Harvard dorms now have free tampons — but mostly in gender-neutral restrooms. The reason is a hoot.

Harvard dorms now have free tampons — but mostly in gender-neutral restrooms. The reason is a hoot.
Harvard now boasts free menstrual hygiene products in every dormitory and house — but the dispensers are mostly in gender-neutral restrooms. You'll love the reason why. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

Harvard now boasts free menstrual hygiene products in every dormitory and house, the Harvard Crimson reported.

But the dispensers sporting tampons and pads are mostly in gender-neutral restrooms, the paper said.

And why is that?

Well, according to Undergraduate Council Vice President Nicholas D. Boucher, the gender-neutral spaces were chosen in order to reach students who may not be comfortable in women-only restrooms, the paper said.

Indeed, the president of a campus advocacy group called the Hygiene Campaign — now known as PERIOD — told the Crimson that availability of menstrual products is matter of equal access across genders.

“I think it is normalized in our society that we expect menstruators to carry their tampons and pads around, but if you actually think about it, it makes no sense, and it is extremely gendered,” PERIOD President Emma Y. He told the paper. “It’s more about access to education because so many people are late to class or they skip class because they don’t have a tampon or pad on them.”

‘Menstruators’?

If you’re wondering about the word “menstruator,” the College Fix noted some activists use it “to avoid connecting the act of menstruation to women.”

One example is the menstrual product outfit GladRags, which notes the word “menstruator” should be in everyone’s vocabulary.

Indeed, it declares that “not everyone who is a woman (gender) menstruates (a biological process associated with certain reproductive parts). And not every person who menstruates is a woman, either.”