We need more than one month to honor Women’s History Month-a time to celebrate the progress of women’s rights, but let’s start with talking about some of the women who changed or are changing the way we see ourselves. They are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives, but above all, bold, brave, and badass.
It’s hard to pick just 7, but we honor these women because they remind us that body-positivity and self-care are powerful forces in supporting other women. When we love ourselves, our bodies, and champion other women, we can pretty much do anything. And well, that makes us unstoppable.
So, who are these bold, brave, badass women that are changing our lives?
One day, back in 1935, Leona Chalmers filed a remarkable patent: a rubber cup that revolutionized the world of menstruation. Her paradigm-busting invention was inspired from her days of being an actor and not having a period product that could keep up with her grueling schedule. Back in the day when we dare not say the words “menstruation” or “vagina” (I mean, come on, it’s not ladylike 🙄 ), Chalmers evangelized for a pad and tampon-free world. Her patent challenged notions of “feminine hygiene” and helped us open the evolving doors to alternative period products to help us slay our every day.
Outside of the Supreme Court, you may not know who Griswold was or the legacy she left behind. How do you feel about the right to privacy? How about access to birth control? As the executive director of Planned Parenthood in 1961, she opened a birth-control clinic in New Haven, Connecticut, and 10 days later was arrested for dispensing contraceptives to a married couple. She didn’t stand down. Her case went to the Supreme Court and she was instrumental in overturning Connecticut's law of banning contraceptives, further, establishing the constitutional right to privacy. Thank you, Estelle, for propelling our right to control our own bodies.
Online dating has existed far longer than Tinder and OKCupid, and we can thank virtual dating pioneer, Joan Ball. Of course, a group of men at Harvard get credit for the first computerized dating service, called 'Operation Match,’ but it was Joan who first devised the way to determine compatibility using a computer. She founded Com-Pat (short for “computerized compatibility”), making the first match in 1964 - one year before ‘Operation Match.’ So, think twice before you post that unsolicited dick pic and/or shirtless selfie as your profile photo - Joan would likely be ashamed (and we would too).
An acclaimed tennis player and staunch advocate for women’s rights, Serena William holds the all-time record for the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Taking on the patriarchal policies in sports with her unabashed representation of what it means to be a strong women (remember that purple tutu she wore in the 2018 French open?) - she is the feminist that we need in sports right now. Her advice for those of us struggling with body image? "You are who you are, you can’t change it. And you’re beautiful."
Congresswomen AOC’s has been shaking up the status quo, showing the world that she is a new breed of politician. She’s breaking down barriers for women and minorities in politics, and has progressive voice on issues like the environment and tax reform. From the Bronx to Capitol Hill, she is an inspiration to all women and a reminder that powerful women can come from anywhere. She lives and breaths empowerment, : “The idea that a woman can be as powerful as a man is something our society can’t deal with. But I am as powerful as a man and it drives them crazy.” Tell me she doesn’t ignite the feeling that you can do anything.
Ahhh what can we say about our fearless leader? Pitching menstrual discs to boardrooms, entrepreneurs, and investors, she flipped the period market on its head by creating and launching, that’s right, The Flex Company. It was through hard work, perseverance, and innovation that she revolutionized the period game (yes, the tampon was created by a dude some 80+ years ago) with menstrual discs, a body-safe alternative to tampons, pads, and menstrual cups that can be worn for up to 12 hours. What’s further, she has built a badass team of Flexperts who have made it their mission to create body-positive, life-changing experiences. Yep, we don’t need antiquated period products - we deserve choice.
If you didn’t know it already, YOU are a bold, brave, badass woman. You inspire us every day by just doing you. You help us create a powerful force of women who aren’t afraid of taking on the radical concept of self-care, and who aren’t afraid of loving their bodies. For far too long women have been shamed for their monthly cycles; and, because we truly see ourselves through you, we continue to create innovative and empowering period products for women. We created Flex because you deserve a body-safe alternative period product.
As we take this month to honor all of the bold, brave, and badass women in our lives, and those that empower us everyday to be innovators, advocates, and educators (again, we seriously need more than one month), let’s take a moment to honor our bodies and our menstrual cycles as well.
Self-care is a powerful act and we deserve safe period products. Vaginas are amazing! And we are not ashamed to admit it. That is why Flex was created for you. Period.