Some woke Smith College students demanded the prestigious university install tampons and sanitary pad dispensers in all MEN’S bathrooms so “those with uteruses” can access the products they need.
Smith College student writer Jade Mosley for the college publication paper, The Sophian, wrote:
“I think we need to do more than simply remove the stigma around periods. Smith College, which has posited itself as a progressive institution for gender and sexuality, has to understand that accessibility remains a serious issue for menstrual hygiene”
Smith College is an all-women’s college located in Northampton, Massachusetts that is known for its liberal agenda and policies – but one student feels the school is not yet liberal enough.
Mosely made the suggestion in a piece entitled Smith “Has A Period Problem” for the college’s paper The Sophian:
“House bathrooms and other public restrooms on campus are not equipped with pad or tampon dispensers. While these products are sold at the Smith College Bookstore in a spot central to campus, surely, taking menstruation seriously means doing more than just acknowledging that some students do it. If students are guaranteed access to toilet paper, hand soap, and paper towels in any given restroom, why not menstrual products? All of these materials serve the purpose of maintaining hygiene. Only one is more expensive than the rest. Students are not expected to trek halfway across campus for toilet paper, and it stands to reason that they should not have to do so for pads or tampons. So, what can be done?”
The school needs to face the issue rather than try to ignore it, according to Mosley:
“Smith should pioneer by taking the strangely radical position of understanding a period for what it is; a cycle common to those with uteruses which requires hygienic care.”
The woke student writer believes that quality menstrual products should be available inside the college’s bathrooms, so students can have access at all times.
“Where students may do their business, they should also be able to easily manage their menstrual cycles. Similar to toilet paper, these products should be made available in large enough quantities that there is no pervasive worry that any bathroom might be completely out. This applies to individual toilets and rooms with multiple stalls.”
The student noted in the screed that the University of Minnesota and the University of Washington both provide free tampons in campus bathrooms as of 2007.
In 2017, the University of Wisconsin-Madison became the third in the country to offer free tampons in men’s rooms on campus, and a 2019 Illinois bill attempted to require school districts throughout the state to put free menstrual products in ‘each bathroom of every school building.’
“Clearly, institutions of higher education are capable of providing free menstrual products to students. Not doing so is a deliberate choice, and it sends a clear message to menstruating students about the lack of care for their wellbeing,” she wrote.
“Attending a historically women’s college is not a safe haven from gendered societal problems, and Smith is not exempt from the widespread effects of period poverty by virtue alone. Supporting students of varying identities requires institutional action — and a fairly simple one. I only ask that Smith takes the hygienic needs of its student body seriously.”