Why aren’t pads and tampons free?

Elizabeth Bonin, Managing Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Ah March, that wonderful month when one moment the sun is shining and your skin is glowing and the next you have 10 assignments due tomorrow and you begin to question where there is enough room for all the snow. The only reason I like March is because it is National Women’s History Month.

This is a fantastic opportunity to look at the strides women have made in the past decades such as the right to vote, breaking into the STEM field, and the #MeToo movement. Though I’m excited about these advancements, there are still improvements to be made. One area that I noticed is seriously lacking in equality is women’s health. Buckle up kids, we’re talking about pads and tampons. Get comfy.

The other day I was in the Main bathroom and noticed the rusted away pad and tampon dispenser. I wonder why this outdated machine is even here. Let’s be honest, the pads and tampons in there are probably older than me. I think I speak for all women when I say I would rather fashion my own pad or tampon out of toilet paper before I used a 22-year-old cardboard tampon. In fact, in a state of dire emergency I have done just that and am prepared do it again if necessary.

Another issue is that both the pads and tampons cost 50 cents. If someone expects me to use one of those things, I think I should be compensated for the struggle and discomfort. The 50 cent cost is also outdated because if some unfortunate soul received a little surprise, chances are they aren’t carrying around quarters in their back pocket.

And has anyone noticed how expensive pads and tampons are? My personal favorite jumbo box of Playtex tampons are around 10 dollars at Walmart, the equivalent of a nice meal. With 12 months in a year, that adds up to money I could have spent on textbooks, food, clothes, tuition, etc.

Some of you might be wondering, “Shouldn’t you know when your period is coming?” Ah, only in a perfect world. Even with birth control, the human body has a wild mind of its own. Varying health issues and body type can greatly affect a person’s cycle. As a female athlete that is barely five feet tall, I can attest that tracking your period can be as tricky as tracking a first-year’s trip to and from Scoe’s. People try to be prepared in all situations, but with so many classes, assignments, and extracurricular activities, the fact that the floodgates might be prepared to open any minute isn’t always at the forefront of our minds.

So Luther College, I ask you, “Why aren’t there free pads and tampons in campus bathrooms?” Health services provides free condoms to students, yet to my knowledge they do not provide pads or tampons. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. But with that said, it’s just a little ironic.

Men, you can choose to keep it in your pants. Ladies, we can’t choose to not bleed once a month. We would if we could, but alas, biology. It seems unfair to me that in many other institutions, condoms are thrown out like nothing, yet pads and tampons are treated like some dirty secret in the closet.

Pads, tampons, and periods are nothing to be ashamed about. It’s human biology. Periods are expensive and not always easy to track, so it’d really put a ray of sunshine on a cloudy March day if Luther provided free pads and tampons in the bathrooms for those poor souls who received an unpleasant surprise.

Providing this convenience is a step toward supporting women’s health care. So I say let’s pass out pads and tampons like professors hand out Paidea quizzes. Happy Women’s History Month.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email