Facebook page – having previously gone by the moniker Sue Magina.

Speaking to Cosmopolitan, she said they were now calling others and had renamed the page Periods for Politicians: “We wait to see who's in session, what law is pressing at the time. Next week, we're going to start calling Gov. Greg Abbott from Texas regarding their anti-choice law that's being passed. When I saw ‘we’ I mean the page as a collective.”

And of course, calls to Donald ‘No one has more respect for women than me’ Trump are a given:

On her decision to go public, she said it was important for women to get their voices heard: “The more I’ve heard Donald Trump and Mike Pence speak and reiterate their beliefs that women are second-class citizens, it’s just more important to me to speak out and to give women some encouragement to use their voices.”

Read Laura Shanley's interview at cosmopolitan.com and find her Facebook page, Periods for Politicians, here.

Main image: facebook.com/REALP4P

Related

virago publishing.jpg

Virago publishers share the books that made them feminist

vagina.jpg

How smart is your vagina?

amber rose.jpg

Amber Rose on why Trump’s groping comments are unacceptable

Comments

More

Are you ready for the ultimate gin and gingerbread masterclass?

Lessons take place in a luxury spa, if that helps to seal the deal…

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Feb 2017

This is officially the best place to live in the UK

And, surprise surprise, it isn’t London…

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Feb 2017

This Is Us star asks viewers to reach out to lost loved ones

“Tomorrow is not promised”

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Feb 2017

Inside the bar where men aren't allowed to approach women

"If a gentleman is lucky enough to be approached by a lady, he speaks to her as if he would speak to his mother”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Feb 2017

Everything you need to know about growing your own vegetables

(Even if you don't have loads of space)

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Calling all vino fans: are you ready for red wine ice cream?

Ice cream and red wine, together at last…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

Letters penned 100 years apart show unchanging attitude to abortion

"I'm in the family way again, and I'm nearly crazy..."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Woman opens up about having her grandmother as her bridesmaid

“She’s my best friend”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

Artist captures how mental illness feels with sketches of houses

“It belongs to our lives and we must not stigmatise it”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Pair cheese and wine like a pro with this incredible interactive map

Winchester Aged Gouda with a glass of Amarone della Valpolicella, anyone?

by Moya Crockett
21 Feb 2017