Since the installation of our pool in 2017, MBHS has had pad and tampon dispensers in the new woman’s bathrooms on campus. The J-Wing bathroom and new office bathrooms also have these dispensers. However, they have not been stocked with products a single time in the past three years.
The aquatics girls have been staring at an empty container for these three years. Senior Eva Moylan, a varsity swim and water polo player, thinks that “it’s just really inconvenient to not have anything in there. There’s a dispenser but it’s never filled. It’d be nice if there was something in there that we could use.” Freshman Ruby Appell thinks the fifty cents price is a bad idea. “No one carries around quarters anyway.”
That leads to the question if these items should cost at all. Other schools in our county like Coast Union High School already provide feminine products for free. Faye Vavra recounted her experience at Coast Union High School when taking the SAT last year. “ I thought it was really cool. Like, wow! That’s so nice of them. I know this school is supporting me and my menstrual journey.” Moylan thinks supplies at our school should be at the least provided. “I think they should have them free, because it really is a necessity. If they have dispensers, they should fill them.”
When writing this piece, I found that MBHS actually does have tampons and pads provided in the nurse’s office. Although this is a step in the right direction, it still has a lot of problems. Junior Katherine Konjoyan feels the office isn’t ideal. “If you were to bleed through then you have to walk to the nurses office and then back to the bathroom. It shouldn’t be this way but we do have a culture that shames having your period. It sucks but it sometimes feels necessary to conform to society’s standards and hide having your period.” Marisa Dinsmoor added on, “a lot of people have anxiety about things like this. It can turn into a traumatic experience if things go wrong.” On top of that, only three out of seventeen girls I asked knew there were feminine products available, making the system in place fairly ineffective.
Distribution of period products is essential because dealing with periods is a very big issue for girls. We should be comfortable talking about this issue and providing for those who need it.