Girls’ (And Supportive Boys’) Night Out

A couple of days ago, I got an email from Periods for Politicians (formerly Periods for Pence), announcing a pre-election rally focused on women’s issues in Indiana. The aim is to highlight all of the measures that caused harm to Hoosier women during the last four years–years that, not at all coincidentally, coincided with Mike Pence’s term as Governor.

“Governor Pence’s policies have done untold damage to Indiana, and this trend cannot continue if Indiana is to remain a healthy place for families and women,” said Sue Magina, Periods for Politicians (P4P) founder. “Pence was not alone in his decision making. Many state politicians supported his policies and their disastrous effects on all women living in Indiana, regardless of political affiliation. We need to revisit these policies and determine together how we can make progress moving forward.” Sue Magina is an anonymous woman resident of Indiana who goes by that fake name for reasons of personal safety.

The rally will be held at 5:30 p.m. on November 2d at the Indiana Statehouse.

If you attend–and if at all possible, I hope you will–here are some of the things you will hear about:

  • · HEA 1337, called the “most restrictive anti-abortion law in the country.”
  • · Continued attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides essential health care to thousands of low-income Indiana women.
  • · RFRA, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“protecting” discrimination ostensibly based upon religion.)
  • · The undermining and effective removal of Glena Ritz as School Superintendent, and the diversion of monies meant for public schools to the Governor’s pet voucher program favoring parochial, religious education.

National and local speakers will discuss these and other issues.

Speakers include: Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, named one of the nation’s “badass menstrual activists” by Bustle, and the “architect of the U.S. policy campaign to squash the tampon tax” by Newsweek; Dana Marlowe, founder of the national organization, Support the Girls; Cheryl Laux, local activist from Indiana Moral Mondays; a representative from Planned Parenthood; local singer/songwriter Jen Edds, and more.

The night will close with the first ever public appearance by Sue Magina, who created the brilliant “Periods for Pence” grassroots campaign.

In case you missed hearing about it (despite the fact that the campaign has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, CNN, Yahoo, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post, among others), Periods for Pence was a response to Indiana’s restrictive and ridiculous abortion law, which the Governor said he “signed with a prayer.”

Among other things, that law required women to “cremate or inter” aborted or miscarried fetuses. Since fertilized eggs can be expelled during every menstrual period without the woman even knowing, the campaign urged women to call or tweet the Governor’s office to inform His Piety of the monthly “visit.”

My favorite tweet: @periodsforpence. Started my cycle today. When will you be by to check my used pads for HB1337 compliance so I know to be home?

The campaign brought national attention to–and censure of– our retrograde Governor and legislature. It became Periods for Politicians when he joined Trump’s ticket.

Women planning to attend the November 2d rally are encouraged to bring sealed menstrual hygiene products and bras for distribution to homeless women and girls throughout Indiana.

Men attendees are encouraged to bring socially responsible attitudes.


  1. Shelia, I cannot believe this is 2016. Hoosier women have not only been sent back to the cave but are relegated to the back of the cave. Just who do these political rulers think they are? Have we regressed to such a point that we are doling out the blessings of democracy based on gender? What’s next, the removal of the right to vote for women who take charge of their own reproductive health? What is this? Why are there not 100,000 protesters on the state house lawn? GRRRR!

  2. A good sign when the first two comments on this blog are from men; real men. Thanks Anthony and Gerald for your understanding and your support. I KNOW from reading so many comments that we will be hearing from more men on this issue today. Pro and con!

    Another women’s issue which needs to be addressed, here and on the national level, are rape laws. Especially those which involve the abortion or the “morning after pill” restrictive laws. Restrictive for the women involved; free reign for the men who work against our basic rights to make OUR decisions for us, control our freedom and deny us protection on many levels in many areas.

  3. Among the many disappointments of this political season has been the total lack of news coverage of Pence’s record. With over half of the voting population being women, one would think that in-depth reporting on his record with our issues would have seemed to be newsworthy to someone. It becomes clearer every day just how much the continuation of our republic depends on a free and vibrant press. As that press fades into obscurity so does our hopes for a better future.

  4. I’m afraid that, in this bizarre election cycle, even Mike Pence isn’t worthy of the coverage he should get. All Hillary supporters should be proud of the stand she took on the abortion issue in the debate. Those who aren’t Hillary supporters should be proud of it, too. How long has it been sice we’ve heard a politician speak that thoughtfully about the issue?

