Wait – guys think periods come from where?!!
A recent tweet from a 19 year-old British self-proclaimed ‘meninist’ set the internet of fire this weekend.
While speaking out about the tampon tax, he made this particular statement: ‘Tampons should not be free, why does everyone keep saying they should be? If you can’t control your bladder then that’s not taxpayers’ problem!’
Tampons should not be free, why does everyone keep saying they should be?? if u can’t control ur bladder then that’s not taxpayers problem!
— Ryan ø (@ryanwilliams97) October 16, 2016
There are two things you need to know about before we take this much further: what the deal is with the tampon tax and what on earth a ‘meninist’ is.
What started as an online satire of people (mostly men) who rag on feminism, the meninist movement was mostly used as a hashtag to make jokes about supposed inequalities between men and women. In theory, the movement is about putting a light on issues related to men’s rights, such as the under-reporting of male rape due to the social stigma that suggests it makes the male victim gay, or somehow less of a man to be overpowered by someone else.
The problem here is twofold: one, this is basically just feminism for men who think feminism is a dirty word. Feminism fights for the destruction of the negativity surrounding things that are arbitrarily deemed as traditionally feminine. Feminism fights for the rights of men to have full access to expressing their emotions however they want. Feminism fights for the destruction of fragile masculinity, or the idea that masculinity is such a fragile construct that something as simple as wearing a skirt could somehow shatter.
And the second problem, of course, is that meninists don’t seem to actually care so much about these issues. They’d much rather rail on things like how women don’t actually need to earn equal wages and how tampon taxes are totally fair.
Which brings me to the second thing you should know about: the tampon tax.
Did you know that in many states and countries tampons and sanitary napkins are considered luxury items? Essentially, countries tax most items and make exceptions for so-called necessities: groceries, some over-the-counter drugs, and clothes in some areas, are examples of necessities. The government decided that you shouldn’t be taxed for items you need, just for items you want.
Thus begins the fight over the fact that sanitary napkins and tampons are currently taxed as luxury items. Anyone with a period will tell you that these are definitely not luxury items, they’re absolute necessities. It’s either that, or we can bleed all over everything everyone else is sitting on. Good luck enjoying your comfy restaurant chairs now.
So then, why on earth would anyone protest against the removal of these tampon taxes? Some may simply believe that everything should be taxed, but as seems to be the case with meninists, it may just be that they have no actual idea how women’s bodies work.
A one-on-one interview with the author of the now infamous ignorant tweet about periods on The Tab seems to prove that. During the interview, the female journalist inquires, “Sorry. So, do you think that women menstruate from their bladders?” to which the tweeter, 19 year-old Ryan Williams, replies, “They do. It does.”
When the journalist tries to fill Williams in on the way female anatomy actually works, he quickly interrupts, insisting, “Oh god. Stop. This is getting too graphic for me. I’m sorry.”
So, somehow, this adult man has made it this far in life actually believing that we have periods through our bladders, and that we’re basically just peeing on ourselves all day. Hmph.
I wish I could say that this is a problem that’s exclusive to this ignorant young man, but it isn’t. There is an unfortunate portion of men in the world who have managed to go their entire adult lives without any understanding of the fact that a period is something that can’t be controlled, comes from our uterus, and absolutely isn’t some lazy excuse to use the bathroom.
There are so many people that support this boy, that he not only started a GoFundMe to #StopTheBlob (that has since been taken down, proof of goodness and justice in the world), but continues to tweet about his number of supporters and delusional beliefs.
— Ryan ø (@ryanwilliams97) October 17, 2016
— Ryan ø (@ryanwilliams97) October 18, 2016
I think the best response to this stupidity can best be summed up by Friends‘ Rachel, who tells her male friends, “No uterus, no opinion”.
Comment: Do you agree there are a lot of men who don’t understand how periods work?