In today's "are you fucking kidding me?" news, author Jessica Valenti has been ripped a new one on Twitter for posing a simple question about tampons and whether or not they are subsidized anywhere in the world. The hate being lobbed her way is really quite unbelievable considering how innocuous her question was:
I found out about this story initially from Jezebel.com but upon further research on Valenti's own Twitter page, I discovered that she was asking this question because she was planning to write an article about the "availability and cost of feminine hygiene products across the globe". She was not asking because she was hoping she would get her tampons subsidized here in the US, as some of these lovely folks on Twitter seemed to assume. What followed is just unreal to me- that so many supposed human beings could spew such unadulterated hatred over something so simple. The woman tweets about tampons and from these reactions, you would think she had just suggested we burn toddlers at the stake. Brace yourselves for these responses:
And may I point out that the last one is from a woman. Amazing. Horrifyingly enough, I could go on for several pages with more examples just like these. Slut-shaming (how DARE she be a woman who bleeds once a month...like most women all over the world....), name calling (a cunt? really?!), being told to shove her fingers inside of her vagina and suggestions to get married so her husband can buy her tampons. Because we all know that the womynz cannot buy their own tampons!!
I am flabbergasted but sadly, not surprised. Every time I think our society couldn't hate women any more, a gem like this comes out and proves me totally wrong. To be honest, I have wondered many times on my Target shopping sprees what women of limited means do when it comes to feminine hygiene. I don't think twice about buying the top-of-the-line model to the tune of $8 a box because I have always been of the opinion that the cotton I shove inside of myself every month should be the best money can buy (and the most comfortable). What about women struggling to feed their families or purchase diapers and formula? Even if you buy the cheapest variety of tampon available they are still a good $5-7 per box and I would venture that most women go through at least half a box per month. For someone making minimum wage and trying to support a family that cost certainly adds up.
Why is it so ridiculous that Valenti posed the question? And in the US, cost is basically the only issue as we have a very wide availability of these items in all grocery and drug stores. In developing countries, the problem is that the items are difficult to find and very expensive. According to ThinkAfricaPress.com, girls miss school due to their periods and not having the right kind of product available to them to be able to deal with their periods in public. This is a very real issue world-wide and I commend Jessica Valenti for broaching the subject to begin with. She certainly does not deserve the shit-storm of hatred she received.