Idiot damn stupidity

Menstrual care is, undoubtedly, a human right and it’s time for our government to address the fact that some British girls are deprived of it.

Certainly, it’s desirable that period products be available to those who need or even just desire them.

Amika George is an 18-year-old student from London. She started the #FreePeriods campaign, which calls on the government to give free menstrual products to children from low-income families

And that’s idiot stupidity. As I’ve pointed out before:

Given my lack of experience in this area, I did actually check this all with a female doctor who pointed out that it’s all a little more complicated than just tampons. Flows vary, some prefer pads, and so on. The very fact that there are so many different designs and types on the market is all the evidence we need that different women prefer different methods of dealing with menses.

Which, of course, is why it is such rampant idiocy for government to try to distribute the things themselves. We already have great big barns in every city and town in the country packed with all the variations of these products. They’re called shops. All women need is the coin of the realm to browse said barns and purchase the variant they desire. Thus we shouldn’t be handing out menstrual products (emergency supplies in a school cupboard or homeless shelters or even food bank being a different matter): we should be handing out money.

Yes, obviously, it’s my patriarchalist cis-hetero maleness which means that I’m deeply distrustful of the initial case that there’s a problem here – at least among those of low income rather than those in genuine destitution.

But imagine – difficult though it may be for both of us – that I’m wrong here. It’s still true that the solution is a handout to women to buy what they desire on the market, not anything so flabbergastingly stupid as a Government Tampon Distribution System.

31 comments on “Idiot damn stupidity

  1. Is loo paper a human right for UK citizens?

    Obviously not because certain imported cultures do not use same.

    How do these same cultures cope with menstruation? If not with tampons, then #FreePeriods should be exposed as a racist, facist, colonialist movement.

  2. If the proposed government distribution were to be based on the pneumatic method that department stores used in my childhood, then I should warmly approve of it. Whoosh, thump: lovely, it was.

  3. The SJWs promoting this should be subject to the same treatment as menstruating women in ancient Judea. Banish them outside the city walls.

    Good to know that all of Africa now has access to clean running water if the only concern is the price of tampons/sanitary pads. I have some in my first aid kit – much better than pressure bandages given what they are designed for.

  4. I would echo the great Henry Crun

    The government’s response to this kind of idiocy, even taking into account the author’s relative youth ought to be to ask whether she would prefer to be living in Pyongyang or Caracas as she will clearly not be happy in a UK where this kind of crap is no longer to be funded by public money…..

  5. Given my lack of experience in this area, I did actually check this all with a female doctor who pointed out that it’s all a little more complicated than just tampons.

    Actually it is not complicated at all. This has nothing to do with tampons and everything to do with trying to mooch off taxpayers. Tampons are just a means to that end.

  6. “We are women, hear us roar!”

    But we need help getting feminine hygiene products. The Movement has been holed below the waterline.

  7. This is why we already provide vast scads of money in child benefit and income support. The true problem here is that some people are not using the money for essentials. Expecting the public to provide extra for this is pointless and wrong.

  8. The market provides sanitary care for less than 50p a month*, problem solved. If somebody** in the UK can’t afford 50p a month, the entire country is fucked.

    *pack of 30 ASDA towels: £1.
    **there will be obvious exceptions like street-sleepers, but there it’s not poverty that’s the problem, it’s the can’t-manage-to-manage-their-life that’s the problem.

  9. “Menstrual care is, undoubtedly, a human right”: oh balls – human rights don’t exist; they’re one of the sillier ideas of recent centuries.

  10. jgh

    The idiotic writer cannot tell the difference between Kerala and the UK. In Kerala it is possible that some people truly are so poor that they cannot afford pads. In the UK the problem is a budgeting one. Pads or the Sky subscription…

  11. Is it a ‘human’ right? Do blokes have this right too?

    I require care around my wife’s menstrual cycle. Can a night out at the pub be provided? How about alternative sleeping arrangements? Such as with a model or two.

  12. “human rights don’t exist; they’re one of the sillier ideas of recent centuries.”

    Disagree. It is one of the greatest contributions of Western Civilization.

  13. @ Gamecock
    Western civilisation is built on people recognising their *responsibilities*. Hospitals, schools, universities (real ones, not jumped-up polys), almshouses were all built by individuals making charitable gifts.

  14. ““human rights don’t exist; they’re one of the sillier ideas of recent centuries.”

