Jose Garcia of Miami, Florida, is packing tampons and pads along with his pens and notebooks.
The 15-year-old high school student has started bringing feminine products with him to class for a good reason – and he’s calling for other male students to do the same, reports The Huffington Post.
Garcia’s goal is to end the whispers and secrecy girls deal with when talking about their periods during the school day. He recently posted an Instagram photo encouraging other guys to carry tampons and pads with them, to end the taboo surrounding periods and help out their female classmates.
“If you have a girlfriend or are friends with a girl, u should know that they do not always have tampons or pads on them, or that sometimes their period just hits them without notice and have a bit of a problem finding one. We should support them with this, after all, we don’t have to go through all they they do because of menstruation, so it’s just logical that we help them,” the teen writes in the post.
“To every girl that follows me. You are completely welcomed to ask me for a pad at any time without receiving a negative response or a dirty look,” he continues. “We should all help each other out like this so you don’t have to thank me at all. #realmensupportwomen”
Garcia’s photo and the hashtag #realmensupportwomen have spread across the Web, receiving praise from women and men around the world. Kotex also reached out to the teen through Instagram, championing his stance and offering to send him free feminine products to share with his school.
“I really did not expect for this to get as big as it did,” Garcia told The Huffington Post.
The teen said he just wants to help the girls in his school fight the stigma that surrounds periods and the products that go along with them.
“I do believe that if anyone can help someone without anyone getting hurt or offended, then they should.”
Garcia said his efforts aren’t meant to make his female classmates look helpless; it’s just his way of showing support for a natural process all women experience.
There has been some teasing from the boys at Garcia’s school, but overall the reaction has been positive, with some telling Garcia on social media that other boys have started bringing tampons to class too.