September 27, 2016

OP-ED: I Voted ‘No’ to Free Tampons Because the Only Basic Right That Women Need Is Free Popcorn

Today, voting closed on Student Assembly Referendum 30, which would allow free tampons and pads in campus bathrooms. Despite undeniable support from the female population at Cornell, I decided to vote no. With tuition rising by the day, it’s not Cornell’s job to give free handouts to it’s students, unless of course, they’re handing out freshly buttered popcorn in small paper bags.

As a man, I know that there is only one true basic human right that everybody shares here at Cornell, and it is access to free and readily available popcorn from the hours of 10AM-9PM in the Willard Straight Resource Center.

After Brown University started distributing free tampons on campus, thousands of Cornellians petitioned to add referendum 30 to the ballot this fall, insisting that the availability of feminine care products is a necessary step towards gender equality. Do you want to know what I think is a necessary step towards gender equality? Letting both men and women be able to pick which spices go on top of their popcorn, free of charge. That’s the American way.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against women. I’m just looking at this from a purely economic standpoint. Women have their period, what, 4-7 days a month? As a fully grown 20-year-old man, I need access to popcorn every day if I’m going to remain healthy and well fed. Not to mention, women have provided themselves with their own sanitary products for the entire history of this university. Why all of a  sudden do women need tampons for free? If we all got together and determined that women liked chocolate, would we make chocolate free? Of course not. It makes no sense, unless we’re talking about popcorn – a snack that transcends gender.

I have never used money to purchase popcorn, and I intend to keep it that way. To exchange currency for my favorite salty treat would be a violation of my human rights.

I’ve never used a tampon, not even once. Every person eats popcorn. While it may be hard for a female student to focus on her coursework while menstrual fluid gushes onto her lecture hall seat, every Cornellian knows the feeling of hunger and fatigue in your 2:55 class caused by lack of freshly popped corn. Let’s make sure our tuition pays for something that matters: everyone’s favorite greasy movie theater snack.

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