Why We Support the Free the Tampon Movement

You’re out in public, maybe shopping, maybe out with your boyfriend, or out to dinner with your family who you haven’t seen in a while. You run to the bathroom quickly, thinking it was going to be a simple stop, but no -- you're "friend" paid an unexpected visited. She’s here and she’s staying for the week. Worse yet, you thought this was a quick bathroom visit, and now are totally unprepared for what just came. You rummage through your bag for some sort of protection that is nowhere to be found. You have old receipts and gum stuck in the bottom of your pocket book, but not a single feminine product. Luckily, there is a tampon dispensary on the wall. You start looking through your bag to find any sort of change, and finally gather coins to use the machine-like dispenser on the wall. You are able to carry on with your day forgetting this ever happened, and you plan accordingly for the next week, making sure to always have tampons or pads on you and it’s all butterflies and rainbows and the world is a happy place again, right?  

Wrong.

This tampon crisis is a major issue in today’s day and age. We live in the 21st  century and yet we still have to pay for “period protection” in public areas. Not once has a “25 cent toilet paper dispenser” been a thing, because why would it be? Tampons are just as necessary as toilet paper for women, yet in public restrooms only one of these two is free.

It’s bad enough that the cost of feminine hygiene products are so expensive. According to The Huffington Post, a women will spend a total of $18,171 on her period over the course of her lifetime. Approximately $1,775 will be spent on just tampons alone, never mind other costs such as birth control, Advil, etc.. The price of these products is increasing because companies know that they can increase the price and still sell in high quanitities. Women have to buy these products, whether they want to or not.

86% of women report they started their period unexpectedly in a public place. Half of these women probably had minimal, if any, protection on them, forcing them to pay up to $1.00 for a tampon. A women named Nancy Kramer started a “Free the Tampon” campaign, claiming tampons and pads should be treated just like toilet paper. Kramer discussed this with the Huffington Post in an interview here.  

Having a menstrual cycle comes with the responsibility and expectation of having to buy feminine hygiene products once a month. We’ve accepted it and we’ve moved on with the rest of our days, but for those unexpected moments, or those surprise visits in the public shopping center, it’s just not fair. If toilet paper is supplied for you in those bathrooms, why shouldn’t a tampon be?