    Disagree. It is one of the greatest contributions of Western Civilization.”

    Negative rights, definitely. Perhaps in a wealthy society there is a justification for some positive rights around public goods such as basic education.

    Too many yewman rights are no more than gimme, gimme, gimme, with no corresponding obligations and responsibilities on those demanding them.

  15. There are no rights that inhere in you as a human. Man is a social animal; your rights depend on the society of which you are part. So by all means refer to civil rights, as people did in the Martin Luther King era, or social rights, or legal rights, or some other phrase that correctly locates the source of those rights and the mutual dependency of one man’s rights with another’s. But “human rights” is just tosh.

  16. What rights does a man drowning in water have? What rights does a earthquake victim have as they are crushed? What rights does someone having a heart attack and dying from it have?

    What human rights does a farm worker in north korea have? What human rights does a beggar on the streets of a city in Africa have?

    There are no human rights except what humans artificially give to those they deem should have them.

  17. For rights to mean something other than “what this society reckons you should be able to get most of the time” they’d have to exist regardless of the society.

    No such ‘rights’ have ever been noticed, beyond the equivalent of “you have a right to breathe until you’re eaten, or killed, or stop breathing”. Which isn’t much.

  18. Quotation time…

    “The basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual. Nobody preached duty to these kids in a way they could understand — that is, with a spanking. But the society they were in told them endlessly about their ‘rights.’

    “The results should have been predictable, since a human being has no natural rights of any nature.”

    Mr. Dubois had paused. Somebody took the bait. “Sir? How about ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’?”

    “Ah, yes, the ‘unalienable rights.’ Each year someone quotes that magnificent poetry. Life? What ‘right’ to life has a man who is drowning in the Pacific? The ocean will not hearken his cries. What ‘right’ to life has a man who must die if he is to save his children? If the chooses to save his own life, does he do so as a matter of ‘right’? If two men are starving and cannibalism is the only alternative to death, which man’s right is ‘unalienable’? And is it ‘right’? As to liberty, the heroes who signed the great document pledged themselves to buy liberty with their lives. Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is the least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.

    “The third ‘right’ — the ‘pursuit of happiness’? It is indeed unalienable but it is not a right; it is ismply a universal condition which tyrants cannot take away nor patriots restore. Cast me into a dungeon, burn me at the stake, crown me king of kings, I can ‘pursue happiness’ as long as my brain lives — but neither gods nor saints, wise men nor subtle drugs, can insure that I will catch it.”

    Bob Heinlein, “Starship Troopers”, of course.

  19. ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ seems to have been coined by a man whose revealed preference in the matter of ‘life’ was to foment war, in the matter of ‘liberty’ was to keep slaves, and in the matter of ‘the pursuit of happines’ was to say little while his followers lynched loyalists.

  20. B in ND:

    Perhaps in a wealthy society there is a justification for some positive rights around public goods such as basic education.

    If someone has a right to an education, someone else must have an obligation to provide it. If no-one chooses to be an educator, where does that obligation fall?

  21. rights

    n. 1) plural of right, which is the collection of entitlements which a person may have and which are protected by the government and the courts, or under an agreement (contract).

    Your declarations that they don’t exist is bizarre.

  22. @ Gamecock
    Read Martin’s examples of so-called “rights” that the courts and governments do not protect.

    Your conception that the courts stand between an American and another American’s gun or between a Tutsi and a Hutu’s machete or between a Yazidi and ISIS is utterly, and I do mean utterly, bizarre.

    Civilisation is built on the recognition of our responsibility to our fellow-humans and to animals and then to the environment. The law and the courts follow on years or centuries later with pieces of paper that are just pieces of paper.

  23. Dearieme is correct. Rights-talk is a metaphorical use of ‘right’ in the legal sense. When someone claims that ‘x is a human right’, all they are saying is that they believe there is a moral claim or entitlement to x. But rights as such don’t appear on the inventory of the universe. As Bentham said of natural rights, they are “nonsense on stilts”.

  24. “Your declarations that they don’t exist is bizarre”: you miss the point. Those are legal rights, not “human rights”. They stem not from your being a human but from the contracts you’ve signed, the country you live in, and so forth.

  25. Heinlein presents a grand non sequitur, equivalent to saying, “If you think the Constitution protects you, try waving it at a burglar and see if it stops them.”

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