I do not believe these people

I woke up this week to the news that we were being urged to buy tampons for a worthy cause again. According to the charity Freedom4Girls, a school in Leeds has reported that girls are missing school because they can’t afford to buy menstrual products. In response, individuals and charities are donating disposable menstrual products, and calling for them to be provided free in all schools.

Sorry, in modern Britain £1 a month is not the sort of sum which people cannot afford. OK, call it £2 a month if you wish. But this as evidence of poverty is the purest bollocks.

And look at the wondrous elision here:

In a letter published in the British Medical Journal in 2010, Dr Daniel Hindley noted that in a Bolton NHS foundation trust study, “menstruation problems” was listed as the fifth most common school absence reason among 251 primary and secondary pupils referred to the trust.

And as a “Lass war” protester, I need to be clear that this doesn’t just happen in the north of England. And it doesn’t just happen just in the global south. Please don’t come back to me in five years’ time with a news story about someone in the home counties skipping school because of periods. That’s certainly already happening.

We start with young birds not being able to afford tampons, that bollocks. We get to menstruation problems meaning school absences – something that we’re all sure does happen. But menstruation problems and not being able to afford tampons are not the same thing, are they?

Buying tampons for people only lasts for a certain period. It doesn’t address the taboos or end poverty – it feeds right into the rampant capitalism and disposable culture that got us here in the first place.

Yep, it’s all about class war really.

29 comments on “I do not believe these people

  1. No one would buy the latest whizz-bang game ahead of their daughter’s sanitary ware, would they ? Unthinkable.

  2. “it feeds right into the rampant capitalism and disposable culture that got us here in the first place.”

    The capitalist culture that produced disposable tampons. Or is she advocating a hunk of rag stuffed in the knickers? in which case, what’s the problem?

  3. What I find amusing is the people who simultaneously complain about VAT on sanitary products and are rabid EU remainiacs.

    Who sincerely believe when challenged on the fact that it’s their beloved EU which requires imposition of said VAT on said products that the UK could get that changed, or could get a carve-out.

  4. “Buying tampons for people only lasts for a certain period.”

    Good pun, that. Worthy of The Sun.

    “It doesn’t address the taboos”

    No-one gives a shit about rag week. It happens. So does peening and pooping. Shall we sing a song?

    “or end poverty”

    Would be rather difficult to end something that has already been eradicated in the UK.

  5. ‘Chella Quint’ appears to have no bio on her (I’m assuming) ‘Guardian’ page…

    “And don’t accept a bunch of free tampons as the best solution for menstrual management – or austerity. There are more options out there, and you have a choice.

    Demand to know about reusable menstrual products. “

    So they can’t pay for tampons but they should reject freebies and splash out on reusable devices?

    If I didn’t know better I’d think this daft cow was on the blob when she wrote this…

  6. Do you think that the Guardian has a commissioning department to find ever more ridiculous articles in order to provide Tim with subject matter?

  7. A decade and more back the Press Gazette did a piece on me. Asking why I read The Guardian? In order to find examples of stuff to disagree with……

  8. The capitalist culture that produced disposable tampons?

    ZING!

    Anyway, as men get free razors* I see no reason why men shouldn’t pay the crippling £2 a month for free tampons for strong, sassy, independent women.

    * Seen on a sign at a demo of 1% women in America, so cannot be false.

  9. It seems that the “It’s A Woman’s Body” argument only applies selectively lthough there is a discernible trend, whereby taxes deal with all the emanations and effluvia.

  10. I’m sure we’ll have the standard Guardian/BBC articles coming up soon showing how all of the poor dears benefit money is spent on booze, cigarettes and the standard sky package, so they can’t possibly afford to buy sanitary products.

  11. I think there is a solution. Those who are crippled by their monthly flow and don’t have the cash to buy tampons can be relieved of this burden.

    We can cut their ovaries out.

  12. I’d happily pay £2 a month if they’d just shut up about it.

    Actually I wouldn’t. £2/mo for the 3.5m girls aged 10-19 works out at £84m/year. That’s serious money in the government budget: the recent increase in National Insurance for the self-employed was only going to raise £145m, yet that was enough to force an embarrasing retreat.

  13. Whenever I type guardian into safari I get redirected to theguardian
    which I assume is a parody account.
    not that I’m complaining.

  14. Re: “menstruation problems” was listed as the fifth most common school absence reason among 251 primary and secondary pupils referred to the trust.

    How many were female? If male pupils were included, then it would be half as important, unless the problems were related to mothers or sisters. Those post pubertal can be right bleeders!

    (It doesn’t get any better after the menopause: once a bleeder always a bleeder.)

  15. “Girls”

    From BBC: “One teenager told the BBC she taped toilet roll to her underwear and missed school “every month” because of her period.”

    So, one girl. ONE.

    “I didn’t get any money because my mum was a single parent and she had five mouths to feed, so there wasn’t much leftover money in the pot to be giving to us.”

    I’m sure she became a single parent because the father died in a freak accident working hard for his kids.

    In a previous era, she’d have been taken away and adopted by a family that would have made sure she had the necessaries. But that was worse.

  16. This is nothing compared to the ongoing crisis of starving dogs eating diligent students’ homework.

  17. Also since when did we start trusting children to go be fair explanations of their absences?

  18. “In a previous era, she’d have been taken away and adopted by a family that would have made sure she had the necessaries.”

    Amen. The ctrl-left are enablers of vast child abuse.

  19. Children, upon discovering a particular excuse for absence is accepted unquestioned by school, use said excuse for absence…

    Colour me effing surprised…

  20. How many of these girls who can’t afford tampons, have smart-phone contracts?

    Just wondering.

  21. @Abacab

    “What I find amusing is the people who simultaneously complain about VAT on sanitary products and are rabid EU remainiacs.”

    As I understand it, the EU prevents us from abolishing VAT where it is currently charged. The present rate is a hangover from what was in place when we joined.
    That particular rate was Heath’s gift.

    (Create own joke about Heath wanting to disincentivise menstruation/not being a fan of girls)

    Happy to stand corrected, though

  22. And VAT on sanitary products is 5%, so that’s the difference between 2.9p per towel and 3p per towel. I don’t see either the VAT or the over-the-counter price being reasons for inaffordability.

  23. I demand the state provides me with free toilet paper. After all I am sure some spotty oik has missed school on a occasion due to a bout of the runs.

    I will even accept the evil capitalist single use product, saving the reusable bogroll for the lentil munchers

  24. @TimW

    OK, call it £2 a month if you wish

    Nope, stick with <£1 per month:

    Tesco Everyday Normal Panty Liners 30 Pack £0.30 (£0.01/each)
    Tesco Everyday Maxi Regular Sanitary Towels 10 Pack £0.25 (£0.03/each)

    Tesco Non Applicator Regular Tampons 24 Pack £1.00 (£0.04/each)
    Tesco Applicator Regular Tampons 20 Pack £1.00 (£0.05/each)

  25. Asked my wife about this. She missed some school days due to pain. She knows other girls from school who missed days due to pain.
    She thought it very unlikely someone would be unable to get ST / tampon. Can run out yes, but unable to afford no.
    As Pcar points out the price is very low.

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