26 August 2014

Free Tampons #nlpoli

Jessica Valenti, a columnist at the Guardian newspaper argued in her column in early August, that women should get free feminine hygiene products.

Consider these points from Valenti’s column:

  • UNICEF estimates 10% of African girls don’t attend school during their periods”
  • 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.”
  • “In the United States, access to tampons and pads for low-income women is a real problem, too: food stamps don’t cover feminine hygiene products, so some women resort to selling their food stamps in order to pay for “luxuries” like tampons.”

Valenti doesn’t make her argument on cost, but on basic health care policy.

Amanda Marcotte at slate.com took a more blunt approach: 

Valenti is asking audiences to really think about how the right to move about in public without bleeding all over yourself, a no-brainer for men, is a privilege for women that depends all too much on their ability to afford sanitary products.

It boils down to the same basic idea, though.

Take that idea. 

Kick it around in your own mind.

We’ll come back to it another day and work it through as a potential public policy issue.