Earlier this year, former Obama staffer Alyssa Mastromonaco wrote a memoir about her time in the White House called Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House. Mastromonaco shares what life was like as more women joined the staff at the White House, which eventually led to the installation of a tampon dispenser — the first and only — which as of 2017 is “permanently out of service.”
In the book, Mastromonaco recounts a harrowing moment that involved a pair of capris, an unexpected period, and how she got a tampon machine installed in the women’s washroom. During a dinner with other female staffers, Mastromonaco’s unexpected period destroyed her favorite pair of J.Crew pants, and with so many women in the office, it was time to change things.
“If we were truly serious about running a diverse operation and bringing more women into politics, we should give the office a basic level of comfort for them,” she wrote in the book. “Even if you had to pay a quarter, it would be better than menstruating all over the Oval.”
But, as of today (Oct 27), it appears that the tampon dispenser is out of service, and the current administration appears to have no interest in fixing or replacing it. No one from the White House has responded to the tweets.
For many people, having a period is a non-negotiable thing. With 800 million people menstruating every single day around the globe, having sanitary, safe access to tampons and pads can make a person’s life easier.
Women already have an added expense in having to purchase menstrual sanitary items, as well as more expensive contraception methods. Hopefully, more women like Mastromonaco share stories around their periods, the less this very natural thing will be taboo. In the meantime, employers of women (including the White House!) need to step up.
Do you have a period horror story? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Featured photo via Getty)