News & Politics

California May Require Public Colleges to Provide Free... Men's Menstrual Products?

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Men’s menstrual products aren’t even a thing, but that isn’t stopping one California assemblycritter from requiring that the state’s public colleges provide them for free.

Cristina Garcia, who represents California’s 58th district, is the author of AB-367, which states that “access to menstrual products is a basic human right and is vital for ensuring the health, dignity, and full participation of all Californians in public life.”

If my own history as a freshman at the University of Missouri many years ago is anything to go by, male California students won’t be doing anything involving health or dignity with the free tampons they find in the men’s rooms.

Garcia’s bill goes on (and on):

California has an interest in promoting gender equity, not only for women and girls, but also for transgender men, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people who may also menstruate and experience inequities resulting from lack of access to menstrual products.

The scientific fact that non-biological women don’t menstruate and have no need for menstrual products is no reason they shouldn’t be indulged in the feelz that they have the right to menstruate, and thus to menstrual products.

At taxpayer expense, of course.

According to Campus Reform, projections “put the implementation cost at at least $750,000.”

AB-367 seems to be a spinoff of UC-Davis senior Audin Leung’s “Free the Period” organization. According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Leung has spent her (are we being presumptuous?) “entire college career” championing “free period products throughout campuses.”

UC-Davis used to give out more homework.

“It’s really a question about gender equity and basic human dignity,” said Jason Chen, a freshman at Stanford University and chair of the Empowerment Collective, a California student group lobbying around policies that affect young people. “As a non-menstruating individual, I don’t have to worry about where my toilet paper is going to be or if I’m going to have access to toilet paper when I’m in the bathroom.”

I’ll concede there might be some merit — setting aside the cringy pretense of describing himself as a “non-menstruating individual” — to Chen’s argument in favor of putting free menstrual products in the ladies’ rooms.

But men’s menstrual products?

AB-367 isn’t about providing an inexpensive necessity to women who might have gotten caught unawares. Garcia’s bill is about using taxpayer money to comfort the delusions of a very few who believe that they might somehow, all biology aside, magically get a period this month.

Because science.

Not for the first time, either.

In 2017, Garcia authored the similar AB-10, “relating to feminine hygiene products” on public college campuses. AB-10 was rejected for budgetary reasons, but now that California is awash in COVID relief funds and lockdown-related Big Tech profits, who knows what permanent new “free” benefit the Assembly might agree to fund.