Feminist Philosophers

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Tampon-gate July 12, 2013

Filed under: abortion,discrimination,gender inequality,politics — philodaria @ 8:35 pm
Tags: , , ,

Tampons and other feminine hygiene products are not being allowed in the Texas capitol building today, for the hearing on House Bill 2 restricting abortion rights. Guns are still allowed. And no, this is not from The Onion. 

 

21 Responses to “Tampon-gate”

  1. tarabound Says:

    I was just sharing information on facebook about this. I think it is hillarious that it is being billed as tampongate.
    I don’t think it is appropriate to throw things at lawmakers, no matter how strongly I disagree with them.

    Do you think all the debate is good or bad for women’s reproductive rights? It seems like over the last decade or two people have become so polarized that no middle ground is possible. What do you think, is progress being made or lost?

  2. philodaria Says:

    Tarabound, no tampons were thrown, and so far as I know (and I have been following this very closely) there were no plans to throw tampons. Activists did request a delivery of tampons to the capitol, but that was because women menstruate, and the capitol bathrooms were running out.

  3. philodaria Says:

    I think progress is absolutely being lost, and I don’t think what’s been going on even qualifies as debate. This whole process has been absolutely laughable, were it not for the fact that it’s consequences are so very serious.

    To be clear, for anyone who thinks this bill is really prolife, here are a list of amendments that the legislature voted to table, after approximately three minutes of discussion for eachhttp://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2013-07-12/hb-2-amendments-proposed-and-rejected/

    Many of those amendments are obviously very pro-life.

    In 2007, one of the bills authors proposed an amendment to a healthcare bill for children that would have cut prenatal care for approximately 95,000 mothers. When a fellow legislator challenged her on this, she said her proposal did not mean cuts to care for children, as they were not yet born. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/09/texas-abortion-bill-author_n_3570588.html

  4. tarabound Says:

    Thats even funnier. I was doing a search before I commented on this thread. The right leaning websites were linking to twitter comments that the plan was to throw things, and that security for the building had confiscated bricks & gilltter as well as sanitary products……Of course, I believe that the rumors were just feeding into themselves and snowballing.

  5. philodaria Says:

    The only claims on twitter that I’ve seen that there was a plan to throw anything, all came from supporters of the bill. I have not been able to find a single one from any activists or organizer who opposes the bill.

    From what I understand, they were confiscated because of fears they /could/ be thrown–but there was no evidence they actually would be.

  6. beta Says:

    Apparently they are no longer being confiscated, according to informal reports on facebook and twitter.

  7. philodaria Says:

    Yeah, Sen. Watson talked to security about it.

  8. The latest I’ve heard is that they are allowing unopened products. The incident that set them off was apparently a used product. They’ve also confiscated bricks and jars of human feces, according to some reports. The reality is that social media can be great spreading news very quickly but can also spread misinformation equally well. It helps a little bit not being in a Twitter bubble and finding relatively sane people to follow on both sides political spectrum, but with breaking events some things won’t be clear until much later, even with such safeguards.

  9. Kathryn Says:

    Jeremy, they started allowing unopened products *after* an intervention by Sen. Kirk Watson. According to DPSs own statement on the matter, they say they confiscated “significant quantities of feminine hygiene products.” Several people I know who are there were told that they were not allowed to have feminine hygiene products (no qualifier), before the intervention.

  10. Kathryn Says:

    Also, “DPS officers outside the Senate gallery and at each entrance to the Capitol told The Texas Tribune they had not seen or found jars containing feces or urine, and multiple officers throughout the Capitol said they had not heard of any jars being found until a reporter mentioned it. Several officers also said they had not heard anything on the DPS radio system about jars of any excrement.” http://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/12/protesters-question-dps-report-confiscations/

  11. It may turn out that they were confiscating personal belongings from women for no good reason, in which case I think they ought to be criticized. But if reports are true that people were bringing in used tampons or handing out large quantities of tampons to throw (which I did see a picture of, but I wouldn’t assume it’s accurate or presented in context without confirmation), not to mention some of the other things people are saying they had collected, then I don’t understand why the motivation of security to minimize such disruption should be seen as bad, even if they implemented it badly either because of a miscommunication or overreaction.

