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OP-ED: If Penn Isn't Going to Stock Tampons in the Public Bathroom Dispensers, They Should at Least Fill Them With Candy


Photo by Lea Eisenstein / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Last week, the unthinkable happened. Let me set the scene: I was zoned out in class when I felt a familiar twinge in my lower abdomen and a warm, sanguine rush beneath me. I ducked under my desk and dug through my bag for something, anything, that would stop the violent hemorrhage wreaking havoc on my favorite bloomers. Nothing. 

No worries, I thought to myself, I'll just jam a quarter in one of those dispensers. They're all over campus — surely I'll get my hands on a tampon that way

Little did I know, I wouldn't.

I traveled to seven different public bathrooms in four different campus buildings, and every last one was empty. By the time I scavenged a charity tampon by begging on the side of the road like a goddamned soiled pauper, I had lost so much blood I couldn't see straight. Like so many others in this tragic position, my blood sugar had plummeted to dangerous levels.

For this reason, Penn administration, I implore you: if you won't stock tampons in the bathroom dispensers, can you at least fill them with candy?

It disturbs me to no end that bloodied tampons are lauded as the unofficial University mascot, and yet they are virtually unavailable to the menstrually-challenged in our times of need. I might be slightly less disturbed, though, if I had a king-sized Snickers bar to tide me over while I birth my own uterine lining in the middle of lecture.

What we really want is that good good cotton stuff (with the plastic applicators please), but we know that's simply too much to ask. Candy would at least take the edge off a bit. If the University will sentence me to a day of waddling from class to class with a clump of single-ply in my fouled jeans, a few Reese's cups might just get me to stop crying about it.

Penn administration, we know you will never refill the tampon dispensers with actual tampons. In light of this, the easiest and most ethical solution is to turn them into free candy machines. Period.