It’s not every day we hear news about teenage boys stepping outside of their comfort zone to help their female peers, which is why we were pleasantly surprised to learn that boys at a high school in Connecticut, in the US, have been collecting tampons to distribute to the girls.
The boys, who have been collecting free sanitary products and then holding drives where their menstruating classmates can pick them up, were inspired to do so when they learned that 86% of women were taken unawares by their period in public, and often did not have a tampon to hand.
Instead of having to pay for sanitary products, the boys at The James Hillhouse School decided that there should always be a free stock of the products.
The initiative was started by the founding members of the Kiyama Movement – a collective of African-American men created to honour Malcolm X and encourage mutual respect across genders.
Speaking to the New Haven Register, Kiyama student leader, Samithasen Hubbard says:
“This is an opportunity for us as young men to help diminish the inequality gap between males and females.
“I take pride in what we are doing.”
The inspiring tale isn’t even the first of it’s kind. Earlier in the year, Chance Ward, a university student, wrote a Facebook post about how he carried tampons with him in case one of his female friends needs one, saying:
“Y'all know literally like half this world goes through this?”
“Never feel embarrassed for asking for one. Never feel embarrassed for being human.”
Additionally, last year another student, Jose Garcia, took to social media to explain why he carried sanitary products around with him, telling The Daily Dot that his inspiration came from quotidian occurances:
“From day to day things that have happened around me, like a friend staining her pants or feeling uncomfortable to ask for a sweater to tie around their waist because their pants are stained.
“I also believe that asking for a pad or a tampon shouldn't be such a taboo thing to boys.”
Some schools in New York have even started making pads and tampons available free in girl’s bathrooms – just like other, essential products like, say, toilet roll.