    But my point was that we shouldn’t trust people on either side of such disputes when it comes to social media with live events. Reports will conflict, and we should withhold judgment until we get facts confirmed. Haven’t the last few months taught us that much with the unreliability of social media in reporting live events? I can think of a number of recent highly-tweeted events where most of the details being passed around turned out to be very wrong once more information was known the next day. That being said, it would be shocking to me if no one did try anything extreme, given how much energy there is among protesters and given some of the pretty edgy stuff that’s already been done (stuff that reporters didn’t believe and even claimed to be erroneous, which they then had to retract when it was discovered that the reports in those cases were true).

  12. Kathryn Says:

    Jeremy, you are implying that people here are only relying on social media for information on this issue. The implication is not likely to be true (and it’s certainly not true of me).

  13. Euthyphronics Says:

    It may turn out that they were confiscating personal belongings from women for no good reason, in which case I think they ought to be criticized. But if reports are true that people were bringing in used tampons or handing out large quantities of tampons to throw (which I did see a picture of, but I wouldn’t assume it’s accurate or presented in context without confirmation), not to mention some of the other things people are saying they had collected, then I don’t understand why the motivation of security to minimize such disruption should be seen as bad, even if they implemented it badly either because of a miscommunication or overreaction.

    This strikes me as patently false. Replace “personal belongings” with, say, “prescription glasses” or (following on from 8) “insulin”. If X is a product that certain people legitimately need to be able to do their jobs unhindered (whether every day or only on certain days), then even if you have reason to think someone is going to do bad things with X, the solution is not to ban X from the workplace, but to take precautions to make sure the bad things aren’t done with those who do have X.

  14. I said it was a very bad idea stemming probably from an overreaction or miscommunication and that someone eventually thought better of it. I said that, given a certain set of facts that I haven’t confirmed or disconfirmed, the motivation might have been legitimate, even if the actual policy was pretty dumb. I’m not sure how anything you have said makes any of that patently false.

  15. Jacqui Says:

    If those women were pregs like they’re suppossed to be, they would not need tampons! (I am being sarcastic)

  16. wileywitch Says:

    Used tampons and jars of feces could as easily have been used by vandals in an attempt to further dismiss and ridicule women and the things that women require, at times, for their biological needs and dignity.

    Excluding women from political debate about women’s issues is a right-wing tactic. It wasn’t that long ago that the U.S. House (Daryll Issa) had a hearing on contraception with zero women in attendance. Afterward Nancy Pelosi, Elijah Cummings, and Congresswomen Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Carolyn Maloney called a hearing in which they discussed that closed all male meeting, and the complexities of women’s reproductive rights and women’s health. The House members who held the closed meetings, refused to allow the women to use House equipment, so Pelosi, et al, made other arrangements. The Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke who testified at that hearing spoke on behalf of women she knew and women like them and in return she was socially and politically battered with the hate speech that flooded the airwaves about Sandra Fluke being a “slut” who wanted the government to subsidize her sex life.

    The Texas GOP is dominated by Christian Reconstructionists and Dominionists who have no interest in fairness, equality, or women living according to any rules but their “God’s”. They won’t hesitate to align with Catholic misogynists and Mormon misogynists as long as dis-empowering and controlling women is in their sites.

  17. Nemo Says:

    Wileywitch, I’m not sure I understood the point of your first paragraph there (in #17), but regarding the second paragraph, I think you may have been misinformed about the Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing on religious freedom issues (not contraception per se) to which you’re presumably referring. It certainly had women in attendance, including but not limited to the women on the committee and women witnesses – though it’s true that the witnesses were divvied up into two consecutive panels, one of which wound up without any of the women witnesses. At any rate, whatever criticisms the OGRC religious freedom hearing may have been susceptible to, “zero women in attendance” and “all male meeting” (or, for that matter “closed”) are not accurate.

    Concerning the last paragraph of your comment, I can understand your frustration, but I’m not sure you realize – I should say I expect you did not realize – how bigoted your expression of it came across.

  18. Nemo Says:

    Apologies for my open-ended italics above (they were intended to be limited to “per se”), which made my comment hard on the eyes. Perhaps a kindly mod can wave a wand and fix …?

  19. thevenusenvy Says:

    Reblogged this on THE VENUS ENVY and commented:
    GUNS: OK TAMPONS: NOT OKAY, Welcome to Texas vagina owners.

  20. wileywitch Says:

    Uh, Nemo— it was a hearing about “religious freedom” to deny women insurance coverage for contraception. Zero women testified at that hearing.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/02/16/426850/democratic-women-boycott-issas-contraception-hearing-for-preventing-women-from-testifying/


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