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

How to Cite

Cooper, E. B. (2021). What’s Law Got to Do With It? Dignity and Menstruation. Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, 41(1), 39–52. https://doi.org/10.52214/cjgl.v41i1.8819


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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Copyright (c) 2021 Elizabeth B. Cooper