I have a slight bone to pick with the University; namely, it’s bathrooms.
If you’re thinking in terms of cleanliness, you’re actually wrong – these bathrooms are relatively spotless, especially compared to the deadly weapon of mass destruction that is a gas station bathroom. (Seriously, that’s where we should send prisoners instead of Guantanamo Bay. Think about it, Obama.) No, what I’m talking about is for the ladies, specifically regarding our, ahem, time of the month.
We’ve all been there – sitting in class, unsuspectingly minding your own business, when suddenly, your monthly subscription to Lucifer’s waterfall has decided to arrive ahead of schedule, and you’re left completely unprepared. In a race against time (and biology) to get to the bathroom, you turn to get a tampon or pad out of the dispenser – and realize it’s empty, if there’s even one at all. I know these dispensers don’t have the highest quality of products, but sometimes, you just need something that is not toilet paper to hold you over. However, in the bathrooms that actually have them, I have yet to see a dispenser with any actual products in them; they’re always empty.
Here’s another, similar situation: You have changed your tampon or pad, thus defeating the Crimson curse once more. However, as you turn to throw out your former weapon, you discover that there’s nowhere to dispose of it, thus forcing you to do the walk of shame out of the stall and over to the nearest trash can.
While this isn’t nearly as common as my previous note, it still happens – the women’s bathroom on the top floor of Kaplan is a prime example. While there is no reason to be ashamed of having your period, society teaches us that it is something gross that we shouldn’t talk about.
Therefore, no matter how comfortable you are with your body, that discomfort you feel having to publicly go out of your way and throw out your used-up tampon or pad is no fun for anyone.
Yeah, guys don’t have to go through this, but that doesn’t mean that girls should have to get the short end of the stick. What I don’t understand is how these necessities can be cast aside, while an endless supply of condoms is available for free in Health Services. Sure, sex is great, and safe sex is extremely important, but women don’t have a choice about their periods. People can “just not have sex;” girls can’t just “not get their periods.” And I’m not even saying we should get these for free – sure, girls shouldn’t have to pay for something necessary to their health, but paying 25¢ for a tampon or pad is a small price to pay when the other option is having nothing at all.
So UNH, let’s step it up – it’s a small gesture that would affect a huge number of people on campus.
And if any of these issues raised cause you to feel a little nauseous or weak in the knees (after all, women and their “personal problems” are supposed to be seen and not heard), then my advice to you is to grow a pair.
Of ovaries, that is.