Tampon Task Force Bill a necessary step forward for women



The Lexington Herald-Leader reported on Jan. 9 that a new bill, spurred on by the activism of University of Louisville’s Tampon Taskforce, would require all Kentucky universities and colleges to provide free sanitary products to their students.

The bill, which says, “All public postsecondary education institutions shall make at least one (1) type of feminine hygiene product available for use by women students at no cost,” is a necessary step forward for women everywhere.

Thankfully, UK already offers pads in its women’s restrooms, but many students at other institutions are not so fortunate. Instead of merely being comfortable that we as UK students have these products available, we must stand with students from other Kentucky colleges who do not. Just because this does not affect us personally doesn’t mean we should not be worried about it.

The Herald-Leader’s story reported that the bill was inspired partly by the observation that women who get their period unexpectedly on campus must leave to find sanitary products and often are forced to pay outrageous prices for them at stores near campus. For many students who already suffer financially, this is merely an added financial burden. They are, in essence, being punished for something out of their control and possibly being deterred from going to class during certain times of the month.

The story also reported that bills like this one don’t have a good chance of passing with a male-majority legislature often “embarrassed” by the conversation.

That our legislators would be embarrassed by this conversation merely because they are men is further proof that this bill is necessary to ensure a truly equal experience on campus. The story reported that the bill is supported by two women: Attica Scott, who is sponsoring it, and Julie Raque Adams, who plans to introduce a bill to accompany Scott’s bill in the Senate. However, more male legislators must get on board and prove to their female constituents that they are mature enough to pass bills that are right for every American.

For too long, most of the college campuses in this country have still reflected an all-male student body and not enough has been done to ensure that women, like men, can stay on campus despite uncontrollable biological events and enjoy their higher learning. This bill is a good and necessary step toward ensuring true equality for both men and women students around the state.