Ladies, we may be (finally) be getting a win when it comes to that pesky time of the month. Much like toilet paper, hand soap and paper towels are a public good, tampons might be next on the free items in public restrooms.
Amenities like toilet paper are free due to the logic that they are good (and necessary) for the public. But tampons have never received the same respect.
There has been complaints from the public across social media:
As well as a long-time movement “Free the Tampon”
But until now, these were just voices in the wind and women had to hope, just maybe, a tampon dispenser would be available when emergencies happened. However, these are few and far between in most public restrooms.
While women, can certainly make a last minute trip to the nearest corner store or pharmacy this also means spending upwards of $7 since individual pads and tampons are not sold. This number may not seem too drastic, but when it is compared to the fact that 40 million women in the United States live in poverty it can certainly take a toll. One year’s worth of tampons and pads is estimated to cost $60 and women on food stamps are not able to use the government assistance for help.
Even more unfortunate is the fact that teen girls are the ones who suffer the most.
“Many girls were reported to miss school to avoid the embarrassment of staining their clothes, according to representatives at the meeting, or having to ask staff members for menstrual hygiene products,” said Al Jazeera’s Lisa De Bode.
Now is the time to finally get legislation rolling to ensure these girls receive the same public good as one does in toilet paper. New York City is leading the action and drafting legislation that would make tampons and pads free in New York’s public junior high and high schools.
“In a city where we hand out free condoms, we should be making tampons more affordable and accessible,” said Julissa Ferreras, a New York City councilwoman to the New York Post.
We hope other cities get this message as well.
“I just felt there was a shame associated with something that just says that you’re absolutely healthy,” said Ferreras. “Celebrating that to me is why we need to remove the taboo.”