Ah, it's a tale as old as Twitter. Woman does something, assholes on the internet assail her with unwarranted, brutish tweets. Great.
Jessica Valenti, author, founder of Feministing, and Guardian columnist recently took to Twitter to ask her followers if they knew of any countries in which tampons are subsidized. For a normal human being that has even the most basic grasp of female anatomy and understands that it's biology that women menstruate every month or so, it's not a crazy concept to ponder. But alas, the sheer mention of affordable or free feminine hygiene products was simply too much for some to handle and they took to their keyboards to vilify her. Valenti compiled some of the tweets into Storify, and they are predictably the worst:
Vitriolic inanity en masse strikes again. Valenti merely asked a question. But here we have our standard name calling, lewd comments with a tinge of slut-shaming (for, you know, being a woman who has a period), irrelevant analogies, and of course Gaza. It's all there. Now I cannot for the life of me understand how people could get so worked up about making tampons more affordable. And yet I'm not surprised.
Women have been trying for years to at least keep feminine hygiene products tax free. In the UK, some of the items that are exempt from the value-added tax that is imposed on tampons and pads include lottery tickets, admission to public zoos and imported exotic meats, including ostrich, crocodile and kangaroo. In the US, an organization that enjoys a subsidy in the form of tax-exempt status is this little non-profit trade association called the National Football League. Subsidized tampons? Really not that big a deal.