Demanding free stuff…how empowering.
From the Columbia Spectator: During the most recent Columbia College Student Council meeting, President Ben Makansi announced that he would reach out to Vice President of Campus Services Scott Wright about providing free tampons to students. The Engineering Student Council quickly followed by announcing they were in partnership with CCSC and also speaking with Wright regarding free tampon distribution.
While this may seem like a peculiar addition to the average student council meeting, that these requests needed to be made indicates the University’s utter lack of support for people who menstruate—a group that includes a significant portion of the student body. Sure, I can easily find a free condom on Barnard and Columbia’s campuses, but why can’t I find a free tampon in the bathrooms in Hamilton or Milbank? Why does the administration care about my sexual protective rights, but not how I handle my monthly menstrual cycle?
Limited access to free sanitary products, along with the widely recognized “tampon tax,” is a frequently recurring topic in popular discourse regarding reproductive rights. While California may have pioneered potentially eliminating the tampon tax at the state level, many people who menstruate still lack the sufficient financial resources to frequently purchase sanitary products. And even if the sales tax is removed from these products, we must still front the cost to pay for other menstruation-related items, such as pads, DivaCups, painkillers, and birth control.
If you were to go to Duane Reade and buy a box of 36 tampons, it would cost you roughly $8. Depending on the heaviness of your menstrual flow, you could potentially end up going through one box (or even more) during your cycle.Assuming a single cycle requires one box of tampons, a person could end up spending $96 a year. And this price only holds if you assume all people just use tampons—most people will end up spending far more on other period products.
Read more about her demand for free tampons here.
h/t Weasel Zippers
DCG’s post previously appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.