Teen brothers praised for carrying tampons and pads in their backpacks to help out female classmates in cases of emergency
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA: Two teenage boys are being hailed as examples to follow after they took it upon themselves to have tampons and pads on them in their backpacks so they could help out their female classmates and friends in cases of emergency.
Tara Ahren made a post on how her sons, Elijah, 16, and Micah, 15, carry the feminine hygiene products on them following a back-to-school shopping trip where she made the teens buy their little sister's first bras with her because "breasts happen."
"Both boys carry a tampon and a pad in their backpacks in case one of their friends needs one," she added. "Just a mom out here, trying to erase gender taboo!!"
The post went viral across Facebook and garnered thousands of likes and comments, with Ahren revealing that many women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s wrote to her and shared their horror stories from their youth.
She said they recalled times when they desperately needed period supplies but it wasn't available to them, highlighting one story where one said she had bled through her clothes and had not forgotten how one of her male friends had offered her his sweatshirt to wrap around her waist.
Most stories had a recurring theme of "humiliation, shame, and helplessness," she said, adding that she wanted her boys to help out in any small way they can. She said she explained to them that "bleed-throughs happen" and that they were "traumatizing and mortifying."
By the end of the last school year, Elijah experienced first-hand what his mother was talking about when one of his friends had a bleed-through. However, she could not use tampons, prompting him to come ask her that he and his brother carry pads on them as well.
This year, Ahren said Micah had let all his close female friends know that he always kept a sweatshirt in his locker and a tampon in his backpack. Elijah went one step further and told all of his friends, both male and female.
The reactions have mostly been positive, though there have been a few negative ones as well, according to WANE. However, the teens said it doesn't bother them and that they hope they could inspire further change.
"If it became more normal, it would just be so much easier for people," Elijah said. "One, for the girls so they aren’t treated like it’s this obscene thing that’s coming out of them, especially if the males also understood how this was going."