Don’t believe these numbers at all

A survey into the effects of period poverty in Scotland has revealed the desperate lengths women go to, including resorting to using old clothes or newspapers, when they cannot afford sanitary protection.

Research by the grassroots group Women for Independence, which will be released in full next month, reveals nearly one in five women have experienced period poverty – when females struggle to pay for basic sanitary products on a monthly basis, which has a significant impact on their hygiene, health and wellbeing.

20%? Can’t find a couple of quid a month? Not a number I believe.

She said: “It takes me right back to my own experiences as a teenage girl. My parents were addicts, so they were in and out of mental institutions and prison. As the eldest of five, I was carer for my siblings. There was never any money, so I used what we had at home: socks, toilet roll. You do what you can, washing more regularly.

Not really a money problem, eh?

36 thoughts on “Don’t believe these numbers at all”

  1. The Unused Testicle

    The Gasurdian was quite right. We must stamp out fake news and expose the perpetrators.

    Time for a bit of collective suicide from you boys and girls then.

  2. ““For me, the research is not only about women in poverty. It is about breaking the shame and stigma that go hand in hand with talking about menstruation. I hope the research starts a national conversation, from the dinner table to parliament…”

    Not at my dinner table, love.

  3. >when females struggle to pay

    A bit vague. ‘Struggle to pay’ doesn’t mean ‘can’t pay’. It can just mean that they were running low on funds when it came time to buy their sanitary products. Most people have run short of money at the end of the month at some stage in their life.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    I love the term “period poverty”. I know I shouldn’t but I do.

    And 17% said that they had at some point relied on charitable sources, such as food banks or friends, with a significant number turning to public toilets to access free toilet roll.

    So 17% have been caught short and had to ask to borrow one from a friend? Only one in six-ish? I would have thought the number was much higher than that. More like 100%. Not everyone can plan these things exactly right.

    I note that 20% is very close to 17%. So the real number suffering from poverty would be closer to 3%. Although it will be the usual “ask a group of malcontents on the internet to b!tch” sort of survey. Better to start ignoring it now.

  5. It would be interesting to see what questions were asked. At various times in my life I have been caught short when needing toilet paper and have used an old phone book, a canvas bag and dock leaves amongst other things. This doesn’t mean I can’t afford bog roll.

    Are emergency makeshifts being used until one can get to the next shop being used as examples of poverty?

  6. Yes not due to money problems ultimately, but as an indirect result of British imperialism. I think that was supposed to be the take-away here or said group would never have conducted the survey.

    Polls also show some Scottish women have been attacked by midges, clearly sent by their Westminster Tory overlords. Only independence can solve this issue.

    (I’ve got no idea what the “right” numbers are here but I try to store lobby-group-statistics in a different part of my memory from statistics that I think are reasonable attempts at accurate estimation. Anything where the person asking has a “right” answer in mind, and especially a culprit all ready to blame for it, they seem unlikely to procure the factually correct answer.)

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    I hope the research starts a national conversation, from the dinner table to parliament

    FFS. One of the great things about Christianity, as opposed to Islam or Judaism, is that people do not have to go on all the time about menstruation.

    Let’s keep this part of our national heritage shall we? God knows no one here wants to know about the intimate details of my body functions. And I have no desire to hear about some frizzy haired Scottish bint’s monthly flow.

  8. Why, I remember when there were hundred and twenty six of us, living in shoebox in middle of road…and we couldn’t use old newspapers because we were using them to drink tea out of…

  9. So we have every adult in Britain being on at least a certain level of income. We have people choosing what to buy.
    These women with not having a couple of quid a month – they don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t have a TV service, don’t have a mobile phone and don’t buy takeaways? Then I’ll listen to them about why they cannot afford £2 a month.
    Cannot recall any of my fertile female friends on state benefits who have none of those things.

  10. “any money, so I used what we had at home: socks, toilet roll”

    So they cannot afford a sanitary pad or tampon, items which can be purchased for 5p each, but they can afford to use “socks” and “toilet paper”. Must be bloody cheap in Scotland, socks.

  11. Recusant – you can buy multiple pairs at once for a few quid and still use old ones with holes if you fold them up.
    Most people will have socks in the house and they are probably the most absorbant cheap items you will have a multitude of.

    The washing of the socks, now that’s another expense.
    And to think in olden days they didn’t have socks for this, they used cloths. Still do in some places.

  12. Solid Steve 2: Squirrels of The Patriots

    Scotland is leading the way in offering more and more women and girls access to free period products. First minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in her programme for government last September that free sanitary products would be provided in schools, colleges and universities from the autumn […] The Scottish Labour MSP, Monica Lennon, has called on the government to go one step further and make Scotland a “world-leader in tackling period poverty” by introducing a universal system. Her members’ bill is currently at the consultation stage.

    Longshanks: [laughs] That’s what happens when you send a woman.

  13. Why, I remember when there were hundred and twenty six of us, living in shoebox in middle of road…


  14. Solid Steve 2: Squirrels of The Patriots

    Those Women For Independence (As A Satrapy Of The EU) though:

    The women of Women for Independence haven’t stopped working since the 2014 referendum.


