Riley is a member of the Red Club at her middle school. For as long as anyone can remember, the Red Club has been open to any girls going through puberty to talk about their periods, emotions, and anything going on in their lives in general. The members and an unknown benefactor also maintain a secret common locker with hygiene supplies for anyone to use.
Due to complaints from parents, the school administration orders the Red Club to be disbanded, and starts a crackdown on infractions of rules in the school’s handbook – including the dress code. Immediately, the lives of the girls attending the school are disrupted as they’re sent home for wearing leggings and are forced to spend their time worrying about the lengths of their skirts and widths of their shoulder straps instead of their schoolwork.
Things come to a head when Riley attends a school dance. She’s able to pass inspection and enter the dance, but another member of the Red Club wearing an identical dress isn’t. In response, some former members of the Red Club plan a protest. The next morning, they sneak into the school and stick pads all over the walls of the school gym.
Only a handful of students see the “artwork” in the gym on Monday morning, but soon everyone has heard about it. The ex-Red Clubbers decide to continue by planning a series of school-wide protests that will not technically break any rules (until Friday), but will make everyone aware how sexist the school’s rules really are.
Tuesday: carry a tampon openly.
Wednesday: skip wearing makeup entirely.
Thursday: talk about periods loudly and proudly.
Friday: defy the dress code by wearing leggings.
Will other students join the protests? Will the school’s administration back down? Will Riley end up in detention forever?
Revenge of the Red Club by Kim Harrington is shelved upstairs, in the juvenile everyday life section of the Children’s Department.
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