  5. I’ve been following Periods for (Pence) Politicians since it started on facebook. In the early stages the posts of phone calls made to Pence’s office were hilarious. I would read post after post while laughing hysterically. The women’s descriptions of what they said on the phone calls were great! It was unfortunate when the Gov’s office quit answering calls for awhile. How rude.

    For those of you who may not know – this facebook page has gained national and international followers. It has shed a light on the dark political dealings in Indiana and the theocratic judgemental attitude to deny women the right to make decisions for their own body.

    If you are on facebook you may want to search for and like her page.

  6. Theresa,

    “With over half of the voting population being women, one would think that in-depth reporting on his record with our issues would have seemed to be newsworthy to someone.”

    It’s about fear and control. The real threat to crypto-fascist patriarchy (CFP) is an effective woman’s movement like P4P. The only chance for its success would be SUBSTANTIAL SUPPORT from men which in the past has not materialized. After observing like JoAnn, Anthony’s and Gerald’s rapid response, maybe things are changing for the better. It better be quick.

  7. Forgive my prejudice, but I believe there is something special about Indiana women. I ran into an old acquaintance last month and learned that she grew up in southern Indiana. We’ve had lunch three times since then and I have to admit that I’ve never known anyone who was so politically perceptive. She explained to me her secret.

  8. Sheila followers – please share this blog with your friends across the nation and ask them to subscribe. The power of information is mighty.

  9. It’s not about keeping women down; it’s about keeping white, heterosexual, Christian, second generation (minimum) American born men up.

    Sort of like Viagra.

  10. In sense Pence is like Judas, Pence has always portrayed himself as “Mr. Christian” of the Indiana Theocracy. Yet he joined the Trumpet. The Trumpet has had to veer off in all directions to validate to the Bible Thumpers his commitment to Christian Values in words but not deeds. Pence sold out to the Trumpet. Already there are those who see Pence as a viable candidate in 2020 for the Republicans.

    It will be interesting to see if any Democrats running for political office will stand with in public the demonstrators (Periods for Politicians). Will Evan Bayh or John Gregg be in attendance???

  11. Marv,

    Thank you for complimenting Indiana women for political knowledge. However, I have found that the ratio is more like 1 in 20 regarding w who care to know about politics in this state, and it could most likely be fewer than this. We also have far too many evangelical theocrats here.

  12. Maybe, one day, Indiana residents will learn that it’s best to vote in their best interests. Of all people, this should be the most obvious for women who are directly affected by the ignorant decisions of our “political leaders” who need to be told to get off their ideology before it destroys us all. When smart women get it, that brings along the men who seem to be the last to understand the principle that when in the dark, you turn on the lights.

  13. I’ve been following that P4P group since the first day. They have had to change the name as Facebook was going to take them down!! Freedom of speech? No way, not with smart women who vote! I’ll be there in Spirit and I am proudly one of their international followers.

  14. America’s only chance to avoid FUTURCIDE, is to NOW [not N.O.W.] follow the lead of INDIANA WOMEN and P4P, especially so if Donald Trump is elected President which, based on my calculations and a few others, is a very good likelihood.

    Even though I will not be in attendance, I look forward to viewing and listening to the speeches from the rally on 2 November, especially the one by Sue Magina. That’s assuming there will be a video recording of the event for national distribution.

    The following is from “The Power Game” by Hedrick Smith (New York: Random House, 1988) pp-9-10:

    The Image of Power: The President as John Wayne

    …..But that awesome image of invincibility is misleading. It exaggerates the actual power of the presidency, which is considerably less than suggested by the public attention which gets focused on the single figure at the apex of our political system. Indeed, the absence of hierarchical power in politics baffles and aggravates CORPORATE EXECUTIVES when they come to take political jobs in Washington. Political power does not work the way they expect. As a nation we focus obsessively on the president, out of proportion with other power centers. This happens largely because the presidency is one person whom it is easy for television to portray and whom the public feels it can come to know. Other power centers are harder to depict. The Supreme Court is an aloof and anonymous body, Congress is a confusing gaggle of 535 people, the bureaucracy is vast and faceless. It is almost as if the president, most politicians, and the press, especially television, have fallen into an unconscious conspiracy to create a cartoon caricature of the real system of power.”

    Don’t forget the old adage as I remember: “It ain’t over until it’s over.”~Joe Garagiola, former Major League baseball player and television sportscaster.

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