The Instigator
rzentmayer
Pro (for)
The Contender
pieterlangenberg
Con (against)

Women's sanitary products should be available for free in prisons, shelters, and schools

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Debate Round Forfeited
pieterlangenberg has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 511 times Debate No: 97557
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

rzentmayer

Pro

Menstruation. Something that is unavoidable women. Thousands of impoverished girls risk their own health and safety without access to these necessary products. Reverting to makeshift methods like plastic or grocery bags to try to keep themselves clean. While condoms are made readily available for free in various locations, girls in shelters and prisons and even some schools are denied easy access to these vital items. Should these products be made free and available to those in the aforementioned locations?
pieterlangenberg

Con

There's no reason to treat this any different from the other basic needs like housing, food, water etc. and we still have to pay for those as well. Instead we should just make sure that the situation where there are people with too little money to even pay for these basic needs cannot occur, for example by paying decent unemployment benefits.
Debate Round No. 1
rzentmayer

Pro

For decades now we as a country have been fighting unemployment and poverty. This would be another initiative to help aid the problem. Women don't choose to be born women, they don't choose to have to shed their uterine lining every month, yet they're subjected to pay thousands in a lifetime to pay for this is unavoidable issue. How is this fair? How is this just? I understand that this argument may be viewed as a feminist rant. Some may see the idea of women having access to a necessary product certain locations (not everywhere), unequal, as men aren't directly benefiting. In the case of women in poverty, men are already benefiting, the issue of finding plastic or paper products to avoid ruining their perhaps only pair of pants is not something that affects men. This resolution simply levels the playing field, it doesn't put any one above each other. Yes unemployment initiative may help the situation so women would have more money to pay for pads or tampons, but imagine this: having to choose between eating that week or being clean and sanitary. This is a choice that men don't have to go through in the same manor. I am simply arguing that this idea would be beneficial ALONGSIDE other initiatives. I urge the con to see this issue from the perspective of the women and girls who live in poverty across the nation.
pieterlangenberg

Con

But I'm not at all arguing that women shouldn't have the sanitary products they need. I do agree that we as a society are responsible for making sure that everybody can always get their basic needs met. This includes sanitary products but also food, housing and water.

Now if you think these products should be made available for free, yet you don't think the same should apply to housing and food, then you need to give a good reason why these products need to be treated differently from other basic needs. Of course you could argue that housing and food should be made available for free as well, but they would mean we'd be doing away with capitalism completely.

You could argue that the difference is that it's unfair because it's a cost only women have, but I wouldn't have anything against it in principle of unemployment benefit would be higher for women than it is for men, or vice versa, if the basic cost of living is higher for one of the two genders. On the other hand, men tend to require more food than women, so it isn't even clear that women would get more in this case.

Again, I totally agree that these situations you described should never happen and that it's the responsible of our society to take care of this, I'm just not sure if providing these products for free is the best solution. Instead I'd say we should make sure abject poverty doesn't occur any more.
Debate Round No. 2
rzentmayer

Pro

Our economic system is based in this idea of capitalism, yet we still deviate as the US supports programs like welfare, unemployment, and various other programs that allow money to be given to those in need. Along with this, shelters and aid groups exist that already give out "free" products to those in need. The USA is not stranger when it comes to giving money to those who are poor, unemployed, sick, disabled, or suffering any other detriment to their ability to lead a normal life. Certain organizations allow housing and food to be made for free already to those in need, the resolution is simply asking the USA to take this already used system to extend it to women in need.

Of course some may argue (as they already have in the comments) that this resolution is unfair because men get nothing immediately in return. That this is unequal or unfair because men aren't getting anything. But as I've already said this resolution would only level the playing field. Impoverished women have a giant obstacle that's expensive and can affect their health that men don't ever have to worry about. Allowing sanitary products to be made available to those in need would only make things more equal, as now neither gender has to worry about this issue, which leads me to my next point.

