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Period drama spoof ‘The Red Plague’ aims to tackle outdated taboos around period poverty

Period, the non-profit body dedicated to eradicating period poverty, has issued a PSA designed to raise awareness of the issue.

Created by Chiat\Day LA, the campaign follows a series of rallies across the US that took place last Saturday for Period Action Day, a celebration of the activists taking a lead in promoting menstrual equity.

To maintain this momentum, Period has united a diverse group of actors, activists, influencers and comedians to communicate the sense of outrage that period poverty remains a concern in 2021.

Activity centers on ‘The Red Plague,’ which sees costumed actors discuss the availability of ‘menstrual linens’ in hushed tones, making light of society’s continued recoil from the issue.

Dovetailing with this work will be a series of social films shot by the likes of period expert Ryan Asher and influencer Dr Jennifer Lincoln. These TikTok and Instagram posts will take the form of parody-style monologues that teach people about period poverty from the perspective of women through the 17th and 19th centuries. These will reinforce the message that the continued prevalence of period poverty is akin to living in the past.

The work is born out of research indicating that a quarter of menstruating teens are unable to afford period products, with a disproportionate impact on low-income and minority students.

The findings are contained in State of the Period 2021, which found that 16% of women have chosen to buy period products over food and clothes as a result of the pandemic, with 78% of people who have periods on public assistance embarrassed to talk openly about the subject. A majority (53%) even expressed embarrassment for simply being on their period.

The campaign follows hot on the heels of ‘Hey Girls,’ a campaign by Adam&EveDDB to harness a sense of anger to tackle injustices around period poverty.

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