The daily paper at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has issued a disclaimer with a recent article preemptively apologizing for saying women menstruate. The article in The Daily Bruin, published on Monday July 20, is an opinion piece calling for the government to provide women with free tampons in order to promote “gender equality.”  The UCLA article titled, “Free tampons would slow flow of gender inequality” is an opinion piece calling for the government to provide women with free tampons in order to level the gender gap. That request may strike many as pretty odd, but it’s made even odder by a warning the paper’s editors included prior to the piece itself:
Editor’s note: This blog post refers to individuals who menstruate as women because the author wanted to highlight gender inequality in health care. We acknowledge that not all individuals who menstruate identify as women and that not all individuals who identify as women menstruate, but feel this generalization is appropriate considering the gendered nature of most health care policies. 
The note is doubtless intended to avoid flak from the transgender community and its supporters, who argue gender is purely a matter of personal identity. As such, some people may identify as men, but due to being born in female bodies still menstruate. On the other hand, many people born in male bodies may greatly desire to menstruate, but are unable to do so because sex-change surgery is not yet advanced enough to achieve this. Of course, there’s also the more mundane fact that due to medical issues or simply old age, not all biological women menstruate.  But whatever… Who cares about this shit? The note itself distracts from the editorial, which makes some bold claims of its own on the necessity of free tampons. The writer for this article, Zooey Freeman, is a staunch believer that the U.S. government should recognize “that even the most basic health care needs to start subsidizing the cost of tampons and pads for women, or covering the cost completely.”  This must be the fault of the evil patriarchy again.
The provision of tampons, or at least a subsidy, would give many women, especially those living on the streets or living paycheck to paycheck, access to these necessary items and the ability to change them often without the fear of running out. Not changing a tampon frequently enough can lead to complications like toxic shock syndrome or blood poisoning, among other things, which can lead to permanent damage in women’s lives.
One of the big problem is that no one truly understands what insurance actually means and how it’s supposed to function. If you look at health insurance the same way that you look at car insurance, you understand that car insurance doesn’t cover gas fill ups, oil changes, a new set of windshield wipers or tire rotations. Insurance doesn’t cover regular maintenance.  That’s just part of life. So why do people have completely different expectations when it comes to health insurance? She goes on:
But more importantly, cutting the cost of these products is a crucial step in normalizing menstruation within society, and it provides women who may not have access to these resources the opportunity to feel clean and comfortable during their period.
Freedman doesn’t elaborate on why she believes menstruation is not “normalized” in society. In fact, everybody can see that this is an absurd statement. Feminists are constantly posting pictures of “this time of the month” on Instagram, live tweeting it and ruining little girls’ childhood by giving Disney princesses period stains. 
Once necessary items needed to maintain feminine wellness are made attainable, public amenities outside of health centers and doctors’ offices should join in normalizing access to feminine products. Public facilities such as restrooms, schools and theaters should provide tampons and pads to women who need them, when they need them. 
Unfortunately for her, Freedman’s article got her entire publication deemed a “national laughingstock.”  Almost immediately, readers slammed the suggestion that women deserve free access to tampons and pads.  Unfortunately for her, they don’t agree with her stance. Freedman has faced taunts labeling her as “pathetic” and “idiotic.”  They argue that by Freedman’s rationale, toilet paper and other health care products should be provided by the government and call her argument “regressive.”  The article, and its editor note, however, still upset people across the Internet. In the comments section of the article, which has since been disabled, people strongly vocalized their views on the issue. The comment with the most positive votes reads:
Really? Give me more free stuff is your stance? By that rationale, why should men have to pay for razors or deodorant either. Just think what happens when the government gets involved with providing you free hygiene products. You won’t be using the nice Tampax you (or your parents, who are probably still funding you) buy now, you will get cheap crap made by the lowest bidder. Is that what you want to put in your body? Toxic shock much? Grow up. I put myself through college without whining about no one giving me free stuff, and I’m doing just fine now. Plus it is I who has to pay for your free stuff, what will you give me in return?
LOL thanks to this silly editor’s note you have made your paper a national laughingstock. Are there really men at UCLA who menstruate.
I’m sorry, is this the Daily Bruin or Poe’s law quarterly? I am a UCLA alum and when I see stories like this (to say nothing of the “editor’s note”), I feel a deep shame for what the university is producing. I scrape things off the bottom of my shoe that are more worthy of publication. — drakejr
Sandra Fluke never even went this far. So now tax-payers have to cough up more money for your tampons? And this editorial note about who menstruates is a joke. This is how far the left has taken us in academia. — garyfouse
If you want free stuff, marry an attentive husband or enter a traditional relationship, Zoey.
If you want independence and empowerment, buy your own stuff and look out for yourself. You shouldn’t be allowed to have your cake and eat it too. Stop being pathetic.
This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read’ and ‘what a load of stupid s**t’.
As a result of the outrage, Freedman penned another article in order to defend herself against the “sexist” critics. Instead of addressing the issues about whether it was the government’s job to pay for tampons, or whether it was necessary to clarify the use of the word “woman,” Freedman insists she is a victim of sexist attacks by the commenters on her “free tampons” article (who, she had to add, were mostly men):
But I didn’t know so many men also felt so passionately about women’s access to tampons. Quite honestly, I was blown away by the number of men who took the time out of their day to voice their opinions on this subject. I was particularly impressed by how many men focused their insults on my gender, obviously missing my point – or maybe proving my point – about the gender inequality still present in such basic areas. I voiced my opinion on equal health care and I was told to get a hysterectomy or to get married so a man could take care of my needs. I was told to drop out of school because it seemed apparent that I wasn’t learning anything anyway. I was called a colorful array of degrading names aimed directly at being a woman. My opinion was even stated by some to be great supporting evidence to the reason for the income gap between genders. 
In response to that one commenter told Freedman that “[p]eople were not criticizing you because you’re a woman. They were criticizing you because what you said was completely inane.”  Freedman concludes her follow-up with the statement that, “Progress in gender equality is happening, whether or not everyone is greeting it with open arms.” Progress, according to Freedman, is apparently a “discussion” about why taxpayers should be required to pay for tampons with the other side of the conversation being dismissed as sexists for daring to question the reasoning.  Freedman isn’t the first person to push such a ridiculous idea, as feminist blogger Jessica Valenti made a similar demand in The Guardian last year.