In a scene reminiscent of Sandra Fluke’s call for subsidized contraceptives in the United States two years ago, a feminist writer is demanding free tampons for women worldwide.
In her column in the London Guardian, Jessica Valenti, an American blogger and writer, declared: “We need to move beyond the stigma of ‘that time of the month’ – women’s feminine hygiene products should be free for all, all the time.”
It was Fluke who testified before Congress that she had difficulty affording contraceptives and wanted them provided to her free of charge. Her testimony came amid debate over whether Obamacare should include a contraception mandate.
She was criticized by talk-radio icon Rush Limbaugh for her demands and rode the publicity to a speaking role at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Of late, she has announced a campaign for the California state Senate. She loaned her own campaign tens of thousands of dollars.
Valenti, in her column, argued sanitary products “are vital for the health, well-being and full participation of women and girls across the globe.”
“The United Nations and Human Rights Watch, for example, have both linked menstrual hygiene to human rights,” she said. “Earlier this year, Jyoti Sanghera, chief of the U.N. Human Rights Office on Economic and Social Issues, called the stigma around menstrual hygiene ‘a violation of several human rights, most importantly the right to human dignity.’”
She said the lack of access causes girls to miss school, women to miss work and “repeated vaginal infections” in many countries.
“In the United States, access to tampons and pads for low-income women is a real problem, too: food stamps don’t cover feminine hygiene products, so some women resort to selling their food stamps in order to pay for ‘luxuries’ like tampons. Women in prison often don’t have access to sanitary products at all, and the high cost of a product that half the population needs multiple times a day, every month for approximately 30 years, is simply, well, bull—-,” she wrote.
“Seriously: Why aren’t tampons free?”
The demands drew a stunned reaction from authors Ann-Marie Murrell and Gina Loudon, who have joined with Morgan Brittany to write “What Women Really Want.”
“While Americans are being beheaded, a feminist wants people to get free tampons,” Murrell said, referring to the reports in Iraq that Muslim terrorists had beheaded an American journalist missing after being dispatched to Syria several years ago.
“Honest to goodness … you can’t make this stuff up. Now women want taxpayer-provided tampons. I have lived to see everything,” said Loudon.
Their book contends woman really want “freedom of religion, a strong family, a man who stands for something, a voice, the freedom to protect herself, prosperity, choices.”
They argue that woman have experienced “the fallout of the so-called liberation of women with a rise of angst and self-consciousness that led to depression, image issues, and guilt.”