Martha: Political Lobbying Coordinator
My name’s Martha, originally from sunny sunny Southend! I moved to Manchester a year ago to start work as a social worker and am slowly adjusting to the northern climate. You’ll find me watching trashy TV, at the theatre or cinema, nursing a gin and tonic or hunting down a good cup of coffee and some cake.
1.What’s your role with Every Month? What will you be doing?
I’m the political lobbying co-ordinator for Every Month! I’ll be working on campaigns to mobilise our people power to create some change at a local and national level. I hope to get people influencing their MPs and councillors to put period justice on their agendas so that menstrual products are finally seen as a basic need rather than a luxury!
2. How did you find out about the campaign?
I came to Rosy’s talk at the Nexus Art Café (Bloody Marvellous- both in name and content!) and learnt all about the fab work she was doing to get the project started in Manchester.
3. What interested you about getting involved?
I was completely inspired by the period positivity of the campaign and wanted to work with a group of like-minded feminists to spread the word! I think periods are still a massively taboo subject so wanted to get involved with something that was showing women and girls that periods are nothing to be ashamed of, all whilst promoting social justice at the same time, what a combo.
4. Where do you hope the campaign will be in a year’s time?
I hope the campaign will have expanded its reach across Manchester, so that fewer women are being disadvantaged and discriminated against by a basic bodily function. As part of this, I’m hoping we’ll have the vocal support of MPs across Manchester that this issue needs to be addressed!
5. Who are you inspired by?
So many wonderful women! But I’m a huge fan of Alice Walker, she writes like an absolute dream and has given voices to so many women both in her fiction and her activism. And of course, she started off as a social worker… the list goes on!
6. What books/documentaries/films etc do you recommend to everyone?
Documentaries- Blackfish, The Hunting Ground, Making a Murderer, Iris, Whores’ Glory, I’ve always got a new one I’m raving about
Books- Mrs Dalloway is my absolute favourite, anything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, I studied a lot of Elfriede Jelinek at uni and still haven’t quite lost my obsession with her
Films- I’ve spent the past year telling anyone who hasn’t seen Moonlight to watch it immediately!
7. What change would you like to see in the way menstruation is currently discussed?
I’d love to take all of those tampons and pads hidden up sleeves at work and school and get them proudly held up in the air! We need to speak openly and frankly about menstruation rather than using fluffy euphemisms.
8 What would you tell your younger self about periods?
Stop worrying about not getting your period yet- enjoy those cramp-free days because there’s more to being a woman than just starting your period!
9. What helps you most when you’re on your period?
A good old-fashioned hot water bottle and my bed, the comfiest place on earth. And a thousand episodes of whatever box set I’m obsessed with at the moment…
10. Anything you’d like to add?
I hope as many people as possible want to get involved in our campaign, we need people power! If you’d like to get involved or have any ideas for campaigns, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org