Monthly Archives: March 2024

Tribute to Jess Curtis

We support a ceasefire in Palestine

Laurie says:

I took dance classes from Jess Curtis for years. He was a superlative teacher and a brilliant choreographer. He cared about his students regardless of their level of skill. I’m a good example of this. Jess made dances at the intersection of disability, gender and digital presence. I attended many of his troop’s performances. He died unexpectedly this month.

Nastia Voynovskaya at KQED has a good article on him and his work.

“Jess’ community of friends and peers is deep and wide. The positive impact of his creative work will be felt for years. Earlier that same day Jess expressed gratitude for the wonderful life and network of friends he was enjoying. We are all in shock and deep grief.”

Curtis had been a major figure in dance for decades. In 2000, he founded the company Gravity, which has brought critically acclaimed performances to 60 cities and 13 countries, and became a crucial platform for the art form in San Francisco and Berlin. In 2017, Curtis launched Gravity Access Services, a leader in accessibility for the performing arts, especially for blind and visually impaired audiences.

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Debbie has deleted her Twitter account. Follow her on Mastodon.

Follow Laurie’s Pandemic Shadows photos on Instagram.

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Activists and Governments Tackle Period Poverty

We support a ceasefire in Palestine

A large demonstration with signs including Bans off Our Bodies, Robes Gone Rogue, and We Need to Talk About the Body in the Womb

Laurie and Debbie say:

Laurie discovered For Women by Women, Period when Ali Velshi talked about the organization on his show. Their mission is

to provide access to menstrual products for those affected by period poverty through distribution, education, and advocacy for menstrual equity.

… Beyond the provision of hygiene products to those in need, our mission extends to fostering a safe space for open conversations about periods and ensuring improved education on menstruation for all age groups. 

The group is three years old, and was founded by Carrington Baker, a student at St. John’s University. They provide tampons and other period products to menstruators who need them; there is a link on their site to email them if you need these products.  The undated newsletter on their site says they have distributed over 165,000 products. Clearly, this small group of people is having an outsized impact, enough to attract attention on Velshi’s national show.

Across the Atlantic, in the Catalonia region of Spain, the regional government is doing something similar on a substantially larger scale, and focusing on reusable products.

Women can spend €2,500 on sanitary products in their lifetime but opting for reusable products will reduce that cost to about €145, authorities say.

The initiative began on Monday (March 4) in the north-eastern region and will benefit about 2.5 million people, who will be able to find the products at more than 3,300 pharmacies.

The measure also aims to reduce the more than 9,000 tonnes of waste generated each year in Catalonia by used tampons and sanitary pads.

This project in Catalonia follows on a 2022 Spanish law “stipulating that menstrual products should be distributed for free at schools, prisons, women’s healthcare facilities and other public institutions.”

Scotland also gives out free menstrual products, though the practice doesn’t make particular use of reusables.

At a time when the right-wing war on women is making significant strides in the United States and around the world, menstruation is not only a potential, but a likely, place for the anti-women forces to focus. As Black scholar and expert Dr. Michele Goodwin points out, “The idea [of making post-sex pregnancy prevention drugs illegal] is that a pregnancy is taking place immediately after sex. And if that pregnancy isn’t sustained, well, then something must have happened. She must have done something and we need to investigate.

Providing free menstrual products won’t stop the right wing war. What it will do and does do is put the real needs of real human menstruators front and center, and reminds us all that human needs can be met, and human pain can be addressed … and we can do this for each other. If you are able, please consider donating to By Women For Women. Period.

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Thanks to Mona Eltahawy at Feminist Giant for the pointer to the Catalan news.

Debbie has deleted her Twitter account. Follow her on Mastodon.

Follow Laurie’s Pandemic Shadows photos on Instagram.

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