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Men’s restrooms at Cornell University stocked with baskets of free ‘mxnstrual’ products

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Cornell University is expanding and rebranding its free menstrual products initiative to be gender-neutral while providing free “mxnstrual” products in men’s bathrooms.

“As of 2017, they had put menstrual products in women’s and gender-neutral bathrooms on campus,” Joseph Mullen, vice president of internal operations on the Student Assembly told The Cornell Daily Sun. “In 2020, they decided to put them in all bathrooms on campus, and the rationale behind that was that regardless of how people identify biologically or gender-wise, everybody should get access to these products.”

The products are provided through an initiative called “Free Period Products,” which started in 2016 as a partnership with Cornell and two student-led advocacy groups including the Gender Justice Advocacy Coalition (GJAC) and Student Assembly Infrastructure Fund Commission (CSAIFC).

“The impetus behind the initiative is simple,” GJAC president Clara Drimmer wrote in an email. “Toilet paper is free in any public bathroom. Why shouldn’t period products be free for all people who need them?”

Over 200,000 free products including tampons, pads, and liners were provided at Cornell’s campus for the 2020-2021 school year although organizers feared they may not be able to find long-term funding and claimed they risk running out of products by the end of the spring semester.

This may be due, at least in part, to what some have suggested should happen if one were to encounter the baskets of free toiletries being offered in the educational institution’s bathrooms.

***Warning: Language***

Ellie Month, former chair of the CSAIFC explained the big change in attitude towards the free products being offered in bathrooms for both sexes.

“The thought of having menstrual products in all bathrooms was really taboo for the University,” she said.

But it appears that some people still feel this way.

Others pointed out logistical concerns with the spelling and pronunciation of the apparently newly-coined gender-neutral term.

There is also the functional aspect to the “mxnstruel” products being offered, with many wondering just how a biological male is supposed to utilize a vaginally inserted device.

Some showed their support for the initiative because it “makes everyone feel seen and supported and it hurts no one.”

Several others pointed to the bigger problem that this program may present for humanity as a whole.

Ashley Hill

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