Amid a Jan. 11 education policy hearing, Feist fired off a list of reasons why she believes the amendment making the products available in female restrooms only as opposed to restrooms for both genders shouldn't be supported:
I would encourage the committee to vote no on this amendment for a few reasons: practical, financial, social, emotional. First, there are a lot of schools that are moving towards gender-neutral bathrooms, and if we add "female" we might become obsolete very quickly. Second, not all students who menstruate are female – we need to make sure that all students have access to these products.
Feist admitted that there are fewer “non-female menstruating students" as opposed to female menstruating students — and that was factored into the cost of the bill. She continued:
These students who are not female, who menstruate, face a greater stigma and barrier to asking for these products, and so providing them in an easily accessible place in all student bathrooms is particularly important for those students.
How are folks reacting?
As you might expect, many of those reacting on Twitter to Feist's insistence that "not all students who menstruate are female" were not gentle. The following are but a few examples:
- "The problem with this nonsense is that everyone speaks as if it's a scientific fact when it's not," one commenter wrote. "If you menstruate you are a biological female, that is a fact. That is science. The rest of it is people just pretending & playing make-believe."
- "The chromosomes that make you male or female never change," another user said. "If you have a uterus you will have a menstrual cycle. A trans person can all themselves female or male, but if they are XY they are male. XX they are female. Biology 101."
- "Show me an actual man who menstruates and needs tampons. If you can show me that I’ll shut up," another commenter noted. "But you can’t. It will never happen. ... A man is a man and a woman is a woman. If you are a hermaphrodite, figure it out."
- "Where are all the women's organizations who are supposed to be empowering and standing up for women?!!" another user wondered. "I find this garbage coming from women insulting and criminal to girls being influenced by them!"
Republican state Rep. Dean Urdahl — who brought forward the amendment to the bill, according to the National Desk — said during last week's hearing that it's "just about practicality. I believe that these products should be most available to those that would use them, girls. This amendment makes that more likely.”
Urdahl said in a later comment to the outlet, "I do believe that feminine hygiene products should be made available to girls in our schools. The point I was making is that they should be where girls can access them and not boys." He added to the National Desk that "if a girl who thinks she’s a boy menstruates, the school nurse could provide the product, not the boys' bathroom. I have apprehensions about the potential uses of feminine products by 4th-grade boys."
The outlet said it didn't receive a response from Feist prior to publication.
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