It would seem that we have another feminist "journalist" telling us that women should be given things for free. This time she has singled out the horrific fact that women have to "gasp" pay for their tampons and sanitary towels.
According to Jessica Valenti it is a travesty that women should be required to PAY for something that they use. It should entirely be subsidized by the state. That means forcing men to pay for products that they do not even use - sound familiar to the birth control story yet?
Ms Valenti has taken quite a bit of flack for her views and was subjected to a rather high level of vitriol by those who disagreed with her post. I don't think she really deserved half of that but I also don't agree with her at all. Female writer faces Twitter backlash after asking about tampons
The reasoning behind this is the fact that
"Sanitary products are vital for the health, well-being and full participation of women and girls across the globe. The United Nations and Human Rights Watch, for example, have both linked menstrual hygiene to human rights. Earlier this year, Jyoti Sanghera, chief of the UN Human Rights Office on Economic and Social Issues, called the stigma around menstrual hygiene “a violation of several human rights, most importantly the right to human dignity”.
In countries where sanitary products are inaccessible or unaffordable, menstruation can mean missed school for girls (UNICEF estimates 10% of African girls don’t attend school during their periods) and an increased dropout rate, missed work for women and repeated vaginal infections because of unsanitary menstrual products. One study showed that in Bangladesh, 73% of female factory workers miss an average of six days – and six days of pay – every month because of their periods."
Now as sad as all that may be, I think this problem is being completely blown out of proportion by Ms Valenti. Have people forgotten that tampons and sanitary towels are created simply for convenience? Have they forgotten that there is no one forcing them to use these products at all? In the days before these products became available, all women used reusable rags (hence the origin of the phrase "on the rag") to stem the tide of their monthly flows. These would work perfectly fine and would simply need to be washed out at the end of the day. This was arguably a better option seeing as the sewers weren't overflowing with used tampons. It is also very unlikely that this method could get lost in a woman's nether regions.
I particularly like the "and repeated vaginal infections because of unsanitary menstrual products" which is entirely unsubstantiated. You only get vaginal infections from unsanitary menstrual products that you use internally. Its a miracle that women went without tampons for thousands of years... its a wonder that our grandmothers didn't die from the repeated vaginal infections they no doubt suffered from because they never had their free tampons.
I have a much easier solution to the problem of girls dropping out of school (not substantiated again) and women missing work... mothers teach your daughters how to clean themselves properly and how to deal with a lack of tampons.
Yes, tampons give you a much greater degree of freedom in wearing short skirts and lighter colours. But is it really such a difficult thing for women to actually wear dark pants/skirts for 6 out of every 30 days and to instead wear more modest clothing? Is it really such a horrific idea? Oh, I'm sorry - is that oppressing you as a women to expect you to take some degree of responsibility for your own bodily functions and deal with your own (unnecessary) embarrassment?