The other day, noted feminist, feminist, and feminist Jessica Valenti asked the following question. And it’s a damn good one:
Twitter friends: Anyone know a country where tampons are free or somehow subsidized? — Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) August 8, 2014
Sadly, it turns out that such a country doesn’t exist on planet Earth.
The case for free tampons
The cost of a product that half the world’s population needs multiple times a day, every month for approximately 30 years, is simply too much
When I got my first period, I was in the most embarrassing place my then-11-year-old self could have imagined: my grandparents’ house. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just put on extra pairs of underwear and threw them away one-by-one, scrunched at the bottom of the bathroom trash bin, as I bled through them…
But what if I’d been in school that day, like so many other girls are – without an extra pair of underwear or a quarter in my pocket to plug into the vending machine? Or what if my family’s weekly budget hadn’t been able to stretch far enough to accommodate replacing a few blood-soaked undergarments and those pantyliners?
I was lucky. For too many girls, the products that mark “becoming a woman” are luxuries, not givens…
In 1986, Gloria Steinem wrote that if men got periods, they “would brag about how long and how much”: that boys would talk about their menstruation as the beginning of their manhood, that there would be “gifts, religious ceremonies” and sanitary supplies would be “federally funded and free”. I could live without the menstrual bragging – though mine is particularly impressive – and ceremonial parties, but seriously: Why aren’t tampons free?
Seriously: Why isn’t everything?
But in this particular case, it’s clear that the root cause is misogyny. Men hate women (except for the wonderful gentlemen who’ve seen the light and now call themselves feminists). These cowardly bastards are afraid of women’s power, so they charge money for something that is every woman’s right.
Keep your laws off their bodies. In most cases.
I’m with my buddy Joseph:
You tell those misogynist pigs, Malcolm:
How can women be free and independent without state-sponsored hygiene products? They can’t.
Now close your mouths and open your wallets, sperm donors. There’s no reason not to provide free tampons to all women. So what if we’re already in the red?
(Hat tip: Ashe Schow)
Update: We can make this work, people…
We can staff the factories with Santa’s elves. They can ride to work on their unicorns. Everything will be powered by rainbows. #freetampons
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) August 12, 2014