    From getting maternity pads included in baby boxes,


    halting plans for a woman’s prison

    Wait.. what? How does keeping violent criminals out of jail help women or independence? Is Rose West a feminist icon, or something?

    Or do they think women are basically children in adult bodies, who should therefore be exempt from all responsibility, whether it involves the consequences of stabbing someone or being expected to buy their own damn fanny-pads?

    This research will embolden the drive to get access to period products as a universal benefit in Scotland.


    So, with that I am launching a survey which is open to all women who have or have had experience of menstruating. Maybe you have had a hysterectomy or don’t identify as a woman, but still have experience of menstruating and want to participate, that’s great and you are welcome to!!

    I wonder how many times NiV filled in their survey.

    We spend one fifth of our lives menstruating and the cost mounts up.

    Votes for women isn’t looking so clever now, is it?

  15. Solid Steve 2: Squirrels of The Patriots

    And another thing, because I’ve thought about this for 5 minutes and applied some of that masculine logic and reason to this important issue.

    How is the National Tampon Service supposed to work?

    The wife sometimes asks me to pick up products for her special lady time. There’s approximately 3 million different varieties: Tampax, Li-lets, Bodyform, Kind, Tena, Always, Seldom, The Elevator From The Shining, Philip Schofield, Pearl, Ultra, Night, Day, Teatime, Infinity… the list goes on.

    Trying to pick out the type your wife wants is like trying to defuse a ticking bomb in an old James Bond film, and heaven help you if you come back home with the wrong type of Dracula’s teabag.

    So are these haemorrhaging harridans going to be happy if they get their way, and the public sector starts distributing “free” Izal branded vag rags, extra itchy because they’re made from recycled carbon-neutral brillo pads?

    Course not. Why, it’s almost as if some women just like complaining.

  16. ‘Scotland is leading the way in offering more and more women and girls access to free period products.’

    Today’s declaration of female dependence.

    ‘when females struggle to pay for basic sanitary products on a monthly basis’

    Yes, HDVN. There’s that damn presumption of struggle again. Most poor are adjusted to their situations. The elites presume they are not. It is an ELITIST INSULT. Projection by the elite.

  17. My wife once asked me to get some napkins from the shop while I was out. So I duly bought some napkins and took them home. Apparently they call sanitary towles ‘napkins’ in the Philippines. She thought I was expecting her to use those instead.

  18. The newspaper bit is what puzzles me. Newspapers are what?–a pound for Nationals and 50 to 70p for locals. A day. How is that cheaper than £2 a month for the proper gear from her local supermarket?. Alright she doesn’t need an entire months supply of newspaper but just two papers would be as dear as the towels etc.

    Are they using newspapers found in dustbins and on park benches?

    Also newsprint doesn’t soak up small amounts of liquid well. To become really sodden it needs either immersion in a body of liquid or a large quantity–such as a rainstorm– to soak the paper. Small amounts of liquid mostly just run across the paper before any absorption begins to takes place.

  19. I like the idea of tampons as a universal benefit. Obviously I don’t need mine so I’ll sell them on ebay should be a nice little earner ‘cos they’re obviously extremely expensive.

    In other news, I haven’t seen anybody suggesting they use nappies which could then be washed and used again the following month?

    Or perhaps, equally sustainable, recylce used tea bags?

    What’s not to like?

  20. Disgusting that we live in a country where some women can’t afford 0.25p for a tampon! And it would be 0.24p if it wasn’t for the evul toreezz taxes.

  21. Bloke in Costa Rica

    When it comes to socking away 10p a day to pay for your period-staunching wotsits, the old adage springs to mind: a failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

  22. No doubt such an important issue that the entire Scottish rugby team were unable to concentrate on the game as they worried about the women at home

  23. Wasn’t there a campaign to get “sanitary products” 0% VAT rated until it was pointed out that they had to have VAT because of EU law and the EU wouldn’t give the UK an exemption.

    But the EU is no threat to national sovereignty and is democratic.

  24. @ Street Sparrow
    Yeah, but the main beneficiary would have been the suppliers of tampons etc and the main financiers of the campaign were giuess who?
    Do you *really* think that the price would have gone down by 16% from the level that matched supply and demand? If the price of bread goes up, I don’t buy less bread, I just mutter until I have forgotten about it – but if the price of nectarines doubles then I switch from nectarines to peaches or cherries or oranges so the only people who will change in response to a price cut are those who deem tampons a discretionary purchase and the 99% (I think 97% is an under-estimate) for whom the price is annoying but not decisive will pay up and not force the manufacturers/retailers to cut the retail price in line with the cut in VAT.

  25. @John77

    It’s a competitive market for an easily copied good, so you have to figure that someone is selling at the lowest price possible, and if VAT were removed then competition would ensure someone sold at that less the VAT.

    But those higher up the cost tree, who do sell at the highest price their market will bear, would certainly, over the mid-long term, end up getting most or all the benefit.

    But we all know well that none of this is about the actual price. It’s either about the principle (which I happen to agree with) or having something to moan about (fuck off).

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