Fuming over the feminine product debate

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “WIN won’t win on this one”
March 6, 2008

To the editor:
While I agree with the principle behind the Women’s Issues Network’s tampon petition, it raises the question: will my period ask when WIN is open?

And more importantly, how will it know? WIN seems to be impossible to get a hold of. I’m part of a club that’s been trying to get WIN’s help with an event; its office doesn’t seem to observe its posted hours and we haven’t had our phone messages returned in a timely manner.

Not to mention, the University Community Centre pharmacy is open both earlier and later than WIN, including weekends. I think the tampon initiative is a great one, but if it is to succeed, WIN will have to extend its office hours (and stick to them) or have its own well-stocked dispenser placed outside (which, in turn, raises issues of possible theft or vandalism).

Best of luck to them.
"Melissa Dumouchelle
Genetics IV

To the editor:
As always, The Gazette has missed the mark by a mile on this one. This editorial focused solely on WIN’s misdirection of blame to the University Students’ Council instead of university administration on the issue of stocking feminine product dispensers in washrooms.

It also rhapsodized in great detail about WIN’s obvious misdistribution of effort to fight for women’s issues. Okay, fine, so WIN got the wrong institution in directing its complaint, but how about you leave the decision about what issues WIN chooses to focus on to WIN?

The issue here is much larger than the microscopic focus The Gazette has placed on it. The issue is that women do not have access to necessary feminine products when and where they need them " in the washroom!

Easy access to them is, despite your flippant declaration to the contrary, necessary. You make one hell of an assumption in claiming we should all have learned by now after menstruating for years when our periods will be making an appearance.

Guess what? Just because all you have to do is shake it off and stuff it back in your pants when you’re done doesn’t mean it’s that easy for the rest of us.

I find it insulting you would tell us to run along and find a friend to get a tampon from instead of having easy access to the necessities in the washroom, where they’re needed.

Or perhaps women should simply go around bleeding through their pants and on classroom and bus seats because they didn’t accurately predict when their period was going to come.

Women are already insulted by the fact that feminine care products are taxed by the government (they’re not considered ‘necessary,’ and yet diapers don’t receive the same tax). Do not insult us further by denying the fact that easy and quick access to those products is necessary, and then petulantly chastise WIN for its misdirection of complaints and its judgment of which women’s issues are prioritized.
"Heather Marshall
Political Science II

Editor’s Note: Despite Heather’s claim that we can all simply “shake it off and stuff it back in our pants,” the editorial was reached by an editorial board composed of both men and women.

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