California Eyes a Near-Million-Dollar Menstrual Bill for Women, Men and the Nonbinary

(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Society is reveling in a revamp, and as we work our way to the new normal, things formerly taken for granted are getting pulled like a magician’s rug.

Life is in flux; nothing stays the same.

Courtesy of progress, amid things in transition: the definitions of “woman” and “man.”

It’s happened rather quickly, but the terms are likely forever changed.

Example: California is looking to make menstrual products available to men.

Of the transgender type, to be clear.

Bill AB-367 — AKA the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2021 — hails human rights:

California recognizes that access to menstrual products is a basic human right and is vital for ensuring the health, dignity, and full participation of all Californians in public life.

As stated by Pink News, “The bill would require all state university, community college campuses…and state and local municipal buildings to provide free menstrual products.”

Per USA Today, The Golden State already mandates that public primary schools offer the items at no charge.

The new bill would make Gavin Newsom’s Republic the first state to do so at secondary educational institutions.

And why?

According to CalMatters, “[M]any low-income students suffer from ‘period poverty,’ in which they are unable to afford the pads and tampons they need.”

George Mason University researcher Dr. Jhumka Gupta — author of a BioMed Central study on money and menstruation — explains, “We know from my study that Black, Latinx, immigrant and first-gen women are reporting more period poverty.”

58th district Assemblymember Cristina Garcia — the measure’s sponsor — has gone from rags to royalty:

Garcia said colleagues and constituents started referring to her as the “Tampon Queen” because of her history of authoring menstrual equity bills, but she prefers “Period Princess.” In addition to authoring the two bills addressing period product availability in schools, she has championed lifting the state tax on menstrual products, an exemption lawmakers made permanent earlier this month.

So who’s AB-367 for?

Like the language says, all. 

From Section 1 (2):

California has an interest in promoting gender equity, not only for women and girls, but also for transgender men, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people who may also menstruate and experience inequities resulting from lack of access to menstrual products.

Such justice comes at a price: Campus Reform notes the legislation “would cost the California State University System between $750,000 [and] $800,000.”

Economics aside, I’m in favor of women having access to emergency items, just as everyone gets treated to toilet paper in public restrooms — because when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go.

As for men in need of a stopper to keep from going with the flow, the idea of the masculine among us possessing private parts other than penises is nothing new.

In February, I covered the case of UK medical centers Sussex and Brighton University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The pair asked staff to stop supporting syllables such as “breast milk,” “mother,” and “father.”

Columbia University’s of a similar mind:

Even the Biden administration’s come around:

And last month, there was this:

If a man can give birth, it stands to reason he’ll at some point want to be in reach of a plastic applicator.

At public colleges and universities, California’s legislature may soon lend a helping hand.

Cristina told CalMatters there’s no reason to be embarrassed:

“[E]verywhere is this idea that we’re not supposed to talk about it, that it’s taboo. We legislate on experience, and the vast majority of [legislators] don’t menstruate, and the people that menstruate around them hide it from them.”

Indeed.

She’s unapologetically promoting her bill and period pride.

Call it a shameless plug.

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

Columbia Medical School Launches Workshops on ‘Disrupting Racism’ and Microaggression Management

BIPOC Teacher Life: Study Decries School System’s ‘Smog of Cultural Racism’ and ‘Impenetrable Wall of Whiteness’

University Librarian: It’s Transphobic to Say Lesbians Are Going Extinct

Find all my RedState work here.

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