Friday, May 09, 2008

the radical feminist agenda: eradicate obsolete tampon machines

I once came across what seemed like a crazy idea at the time: why aren't tampons and pads available in restrooms, same as toilet paper? If men menstruated, would baskets of tampons in restrooms be the norm? The knee-jerk reaction against such a tampon-free-for-all, I imagine, since I had the same reactionary response, is: won't people just steal the tampons? But then: toilet paper theft isn't exactly a prevalent problem. What if tampons, like free newspapers and toilet paper, were simply dispensed in a way that prevented one from being inclined to waste one's time -- maybe keep the dispenser, and leave the coin part? Google provides baskets of tampons in its women's restrooms, and (amazingly), they don't seem to have any problems. So what's up with the tampon machines?

I ask, because I sometimes run out of tampons, or forget to throw one in my bag in the morning. I imagine this is part of the female condition. Anyway, I usually figure I'll try my chances with the tampon vending machines in the restrooms. But let me tell you: you have better odds in Vegas than against your average feminine product dispenser.

Yesterday I ran out of tampons, but I figured, I have dimes and quarters, I'll get one on campus. So toward the end of my Writing Center shift, I pocketed a quarter and walked down the hall -- only to discover that the machine only takes dimes. So after ANOTHER TRIP with a dime, I find that the machine is also empty or simply not functioning. Then I tried upstairs: one machine would neither dispense the promised tampon, NOR return my quarter. Now there's a business model for an entrepreneurially inclined, sadistic bastard. So I moved on to the next bathroom, only to discover that said bathroom has only a pad dispenser (are we living in the freaking '50s, people?!). Jesus CHRIST. The problem is, these machines are obsolete, ineffective, and fucking mysterious (do you pull the knob? turn it? give it a secret handshake?). I don't *trust* a machine I can't see into. I mean, when's the last time you put a dollar in a vending machine for a candy bar you couldn't *see*?

Operation Mayhem: on the feminine product vending machine. Because it's time we brought equality into the restroom.


SurveysCenter said... sounds cooool..

karuna said...

hehehehe....this never would have been an issue at Mount Holyoke. You could just turn to any person around you and be like, "so do you have a tapon?" and they would just hand you one. *sigh*

Ricki said...

here's a "back in my day recollection"

the pads back then didn't even have the sticky side. You had to wear a belt that it hooked onto.

panty hose was the same. you hooked each leg hose up to a garter belt.

Claudia said...

Becky, it sounds like you need a Keeper. ( It's like a tampon, except without the part where you shove dioxin into your vagina!