What's Law Got to Do With It? Dignity and Menstruation

Cooper, Elizabeth B.

When I think about all that is wrong in the world—the threat to democracy in the United States, the persistent systemic and individually-inflicted racism, the devastation wrought by COVID-19—I find myself asking, “Why do I care so much about menstrual laws and policies?” The answer, I have realized, is quite simple: the failure of the government and private institutions to adopt sane, respectful, smart policies concerning menstruation is an affront to dignity.

Myriad policies intruding on a menstruator’s right to dignity are described throughout this Symposium and include: failing to include menstrual products in emergency- preparedness or response packages; not supplying public school students with free access to quality products; denying free and ready access to such products to people who are incarcerated or detained through our country’s immigration policies; imposing state and use taxes on such products as though they are “non-essential” goods; and not permitting menstruators to bring their own products into the bar exam.


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Also Published In

Columbia Journal of Gender and Law

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Published Here
August 29, 2022