In case you missed it, Jessica Valenti decided it would be a good idea to propose that women receive tampons and other feminine hygiene products free of charge, because they are necessary for health reasons. Of course, that was met with derision from Twitchy. In all honesty, Valenti’s arguments particularly in third world nations, were actually fairly good. However, when it came time to make the case for the U.S. government to subsidize these products, it fell more than a little flat.
In truth, the biggest problem is the fact that feminists like Valenti absolutely do not understand the concept of capitalism. There is a large industry surrounding the manufacture and distribution of these products. Advertisements for them are quite literally everywhere. Perhaps the argument would have been a little better if it went along the same route as the lines of shoes that boast that they give a pair for every pair purchased. Then more affluent women could choose to buy products from companies that donate to women that can’t afford them.
Also, she probably didn’t think through what would happen if the government got involved in the tampon industry. Valenti probably was thinking that there would still be a huge assortment of sizes and types, like there are now. Well, that simply wouldn’t be the case. Sure, there would still be some nice options out there, but their prices would probably go up, since they would be for affluent women that could afford to do better than “government grade” products. Most of the hygiene products would be low grade, manufactured by the lowest bidder. Valenti undoubtedly didn’t think of that.
But, we could go round and round for quite some time about the merits, and demerits of making feminine hygiene products a part of health care, and still end up doing the same thing that Valenti did. She was focused on a relatively small problem that women face worldwide. Yes, it is unfortunate that some women and girls miss work and school because of the lack of affordable feminine hygiene products. It is far less unfortunate than other permanent problems, though.
Ironically enough, on the very same day that Valenti was venting about vaginas, another story surfaced out of Iran. Women there may soon lose the ability to have tubal ligations, as well as access to other forms of birth control. To be fair, if that term can be used in this at all, vasectomies are also going to be restricted there. The reason is quite simple. The Iranian government wants more babies. There is too steep of a decline in population there, so the leaders want the people to have more children. Another secondary motive may be to force more women out of the workforce, and into more traditional family roles. Of course, that could backfire on Iran, since forcing traditional roles apparently results in fewer babies. But, it’s doubtful that the religious leaders there are too concerned about any studies. They just want their people to procreate, now. To them, the answer is stop the people from using birth control.
Before the population problem, Iran actually had a very robust government sponsored family planning program. That’s slowly being whittled away, to guarantee that Iran will have more people in the future. So, it seems that abstinence may become the only real choice for birth control in Iran. Suddenly that makes Valenti’s cries for free tampons sound even more childish. Perhaps she was right about some degree of squeamishness being attached to conversations about menstruation, but in the grand scheme of issues women face, that’s not a very big problem in comparison with a government utterly controlling a woman’s body. That was something Valenti opposes, right? Maybe those thoughts of more free things clouded her judgment.