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Feminine Hygiene Products: the system works against females

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNCG chapter.


In a time of hyperactive feminism, there has been a surge of information that states women are paying more for products and taxed on essential feminine items in near every state. These products range from sanitary napkins, pads, and tampons to deodorant and other personal hygiene products. One statistic from the United State Senate stated that “Overall, women’s products were priced an average of 7 percent higher than substantially similar men’s product”… and “Consumer Reports found that in comparing common drugstore purchases such as shaving cream, deodorant and body wash, “products directed at women—through packaging, description or name—might cost up to 50 percent more than similar products for men”. This system of taxation costs a woman a significant amount of their lifetime.

What is even worse is that feminine hygiene products are considered luxury goods and nonessential products. From my experience, feminine hygiene products are essential for anyone with a uterus.  

Some may suggest that most everything is taxed even if it’s needed to sustain life. Which in some cases are true but in other cases, male tailored products that in my opinion are completely unnecessary are not taxed. These products are Viagra and Rogaine. These products are for male issues such as balding and erectile dysfunction.

Sure, one may want to solve those said male issues, but they are not at the same caliber as the said feminine one. It is a choice to have sex and it’s a choice to not want to be bald. It is not a choice to have a menstrual cycle.

Typically, on college campuses, little in provided that is free besides condoms so I applaud those providing feminine hygiene products to students at no additional cost. Likewise, with campus stores or stores in college areas selling goods at a markup, this is necessary.

Recently, I went into the bathroom of the Elliott University Center and noticed those feminine hygiene products were placed out for use. The sign stated that the Student Government Association was the one who started this initiative. I decided to reach out to the Student Government Association to discuss more on the initiative.

As a preliminary, I interviewed Jordan Lopez, the Secretary of Business Affairs for the Student Government Association. The initiative was funded by the Student Government Association as a pilot run to test feedback from students. The initiative funded 500 pads and 500 tampons of multiple sizes.

Two questions I was curious about the most was why the products were only put in limited locations as well as whether the feminine hygiene products were in both gendered bathrooms?

He let me know that the products are placed in the Elliott University Center restrooms as well as the Kaplan Center locker room as well as that there are laws hindering where these products can be placed.

He let me know there was a bit of a push back when placing the products in the male restroom. A basket full of products were placed in the male restroom at the beginning of the implementation but eventually was removed. Certain members of the Spartan community decided to mess with the products by tampering with them or throwing them on the floor. It was a choice to be removed by the staff.

Other than the one incident, the feedback from students has been positive. Many students have reached out to say how great it is that these products were provided via social media or in person.

The bill was sent over and provided much information on the logistics of the initiative. The Feminine Hygiene initiative was introduced on October 22nd, 2018 and was implemented the beginning of February 2019. The bill stated that “UNC Greensboro values and takes seriously the health and wellness of its student body. The lack of access to feminine hygiene products for some students could significantly impact their health and wellness and “According to polling information collected by the Current Concerns Committee of the 95th Session, 92% of students regardless of gender, age, or classification of students agreed that the University should offer feminine hygiene products. In a separate question, 56% of respondents said they have been in need of a hygienic product but didn’t have any”. It also stated “Student Government Association will purchase feminine napkins, and tampons of varying sizes for a total cost of $537.64. In collaboration with Student Affairs, facility employees in both the EUC and Leonard J. Kaplan Center will fill/refill the baskets containing the products with the supply purchased by SGA”. And “Once these products are depleted, SGA and Student Affairs will review the demand for feminine products in bathrooms on campus, and will determine the best ways to add them into the operational budget of Student Affairs for future budgets should the demand be great enough”.

Hopefully, by the next school year, the school will adopt this initiative in its budget. By providing feminine hygiene products throughout every facility on campus, I am sure that it will make an impact on the community and take the burden off of those in need.

Thespian. Feminist. Writer.