This Problem on Indian Reservation Has Nothing to Do with ‘Gender Rights’

One of the more irritating things about the left is not necessarily what they do or say, but it’s how stupid they think the rest of us are. Sometimes we are to blame, whether when we post a story known to be inaccurate or false, or when we cheer or jeer along with the message of a piece without pausing to consider its validity.

Enter the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and the left’s latest grievance, tampons (emphasis mine): Children here learn to get by without such basics as central heat, even when temperatures drop to -25 degrees. Alcoholism and teen suicide are rampant on the reservation, and rates for graduation and life expectancy are devastatingly low.

For many women and girls not having access to tampons and pads cuts to the heart of another issue: gender rights.

“They shouldn’t feel like they’re being punished for being a girl,” said Julia Chipps, the nurse at the Crazy Horse School.

After a young student lost her grandmother, who was her primary caretaker, she told Chipps that she was considering getting pregnant. That way, she wouldn’t have to worry about buying tampons for a while. Some girls stock up on toilet paper at school to use as makeshift pads. It’s not uncommon to see women on the reservation walking around wearing pants stained with blood, Chipps said.

Let me just get this out of the way: You do not have a (gender) right to a tampon any more than I have a right to toilet paper.

Having grown up in Rapid City, near Pine Ridge, I can tell you this is one of worst places in America. Name the socio-economic element, and with virtual certainty I can tell you this area represents the bottom of the barrel. And while I wish all Indians there would integrate with the rest of America to improve their stations in life, the plight of their tampons has nothing to do with gender discrimination. Here’s one of the author’s complaints.

A box of 20 Playtex tampons on the reservation goes for $7.39. At a Walmart in Rapid City, 18 Playtex tampons costs $3.97.

If we dig slightly deeper, past our emotions, we will quickly understand the economics surrounding the issue. First, women cost more to keep healthy. You have more going on inside you, like plumbing necessary to grow and give birth to children, and you tend to live longer. In fact, women, your healthcare costs about one-third more overall. You can’t blame men for that. Take it up with God.

Second, consider Indian reservations, where in many cases products and services don’t do well. Anytime you add high crime rates to the mix (don’t blame me, leftists, your precious New York Times agrees), things cost more. Add to that red tape to cut through government subsidies and near-constant supplier/buyer grift, it’s easy to see where costs always go up.

Let’s swing back to Huffpomposity’s piece.

Menstruation is a basic part of the human condition for half the population, but it’s been stigmatized for basically all of our existence,” Weiss-Wolf said. “If we acknowledge that people who menstruate are fuller participants in society when their needs are accounted for, we would find this to be a no-brainer.

Here’s where this ticks me off. Who, Ms. Weiss-Wolf, is stigmatizing menstruation? What does that mean? That the general population doesn’t kick off each woman’s cycle with a ticker tape parade hardly justifies your squeals of discrimination. While it’s nothing to be ashamed of, the topic of a woman’s period is also not something we have to detail, debate, and have a protracted conversation about.

But this is yet another grievance the left thinks we’re going to shed a tear on, maybe donate to, and, eventually, call out for more government interference. This is wrong, and these people know it. To help Pine Ridge menstruating women get their feminine hygiene products, we need to get them off the reservation, or get the reservation off welfare.

By the way, Pine Ridge has been in existence for 128 years. Why are we just hearing about this specific issue now?

You know why? Because HuffPo and virtually every other media outlet is set on a course for dictating what we’re supposed to be upset about. Make no mistake, women of Pine Ridge (and everywhere else), their use of you extends only as far as the alleged complaint can score political points. Once that tank is dry, you will be abandoned on the side of road.

photo credit: modenadude Inspecting the minaret via photopin (license)

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Michael Cummings

About the author, Michael Cummings: Michael A. Cummings has a Bachelors in Business Management from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and a Masters in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Arizona University. He has worked as a department store Loss Prevention Officer, bank auditor, textbook store manager, Chinese food delivery man, and technology salesman. Cummings wrote position pieces for the 2010 Trevor Drown for US Senate (AR) and 2012 Joe Coors for Congress (CO) campaigns. View all articles by Michael Cummings

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