Argumentative Essay on Should Schools Provide Free Pads and Tampons?
Period. The thing that haunts most women. The horror stories that are passed down about that one word. Now the question is brought up on whether or not schools should provide free menstrual products to girls at school. I think that it is not a luxury, but rather a necessity for females at school to have access to menstrual products. Students need these products at school because some families may not be able to afford them at their home and it saves females missed class time and stress.
To begin, some families struggle to providing the basic necessities to their children, such as a pad or a tampon. For example, “1 in 5 teens can’t afford menstrual products in the United States. For these teens, this menstrual inequity can result in stress, missed class time, risks of infection, and other devastating repercussions” (Alliance, School-Based Health n.pag). This means that 20% of teenagers in the US do not have easy access to products to stop period leakage. And periods aren’t gonna just stop and wait because someone doesn’t have a tampon or a pad. They are random and always need to be prepared for. One researcher found, “About two thirds of low-income women were not able to afford menstrual products and half of them stated that they had to choose between buying food or feminine products within the past year” (Kumok n.pag). This evidence reveals that some women have to choose on whether to eat a meal for the night or buy products for themselves or kids. If these products were available at school, parents could worry less about buying such things and more about providing a meal on the table. However, some people have said that schools should not provide such products. For instance, “As much as we would all love for life to be a free ride, unfortunately it’s not. And when the government makes things “free," that means we must pay for it through taxes” (Davis n.pag). This however is not true, because if schools were the ones providing it, it would not be included in the taxes. For example, they could adjust their budget and make room for such products like families have to do or there have even been fundraisers that raise money for these situations. Not only do females have to worry about affording such products, they also have to worry about when they can’t afford these products.
In addition, not having menstrual products causes stress for students and may lead to some students having to miss class or school. To give an example, “According to the survey from Thinx and PERIOD, a lack of access to period products contributes to increased stigma around menstruation, lower rates of classroom productivity, and increased stress for students” (Alliance, School-Based Health n.pag). This explains that the absence of feminine products has various devastating effects on teenagers. Teenagers already have so much stress on their plates and then they have to worry about their period once a month which can distract them from what they are doing in the classroom. Another quote states, “Schools that participated in a pilot project in 2015-16 that provided menstrual products for free saw a 2.4% increase in attendance” (Alliance, School-Based Health n.pag). Furthermore, some schools that provided feminine products in their bathrooms actually got immediate feedback in the attendance rate. This proves how supplying school’s bathrooms with such necessities can allow females to stay more focused on their classwork, rather than on their period. It has been argued that tampon tax should be lowered rather than making them free. For example Espstein argues, “A snicker bar is tax free, but then when women go to purchase a tampon or pad they have to pay tax on it so therefore they should be tax free just like the candy bar” (n. p.a.g.). But, this however is not true because if pads and tampons were completely tax free that would cause a variety of other product that could be argued to be tax free, which would become a disaster. But instead, if we treat tampons and pads as a necessity in school bathrooms just like toilet paper or soap, teenagers would feel a lot less weary about going to school with their period. Therefore, by stocking feminine products in schools, females will be less stressed out and have an overall better class attendance average.
In conclusion, if schools provided feminine hygiene products in the restrooms, not only would there be an increase in attendance, but also more families would be able to provide for other necessities in the household. Students deserved to feel like they are cared for and that they will not have to stress each month when their cycle is starting. Period.