By: Sami Sharfin
Aunt Flow’s main mission is to ensure EVERYONE has access to quality menstrual products.
That’s why we’ve designed and developed our free-vend dispensers for businesses, universities, and entertainment centers to be able to sustainably offer freely accessible tampons and pads. Honestly, offering free menstrual products is the right thing to do.
However, some bathrooms offer tampons and pads in a dispenser that requires a quarter. From simply not functioning to eating your quarter, there are SO many issues with those clunky, yucky coin-operated dispensers.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Toilet paper is offered for free, why aren’t tampons?®
This is the question we are constantly asking in order to end what we like to call the Dispenser Dilemma. Charging $0.25 for a tampon or pad puts menstruators at a disadvantage. We shouldn’t have to bring our own menstrual products if no one else has to bring their own toilet paper. That’s a FACT.
Period poverty is an ongoing problem.
The inability to afford and access menstrual products is exacerbated by the argument that pads and tampons are “luxury items.” No one thinks of soap and toilet paper as luxury items in a public bathroom, so menstrual products shouldn’t be viewed any different. Imagine having to put a quarter in a machine in exchange for a drop of soap…
Menstrual products are not covered by WIC or food stamps.
The nearly $10 a month cost is unbearable for many people living at or below the poverty line. No one should EVER have to choose between food and tampons. According to HuffPost, menstruators save upwards of $5,000 in their lifetimes when pads and tampons are offered for free. That’s a pretty big chunk of change if you ask me.
Now that you’ve heard our reasoning, are you ready to help us end the Dispenser Dilemma?
If your school or business doesn’t offer freely-accessible menstrual products, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, Get A Quote and read this NPR article to learn more about why YOU should join the Menstrual Movement.
Sami Sharfin is a freelance writer, content creator and current senior at Indiana University-Bloomington.