Ivy League Students Vote To Install Free Tampons In Men’s Room… https://t.co/RGN9pRrnnd
— Ƭαвιтнα Ɓℓιѕѕ ❤ (@BlissTabitha) December 20, 2016
The tweet sounds humorous enough, so I went to the linked article:
By Toni Airaksinen | December 18, 2016 |
Thought man-pons were only reserved for Comedy Central sketches? Think again.
This month, the Columbia University Student Council voted to launch a pilot program to distribute free tampons across campus — even in the men’s restrooms. According to the Columbia Spectator, tampons and pads will be installed in female, male, and gender-neutral bathrooms in 10 academic buildings as well as in the school library.
The move comes after the Columbia administration ended a pilot program that gave students the ability to pick up free tampons and pads at Columbia Health Services. The administration’s pilot program was terminated due to a lack of student interest.
Columbia students have been calling for administrators to offer free tampons for the past year.
“Columbia should pay for my period,” declared Barnard-Columbia junior Courtney Couillard in an op-ed earlier this year.
In her article, Couillard wrote, “Why can’t I find a free tampon in the bathrooms in [on Barnard and Columbia’s campus]? Why does the administration care about my sexual protective rights, but not how I handle my monthly menstrual cycle?”
Two Columbia seniors, Sophie Gorham and Ellie Wisnicki, demanded free tampons as well.
“Our periods should be free, period,” they argued in a joint op-ed.
“We believe that by failing to provide free tampons and pads, the Columbia administration not only implies that the hygiene-related needs of students who have periods are unimportant, but also contributes to the already exclusive socioeconomic climate on campus,” said Gorham and Wisnicki stated.
They also called for free tampons in the men’s room as well.
“Even further, gender-nonconforming and trans masculine students already must go through the potentially dysphoric experience of getting their period. We should be at least giving them a safe space both emotionally and economically to receive sanitary products.”
And I then followed the link to Misses Gorham and Wisnicki’s op-ed as well:
Our periods should be free, period.
This summer, I, Sophie, went to Columbia Health to stock up on my monthly supply of stubby cardboard tubes. When I asked for tampons, as I had done many times before, the employee at the front desk stared blankly at me and said, “I don’t know what happened to that program. It was just a trial run—I guess it didn’t get enough interest.”
I thought the employee was kidding, so I laughed a little. The blank stare continued. I stopped laughing. “But I’ve been here almost every month. Don’t a lot of students on campus have periods?” They shrugged, told me they weren’t in charge of the program, and turned back to their computer.
As I left, I glanced over at the bowl of free condoms near the entrance. Don’t get me wrong, free condoms are great. It makes sense that Columbia would want to remove the financial burden associated with something so fundamental to student health. But if condoms are free, why not tampons and pads? They are a sanitary necessity for half of the student body every single month, and the cost of buying sanitary products at New York City convenience stores can really add up.
We believe that by failing to provide free tampons and pads, the Columbia administration not only implies that the hygiene-related needs of students who have periods are unimportant, but also contributes to the already exclusive socioeconomic climate on campus. The program’s discontinuation exclusively impacts groups of students who already have enough systematic oppression to deal with: women, students with uteruses that do not identify as women, and students who come from low-income households or are struggling financially.
In both cited articles, there’s more at the link.
To me, the articles are hysterically funny; just what do these Special Snowflakes think that they’ll do after they are graduated from Columbia and are living in their parents’ basements have to buy everything they need, on their own? Who will provide them with tampons and the “safe spaces” Misses Gorham and Wisnicki mention twice?
However, I’m going to (try to) take their op-ed seriously, because it presents the argument that Columbia University should “want to remove the financial burden associated with something so fundamental to student health.” The annual cost of attendance at Columbia is a whopping $71,690,¹ so I suppose that I can see where any additional expenses, including tampons and condoms, can be a strain.
However, if the University really would “want to remove the financial burden associated with something so fundamental to student health,” shouldn’t it seek to maximize efficiency and usefulness to all students? Condoms will be of use only to sexually active couples, and tampons and sanitary napkins to only half (or slightly more) of the student population. Moreover, condoms are going to be used only occasionally, and period supplies a few days a month.² But something like toothpaste is a necessity for every student, every day, and (hopefully) more than once a day. And without the toothpaste, well, the condoms won’t be needed, now will they?
There are plenty of other daily use hygiene items that are needed, and used, every day: soap, shampoo, and odorarm deunderant³ being obvious examples. If the University is going to become partially responsible for removing the financial burden associated with things so fundamental to student health, wouldn’t it be more efficient to provide those things used by everybody, every day?
The answer is that students seem overly concerned not so much with student health in general, but in getting the public to pay for those things associated with their genitals. This is why the left, and the Obama Administration, absolutely insisted that the public should pay, in toto, for artificial contraception, something that only part of the population use, for only part of their lives, while many other health related products are used by everybody, every day, and no one seems to think that health insurance should cover toothpaste. The obsession with sex and genitalia is what drives this, not a serious concern for things so “fundamental” to health.
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.
¹ – Tuition and Fees: $55,161; Room and Board: $13,244; Books and Supplies: $1,223; Other Expenses: $2,062.
² – I cannot see placing tampon dispensers in men’s restrooms as being particularly cost efficient. With roughly 30,000 students (30,304 in 2015), a range of between 0.3 and 0.6% of people ‘identifying’ as ‘transgender,’ there should be roughly 90 to 180 ‘transgender’ students at Columbia, only half of whom would be biologically female and need tampons or sanitary napkins. Putting tampon dispensers in the hundreds of male bathrooms across the campus is more likely to result in waste and typical male horseplay throwing away such things from male bathrooms than it is to provide a useful service. It might also be asked just how many biologically female but identifying as male ‘transgendered’ students are going to feel confident and safe picking up tampons in the men’s restrooms when male students are present.
³ – Not a typo, but a Picoism.