Middle School and Up
WARNING: THIS STORY CONTAINS BLOOD
Riley Dunne loves being a member of the Red Club. It’s more than a group of girls supporting each other through Aunt Flo’s ups and downs; it’s a Hawking Middle School tradition. The club’s secret locker has an emergency stash of supplies, and the girls are always willing to lend an ear, a shoulder, or an old pair of sweatpants.
But when the school administration shuts the Red Club down because of complaints, the girls are stunned. Who would do that to them? The girls’ shock quickly turns into anger, and then they decide to get even.
But wallpapering the gym with maxi pads and making tampon crafts in art class won’t bring their club back. Only Riley can do that. Using the skills she has cultivated as her school paper’s top investigative reporter (okay, only investigative reporter), she digs for the truth about who shut the club down and why. All the while dealing with friendship drama, a new and ridiculous dress code, and a support group that is now more focused on fighting with each other than fighting back.
Can she save the Red Club before this rebellion turns into a full-scale war?
Move over Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, the Red Club is here to bring us into the 21th century.
Contrary to popular belief, periods are not gross, they are one of the many stupid and annoying things all women have to live with and we don’t need the world shaming girls for doing something that is completely natural.
The Red Club; a place where girls support one another and feel safe to ask questions about their menstrual cycle that they might not be able to ask at home. What a brilliant idea!
Every girl has a period horror story and since these girls have their stories available on YouTube, I think it’s safe for me to share links to these videos. Enjoy:
My Period Ruined My Permit Test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ph3JQ9fAww&list=PLTv86vY0AuCtE_7nYMM4lsU-Y437GeTmh&index=20
My Embarrassing Period Story – NO PADS!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKkTJkgjs54&list=PLTv86vY0AuCtE_7nYMM4lsU-Y437GeTmh&index=9
My First Period Disaster: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxQWgf2FKmA
My First Period Turned into a Nightmare: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3nI6YzSzO8
As a bonus, here’s a link to a webpage explaining how to create a first period emergency kit. If you’re one of those girls who has an irregular period schedule, you might want to have one of these with you at all times: https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=26183
When the club is taken away from the girls . . . well . . . remember Occupy Wall Street? Wait till you see Occupy Tampon. They only protest once a month but it’s an intense five to seven days. Although I think wallpapering the gym with maxi pads was a waste of perfectly good feminine product, the way the girls protested was thought-provoking and effective. The problem was that everything got a bit out of hand when the girls got a little too enthusiastic.
I could understand the school enforcing the dress code more forcedly if students were showing up in see-through clothes or shirts with inappropriate words or illustrations on them. Enforcing the dress code so the boys don’t get distracted is not a reasonable excuse. What kind of lesson is that teaching young people? That guys can get away with being complete creeps while girls get in trouble for showing the smallest hint of skin or wearing comfortable clothes. If a boy is getting that distracted looking at a girl’s shoulder something needs to be done about the boy, not the girl. From one boy’s point of view, the new dress code was insulting to the boys who knew how to behave themselves and weren’t weak-minded like the policy assumed they were.
The way the school choose to enforce the dress code was completely unorganized. The school didn’t give the students any warning about the new dress code rules before they got to school and so many girls got in trouble and lost class time for breaking a rule that they didn’t even knew existed.
The most frustrating of all dress code rules is the ‘your shorts are too short based on your fingertips going past the end of your shorts’ rule. News flash, measuring by arm length is not a reasonable method of measuring. Girls don’t all have the same limb length.
And why is the dress code always focused on girl clothes? What about the boys? In my high school, tons of boys were walking around with their pants hung low, their underwear on full display. Why doesn’t anyone ever complain about that?
One time in high school, I wasn’t allowed in the building because my sweater was cream and not white. Apparently, it was fine to wear it the year before, but they changed the dress code without us knowing. They wouldn’t even let me just take it off and go in. My mom even had to come to the school to pick up the sweater like the whole education system was going to shut down if I walked into class wearing a cream-colored sweater.
This story is realistic and makes some really good points on many issues that middle school girls have to face. With that said, I leave you with these two quotes from the story:
“It’s not that great. Once you get it, you’ll wish you hadn’t been in such a hurry. We’re talking cramps, zits, bloating, mood swings. Sometimes I look in the toilet and it’s like I sacrificed a goat.” Riley, Page 19
“It is ladylike. Because these things happen to ladies. It’s natural. It’s normal. It’s nothing to be embarrassed of. I will never be ashamed of being a girl.” Riley, Page 40