Alexander’s Law of Dissimilarities: Just because something reminds you of a past event, that doesn’t mean the situations are actually similar.
Comparisons are always tricky, but sometimes a writer comes upon a unique idea which fits Alexander’s First Law.
Toilet Paper Is Free In Public Restrooms; Why Not Menstrual Products?
Toilet paper, soap, water, and hand towels or hand dryers are provided free of charge in public restrooms. So why are women supposed to pay for a tampon or a pad?
Just like peeing and pooping, menstruation is a predictable, routine bodily function that people take care of in public restrooms every single day.
Menstrual products are basic public health supplies that allow people to maintain sanitary health standards — just like toilet paper, soap, water, and hand towels or hand dryers.
Access to menstrual products is critical for the full dignity, equality, and participation of women and girls worldwide — in South Africa, for example, poor girls have stayed home from school because they didn’t have access to pads.
Because I have the time, I searched out answers to the more basic question: Do businesses have to provide toilet paper? As I figured, the idea was so odd, that it did not occur the the authors of the American’s With Disabilities Act or the Occupational Heath and Safety Administration. There’s that small chance I missed a mandate, but it looks like paper isn’t regulated by either, except that bathroom facilities for employees must be sanitary, etc.
Even according the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, public toilet facilities themselves are not mandated in all businesses, and not even all restaurants. And if toilets are not mandated, then toilet paper must be optional, as well. The link goes to a Village Voice columnist answering a question about restaurants without bathrooms.
Knowing that my internet searches are used by Google to determine my future poopup advertising, I didn’t look further.
And now, the answer to the blogger’s question:
So why are women supposed to pay for a tampon or a pad?
Provided is not the same as free. They are similar, but not the same.
Toilet paper seems to be a non-mandated product, but is provided without cost, because nobody puts in a bathroom in a public place without planning on buying toilet paper. A public place with a toilet but without toilet paper is actually more troublesome than a public place without a bathroom. It is provided without cost. The cost is ‘rolled into’ the overhead of the facility. Prices for the goods or services are then adjusted to meet the overhead. Nothing at a business or government facility is ‘free.’
Then the proper question is “Why are feminine menstrual supplies not provided in bathrooms located in airports, restaurants and other public places?”
The answer is simple:
Buy your own darned pads, you moocher.