We don't typically expect teen boys to be particularly understanding (or even aware) of girls' menstrual cycles. That's why it comes as such a surprise that a group of male students at one Connecticut high school have taken it upon themselves to start a drive for tampons and pads that will be available to their female peers as needed, for free!
Who are these remarkably evolved young men (and what exactly did their mothers do right)? Apparently the students from James Hillhouse High School in New Haven are in an African-American student group that's part of the Kiyama Movement (which focuses on fostering self-improvement, responsibility, and accountability), and they got the idea to start the drive after finding out that 86 percent of women "had been caught off guard by their cycle and left without period protection." (I'm surprised the number wasn't higher, actually!)
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I'm just so stunned -- and moved -- that a group of teenage boys would react to this statistic not only with compassion, but also with activism. It shows a level of maturity and sensitivity we don't typically associate with teen guys (which is perhaps unfair, but still). While it should be the responsibility of administrators to make sure tampons are available to female students, these boys are stepping up to the plate in a completely selfless manner. And they're doing it for the greater good: As student leader Samithasen Hubbard told the New Haven Register, "This is an opportunity for us as young men to help diminish the inequality gap between males and females."
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Wow. As the mother of two boys (and a girl), I just want to know exactly what these kids' mothers did to raise such thoughtful, fair-minded sons! I can only assume that they educated their boys about women's bodies -- or at least didn't hide the reality of how they work -- and encouraged them to treat those women with respect, always.
Just imagine how different our world would be if all males treated females with the same degree of consideration! As Hubbard said, there is indeed an "inequality gap" between males and females, but too many young men are oblivious because it doesn't directly impact them. As parents, it's our responsibility to make sure kids of both genders are aware of how unfair policies hurt women -- because that's the only way we'll ever make any progress as a society!
Image via iStock.com/matka_Wariatka