Commentary | Hyde Park: Bring tampon machines back to Shatner

I ‘m not the girl you might think would write this sort of article. I don’t stand in front of Oxford Dictionary offices picketing in the name of womyn’s rights or throw my used tampon into crowds while screaming about “pretty girls.” I am a proud humanist and a proud feminist, but I’m not militant in my beliefs, and I consider both men and razors my friends.

That said, I’d like to bring McGill’s attention to an issue on campus that affects exclusively women, in particular, those who inhabit the Shatner building on a regular basis. Several months ago, tampon machines were removed from the bathrooms in the Shatner building and were replaced with new phone charging devices.

I know that I am not alone in my belief that a phone charger is a poor substitute for a tampon. An attempt to exchange one object for the other would result in electric shock to the fertile female, and a dead phone to the deadbeat idiot who attempted to charge her blackberry with a Playtex.

In addition to its janitorial staff and food service workers, the William Shatner building houses over 60 student groups, and three campus media outlets. Those administrators responsible for removing tampon machines from the Shatner washrooms fail to show even basic consideration for the needs of those who help to sustain McGill’s reputation, student governance, and cultural life. The late nights of work dedicated by these students have literally been met with an appreciation that can be measured in peanuts.

As with all arguments, mine can be met with some counterpoints. One is the suggestion to BYOT to school. That can be said for condoms too and yet, they seem to still be provided in men’s bathrooms across campus. I would argue that condom dispensers are an excess, for the desire of men and women to copulate on campus can be restrained, while shedding one’s uterine lining every month past the age of 15 cannot.

Neither can predicting when this will occur, or how much said lining will be shed. We as women can estimate this, but there are limits to our accuracy.

Another argument might be that bathrooms just across the way in McLennan Library are equipped with some sort of lady-product dispenser. Any girl knows that every step counts when you’ve had an unexpected visit.

The point of having an amenity of this available at all is to reduce the amount of discomfort a women experiences while searching for a temporary solution to nature’s surprise. Therefore, regardless of how unprofitable these tampon machines may have been for McGill in the past (I assume this is that this is the only reason administration would decide to remove them, for they are of no spacial offence) that tampon machines, like toilets, are an essential service to society’s standards of good hygiene.

Thus, I suggest that we use the building’s payphones in the case of a cell phone emergency, and bring back tampon machines to Shatner. Profits would be made since the tampons in these machines are overpriced anyway – $1 each as opposed to $6 for 16 at the drugstore – and McGill can again call itself one of the first class academic institutions of the so-called first world.

Sarah Mortimer is a U2 Cultural Studies & History student. Send your new and/or used tampons to sarah.mortimer@mail.mcgill.ca.


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