March is International Women’s Month, a time that is set aside to honor women’s contributions in history and celebrate the successes of the woman in our lives. In recognition of this month, we are highlighting some of our outstanding female Rokt’stars and learning more about the stellar initiatives they lead outside of Rokt. Janice M. Days, one of our amazing executive assistants, is also the CEO and co-founder of Hate The Dot, – an online platform that empowers women, girls, and menstruators to prioritize their health and self-care through education and community. Janice has been featured in Teen Vogue, rewarded by Google x Black Girl Ventures and she was also the official NY Co-host of National Period Day 2019.
We sat down with her to learn more about Hate The Dot, her inspirations, and how to get involved
What led you to create Hate the Dot?
Growing up, I used to get really painful menstrual periods every month until college. One time, I had gotten my period and had no pads or tampons, so I called my dad. I was like, “Can you run to the drug store?” He went, but he came back with all the wrong stuff. So I was like, “Okay, why can’t I have everything I need and want for my period delivered to me every single month?” This inspired the idea of starting a business that addressed all my period needs.
That was six years ago. Since then, Hate the Dot we’ve worked in period poverty advocacy—spreading the word about the Tampon Tax and about menstruators not having access to vital period products. We’ve worked with different businesses to raise awareness and collect hygiene items for homeless and less fortunate individuals across the country.
We’ve even hosted workshops at schools and community organizations to help girls and women understand exactly their bodies better and teach them to be their best health advocates. Growing up, I got a lot of my advice from friends and older family members, but I mostly just had to figure it out when it came to my health and hygiene. There was no [singular] source that I could go to for unfiltered advice without judgment. That’s kind of why I started the Hate the Dot community: to be that older sister and say, “Hey girl, this is what’s going on with your body.”
On the platform, we talk about menstrual cycles, self-care, nutrition, health, wellbeing, mental health, and much more.
Watch Janice speak to NBC about period poverty and the fight to end pink tax.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve seen through this work?
Something I’m really passionate about, and have spent years focusing on is addressing period poverty. At any given moment, 800 million people around the world are on their periods, and many of them cannot afford period products. In the United States, 1 in 5 teenagers have struggled to afford period products, and 1 in 4 have missed class because they did not have access to period products… and that was before the global COVID-19 pandemic which has greatly affected the way millions of people access the feminine/period care items. I can only imagine that these states are grown exponentially.
Before coming to Rokt, I worked in education for two and a half years. I worked at a transfer school for at-risk youth in one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City. I saw firsthand that menstruators had to choose between buying food or buying period products. Last year, I launched the 5,000 Tampon Initiative, which gave away 5,000 tampons to menstruators across the United States and we sold out in less than a month. Even after we sold out, there were requests from menstruators requesting more products. Period Poverty is VERY real.
How can we get involved and help?
If you can donate your time, network, money, or products to non-profits that are catered to addressing period poverty; please consider it! Some organizations that I recommend: We Are Happy Period,The Pad Project, FloCode, and Share the Dignity.
Lastly, If there is someone in your life that menstruates, the Hate the Dot community. The information we share is meant to provide support and answer health questions menstruators are too afraid to ask anyone else. Our goal is for everyone who connects with us to walk away with newfound confidence to listen to their body, prioritize their self-care, and advocate for their health and wellbeing.