North Texas Daily

Yes, men’s restrooms need tampons

Yes, men’s restrooms need tampons

Yes, men’s restrooms need tampons
September 13
08:09 2016

Starting this week, Brown University joins a long list of supporters in favor of repealing the U.S. sales tax on tampons.

The Undergraduate Council of Students at the Providence, Rhode Island college delivered tampons to the campus’s estimated 70 restrooms, including the male rooms, in what has already become an academic controversy. Despite this, the organization plans to replenish the tampons once a week, partially thanks to allocated funds from the school’s Undergraduate Finance Board.

If you ask me, this action is a tremendous step for man, woman and transgender kind. Brown has made an amazing choice in its decision to, quite frankly, monopolize female hygiene for its students and employees. Considering how much the New York City Council believes tampons to be just “as necessary as toilet paper” — leading into their own free tampon prerogative — every detractor of Brown must realize that men’s restrooms needs tampons, too.

According to Sacramento assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, women in California are taxed over $20 million for tampons and sanitary napkins. After introducing AB 1561 last January, a legislative measure to exempt tampons from taxation, she commandeered a wealth of support and started national discourse about the topic at hand.

In fact, only a few of the fifty states (including Rhode Island and New York) have allied with California’s menstrual advocacy. While the bulk of American lawmakers have seemed to keep quiet on the subject, it’s only a matter of time before other Ivy League schools risk their prestige for the greater good.

Simply put: tampons are completely inseparable from the human experience, regardless of whether or not you’re a female. If you’re reading this actually, you’re either a woman that’s had periods before or a man with daughters and friends who are acquainted with periodic cycles. Because of these facts, men should recognize that tampons are just as imperative as hand soap when it comes to sanitizing the opposite sex. Putting a price tag on that human right only takes advantage of women more than history has already done.

Bodily equality is significant for every woman, especially those that distinguish themselves as members of the LGBT community. Since our generation is one of the first to witness gay marriage, it only makes sense that 1.4 million adults are currently transgender Americans, and many of them are likely to be transmen with female biology.

Being an Ivy League college, this is exactly why Brown University deserves its moniker more than ever. Not only did its student government representatives have the brilliant foresight to target tampon taxation, they acknowledged the needs of their LGBT demographic and sought to distribute hygienic supplies accordingly. They are a liberal art school, after all.

In the grand scheme of social reform, Rhode Island and like-minded states have successfully improved gender equality this year. Even though Brown’s commission has battled conservative upheaval from the very beginning, the leaders in charge do not plan on giving up anytime soon.

This was reinforced by Viet Nguyen, one of Brown’s student government representatives, who called the program “efficient” and hopes it will become “an institutional part of [the college]” someday.

So should we, because redefining what is openly acceptable for women’s health is the best way for men to be feminist without the extremist aftertaste. I’m not saying to make a Tumblr and take part in radical tirades, but we owe it to our fellow human beings to ensure that widespread health becomes a tangible mainstay in public restrooms nationwide.

Featured Illustration: Sam Wiggins

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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