Period Products and Posters: Work of Ladies’ Collective


Ladies’ Collective posters hang on the walls of BLS. (Source: Lily Huynh (III))

Since the transition back to in-person learning, the Boston Latin School Ladies’ Collective has provided boxes of period products and created motivational posters for the school bathrooms.

The placement of menstrual products in the school bathrooms was mainly for the sake of convenience. The club wanted to eliminate the difficulty of accessing period products around the building. Before this initiative, students had to go to the nurse’s office to get pads or tampons.

Katherine Martin (III) reflects, “The period products are working to normalize periods, [and] they’re definitely helpful.” The boxes work to create a more comfortable and confidence-boosting environment.

With these boxes becoming a staple of the girls’ bathrooms around the school building, Ladies’ Collective has expanded this initiative to include a period product drive as well. This drive took place in December 2021 and was largely successful. It was a way to shine a light on an issue in the building, publicize the club’s efforts and enlist the help of the school community.

Since access to these products was previously limited to the nurse’s office, Mayara Ryland (I), co-president of the club, says, “We thought it’d be easier to just make a drive, so people from the community could also help out.”

The club currently restocks the boxes every four weeks at club meetings.

In addition to the boxes of products, Ladies’ Collective is known for its motivational posters, also located in the girls’ bathrooms. This project started before the pandemic, but with students back in the building for the first time in almost two years following remote learning, it was a good time to bring back the posters and share some positivity to a common space of the building.

Laurel Nyhan (II), a member of Ladies’ Collective, explains that the goal of these posters is to “spread positive messages and that it’s okay to speak up, especially against sexual assault.”

The posters feature fun and uplifting messages from influential female figures such as former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which highlight body positivity, the importance of consent and the unification of all women in the fight for women’s rights.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” reads a poster, citing a quote from former First Lady Roosevelt that promotes confidence in one’s identity and consent in both physical and emotional relationships.

Ryland also mentions, “A
lot of what we do is trying to show other women and girls that we can make a difference in our community.” With both projects being the first of their kind, the club hopes to inspire others around the building to start
an initiative that can lead to a greater effect.

Ladies’ Collective aims to provide a safe space for all who identify as women, even if members do not use “she/her” pronouns. They look at feminism through the lens of intersectionality to include voices of all races, sexualities and other identities. The club focuses on raising awareness for gender-based and sexual violence, advocating for women’s rights and unifying all girls and women in the school community.

Though the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases has derailed some plans within the school community, the club will continue to collect period products to resupply bathrooms. They also plan to work with the school to improve BLS health class curricula, specifically to include LGBTQ+ education.