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Feminine hygiene products given for free at Brown University

A bathroom at Brown University A bathroom at Brown University
Carmela Zoppi | 09 Settembre, 2016, 14:29

Tampons are now a genderless necessity, according to Brown University, who have announced that they will be providing tampons for both men's and women's bathrooms across the university this academic year. The NYC Mayor remarked, "These laws recognize that feminine hygiene products are a necessity ― not a luxury". "We were so happy that students from other schools began sharing the statuses as well, pushing their universities to adopt similar policies". Brown University's student body president will personally be hand-delivering menstrual products to all non-residential bathrooms.

Nearly all of it has centered on one element of the program - the decision to stock the men's room, too.

"We anticipated it", Nguyen said of the backlash, "but it's a different thing to anticipate it and then get the hate mail coming in".

Free pads and tampons are important for a lot of reasons, one huge one being that menstruation and access to menstrual products can significantly affect female students' attendance and ability to be productive, according to numerous studies. In doing so, Brown is importantly acknowledging that cisgender women aren't the only ones who menstruate. By including free tampons and pads in all bathrooms, Brown is not only moving past dated, cis-normative standards, but ultimately sending the important message that trans men are men, and even if they menstruate, that doesn't make them any less welcome in the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Classes start Wednesday at Brown University.

Headed by Viet Nguyen, the student body president, this student-led initiative aims to provide an answer to a necessity.

Some states and cities are ending their tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products.

In a news release from January, Garcia wrote that women in California pay over $20 million annually in taxes on tampons and pads - an additional, unnecessary price on products that are already expensive, especially for poor women. In Rhode Island, where Brown University is located, state legislators introduced a bill but it stalled in committee, reported the AP.

National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill said that Brown University has taken a critical step toward ensuring that tampons and sanitary napkins are accessible to all who need them. "Universities around the country should follow suit".

Nguyen hopes that one day, the program will become "an institutional part of Brown".

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