I’ll let you in on a little secret – periods suck.
There’s cramps, there’s headaches, there’s nausea, and yes, there’s blood. If talking about all this offends you, let me offer you a tissue to wipe your tears. It’s free in any public bathroom, unlike tampons and liners.
It has boggled my mind since puberty that in order to get a tampon/pad from a public restroom, you’re forced to cough up a quarter.
Now, I understand the argument that these products cost money. I pay too much money for them every month – I am aware of the cost. Let’s not forget that menstrual products are also taxed in most states because they are considered “luxury products.”
Let me tell you – periods are no luxury.
However, in public restrooms, we are not charged for toilet paper, soap, seat covers, or paper towels.
So I must ask, “Why the charge for a tampon or pad that isn’t even good quality?”
If your monthly friend decides to surprise you at the mall, a restaurant, or another public place, there are usually pads/tampons available in the bathroom for 25 cents. I know that is not much to charge – but that’s the point.
These products are only 25 cents each, a small price for a business to pay compared to everything else that is provided in bathrooms.
While most people who menstruate have the trusty emergency tampon waiting to be the chosen one at the bottom of our bags, there are plenty of times when we are caught off guard by Aunt Flo. I also rarely have coins on me to feed to the patriarchal tampon/pad machine. My quarters are reserved for laundry, and I’ve yet to see a public bathroom that takes Venmo.
I don’t watch “Game of Thrones,” but I do know what the Red Wedding is, and I’m sure we’d all rather keep that on-screen and not in our favorite pair of mom jeans.
I’m not asking for much. Based on a five-day cycle (I wish), the average person who menstruates pays $1,773.33 in tampons and $443.33 on liners in their lifetime, according to huffpost.com.
Of course, this varies from ovary to ovary, but this just gives you an idea of how expensive it is to have a uterus.
This doesn’t include the cost of new underwear, heating pads, birth control, pain relievers, and hormonal turmoil that happens every single month – if you’re lucky enough to be regular.
Now, there are many people around the world who do not have access to any menstrual products, and I am not ungrateful that I am able to buy a tampon or liner any time I need one.
To be completely honest, I think all period products should be free and accessible to anyone who needs them. I know these cost money to manufacture, but maybe we can put the 21 cents missing from my paycheck to good use?