Scotland just became the first country to provide free tampons and pads to all

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/11/25/scotland-just-became-the-first-country-to-provide-free-tampons-and-pads-to-all.html

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They better be good quality, too. None of that stuff that would be cheap by normal standards.

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Let’s hope!

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Memories of wood pulp toilet paper in grade school…

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Or that shiny stuff the teacher would make you fetch instead of tracing paper.
True story.

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Prediction:

If someone in the USA suggested this, a GOP congressperson would get on Fox News to shout “This is an economic hazard! Giving away these products will just encourage young people to menstruate for the ‘kicks!’”

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I wish this had been a thing in the US 35 years ago. Before I transitioned I was a homeless teenager. I remember begging for change outside grocery stores as a 15/16 year old for period products. I remember cutting up a flannel shirt because I had none. Nobody should have to do any of that to access these things.

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11th-doc-this|nullxnull

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And now consider the developing world.

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On the one hand, Scotland putting pads and tampons in public building bathrooms is good news, thought the reality that 4o+ years of nearly global neoliberalism has got us to the point where masses of people cannot afford basic hygiene products is maddening.
It would be great if the zero-sum capitalists hadn’t won, and a measure like this was more a public heath and convenience thing, rather than a teeny stopgap between here and utter demoralization.

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Well Aaaghts abeight blaughdy touieghme!

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picard-raffi-not-even-language

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27 posts were split to a new topic: EU Taxation on Feminine Hygiene Products

Sorry it’s off-topic, but related to your phrase, I read this today. A very succinct encapsulation of how zero-sum capitalism won.


Worth reading the whole thing - including why they won (but no surprises there TBH) - but this grabbed my attention, early on.

Broadly speaking, there are two dominant forms of capitalist enterprise. The first could be described as housetrained capitalism. It seeks an accommodation with the administrative state, and benefits from stability, predictability and the regulations that exclude dirtier and rougher competitors. It can coexist with a tame and feeble form of democracy.

The second could be described as warlord capitalism. This sees all restraints on accumulation – including taxes, regulations and the public ownership of essential services – as illegitimate. Nothing should be allowed to stand in the way of profit-making. Its justifying ideology was formulated by Friedrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty and by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged. These books sweep away social complexity and other people’s interests. They fetishise something they call “liberty”, which turns out to mean total freedom for plutocrats, at society’s expense.

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Hey that link was great. And after reading the article, free gubbmit tampons fits perfectly in the framework the author built his argument on.

In fact, I had seen that article a couple days ago and was going to read it, but ended up spending the day - just like every other day since Nov 4th - slumped waiting for the US Politics Live blog at the Guardian to pop me another update. Gross, but that’s what I did these last 2 weeks. Since Tuesday I’ve checked in fewer than 25 times a day and even closed the tab this afternoon for a few hours. So now with my attention span back, got to read the whole article and most of the links therein as well.

One thing the author didn’t mention explicitly, but is unavoidable, is the theory that the world wars bubbled up due to Capital infighting. So, if Brexit is Warlord Capitalism breaching a line, and free tampons are House-trained Capitalism amassing a greater war chest via ever-lower wages but allowing the poor to use a tidbit of their own taxes on themselves, the commenter who reminded us that sanitary products make great gunshot wound dressing might be on to something.

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Almost perfect parallel with Trumpism and Neoliberalism. Trumpists make money off chaos, as evidenced by the vast increases of fortune among billionaires while hundreds of thousands have died of COVID. Billionaires in the US have their own “Fuck Yeah! 2020” thread. Meanwhile, Neoliberals lament the loss of stability that allowed them to grow their billions at a nice, steady, predictable 8%.

The rest of us (who are left) are collateral damage.

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While a boy and have directed girls to go there when in doubt, Amazon’s HQ buildings in Seattle are stocked with free tampons in their public lobby restrooms. FYI. Just pretend like you’re delivering something or lost – or something.

I suspect there is a taxonomy issue here. ‘Neoliberals’ is too much bandied about in general. I view them not as ‘traditional’ housetrained capitalists at all, but much closer to the chaos capitalists.

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Huh. I usually consider “neoliberals” as politicians who pursue a traditionally liberal social policy but defend low taxation on corporations and the wealthy and lean towards austerity as a response to economic downturns instead of leaning into Keynesian investment.

This is good news, of course, but it’s one of those things that should have been completely obvious long before now. We’re used to the idea that organisations that provide public toilets have to stock them with toilet paper- this is just extending that same logic.

In fact, this analogy highlights the stupidity of arguments against this policy. The presence of free paper in public toilets hasn’t destroyed demand for purchasing toilet paper, as those of us living in 2020 are acutely aware.

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