Today's award goes to columnist and blogger Jessica Valenti for this suggestion.
For too many girls, the products that mark “becoming a woman” are luxuries, not givens. And for young women worldwide, getting your period means new expenses, days away from school and risking regular infections. All because too many governments don’t recognize feminine hygiene as a health issue.
We need to move beyond the stigma of “that time of the month” – women’s feminine hygiene products should be free for all, all the time.
There's more at the link.
For a start, personal hygiene isn't a sickness: therefore it's not generally classified as a health issue. I can sympathize with those who argue that cleanliness is essential to ward off disease, but in that case, why not argue that soap, water and towels should also be free? After all, they're even more essential to personal hygiene than tampons or sanitary napkins.
Next, please tell me, Ms. Valenti: who's going to pay for this? The taxpayer's already burdened with government spending that's spiraled so far out of control that national debts across the First World (not to mention the Third World) are at dizzyingly high levels. Why should taxpayers have to shoulder yet another burden? As for medical insurance policies, if they have to cover such normal routine expenses, everyone's premiums will go up accordingly. Why should I and other policyholders have to pay more to cover an expense we wouldn't normally bear?
This isn't just feminist, it's also socialist. "Give us another free benefit at your expense!" Sorry, Ms. Valenti. I've heard that far too often to believe it any more. If you, out of the goodness of your heart, want to sponsor feminine hygiene products for the poor, that's entirely your right. If you want to assist with efforts like this one in India, where women are empowered to manufacture low-cost hygiene products themselves, that will be a blessing in many parts of the Third World - and I'll gladly join you in donating (freely and without coercion) to such a cause. However, when you try to force me, as a taxpayer, to subsidize such needs, you've crossed a line. You have no more right to do that than I have to force you to subsidize men's razors.