My opponent and I are both in agreement that unemployment initiatives would be beneficial. But allowing women to have access to the products they need would be an unemployment initiative in itself. One reason some impoverished women are stuck without jobs or housing is because they can't afford it. If they could eliminate one cost like tampons/pads they'd be one step closer to leaving the unemployment pool as they'd more easily have access to education, food, and housing. Some may argue that this cost of tampons and pads is minimal, but research shows the opposite. One study estimates that the average women will spend $18,171 in a lifetime for period related products. $18,171. Imagine if impoverished women saved a fraction of this number, that'd definitely be enough to help them make the leap from poverty to employment.

Cost and economics, another issue that is of controversy in this debate. Where will the money come from to allow poor women to have these products? The tax payer? Private industry? Donations? Look at it this way, tampons are a multi-billion dollar industry, women are forced to pay a "pink tax" (luxury tax) on tampons. These tax dollars are sent to improve other programs like defense, public works, SS, Medicare/Medicaid, and many others. Women are already spending billions of tax dollars because of their periods to help domestic and international programs. So wouldn't it be fair to take some of these dollars towards helping women in need?

I completely agree that we need to eliminate poverty. Allowing women to have access to these products however would allow them to have a greater chance of making the leap out of poverty. We don't have time to wait around for new programs and initiatives to take form, women are suffering from diseases such as TSS & infection from a lack of proper products. In order to help women get out of poverty and protect their own health, we must allow these products to be made available.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by rzentmayer 1 year ago
rzentmayer
I'm trying to show those who read these comments or these debates that this resolution doesn't put anyone below anyone else, only helps those in need. If you've already decided that I'm a "femi-nazi" or someone who supports women's superiority, If you've already decided that this resolution is terrible, please don't comment. I don't want any arguemnts. If you do, however have a compelling arguement that uses facts and reason, feel free to challenge me in another debate.
Posted by rzentmayer 1 year ago
rzentmayer
I completely agree that homeless shelter's should address men specific health problems like prostate cancer, I think that'd be a great idea that'd save a lot of lives. The act of taking a rag however, and shoving it up a vagina is a breeding ground for disease, bacteria, and lot of health detriments. There's a reason women don't do that anymore. In this case, they DO become a threat to life, as TSS, infections, and even cancers aren't really ideal for the impovereished women who decided to use random rags or absorbent materials. Within our tax dollars, we already pay for so much. Public works, Medicare/Medicaid, SS, education, research, safety net programs... the list goes on. These things that we pay for don't directly affect you in all cases, so if you plan on making the arguement that we shouldn't force people to pay for things that they don't immeditaely benefit from, you'll have to also go against all these aforementioned things as well, or else you'd be wildly hypocritical. There are so many problems in this system, like the fact that men don't always have access to the health care they need just like women don't have access to the products they need.
Posted by TheBenC 1 year ago
TheBenC
Women don't have to be concerned with prostate cancer either. Should men get free prostate exams at men's shelters? OH wait...men's shelters don't exist.

I don't think free things are a good idea in general because they actually aren't free. By having them given away you force everyone else to pay for them. Men who don't need them will be, in part, paying for these things. I am ok with giving out food to starving people but sanitary products are not a threat to anyone's life. Those poor women can do what women used to do, which is to use a random rag or whatever absorbent item they can find.
Posted by rzentmayer 1 year ago
rzentmayer
I'm really not trying to start some "femi-nazi" debate. I am a firm believer in equality. Women have a very large obstacle that costs hundreds a year that men don't ever have to deal with. This would be equality, because no niether gender has this obstacle. How would impoverished women getting products for something that they can't help hurt you or your gender?
Posted by TheBenC 1 year ago
TheBenC
Male Lives Matter!
Posted by TheBenC 1 year ago
TheBenC
Before pads and tampons women handled their cycles very well. If you give women free stuff you have to do the same for men.

And you really said impoverished men don't have to worry about either picking a meal or a clean set of clothes? Since when?
Posted by rzentmayer 1 year ago
rzentmayer
Impoverished men don't have to worry about either picking a meal or a clean set of clothes, impoverished men will never have to wallow in their own menstrual blood. Impoverished men have one less problem on the financial and health level in this regard. This resolution would allow impoverished women to not have to worry about the aforementioned issues, thus insuring equality.
Posted by TheBenC 1 year ago
TheBenC
Feminists want equality so...what should men get for free?
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