The He-Man Women Haters have taken over the Texas Capitol. As I run into the the public bathroom, trying to pee before the Senators come out of their chambers, I realize I have gotten my period on the one day the police have decided to ban tampons from the capitol. Because that’s the sort of comedic timing I have. And that’s when I knew it was about to get a lot harder to be a woman in Texas.
On Friday I spent all day at the Texas State Capitol fighting for my right to
wear tampons choose. Whether you support a women’s right to choose or you are pro-life, the decorum at the capitol on friday was pretty ridiculous. I felt like I was in the scene from Across the Universe where Evan Rachel Wood is getting pulled from Jim Sturgess’ arms. Well, kind of. No I didn’t chain myself to the gallery railings like some of my passionate cohorts, but I felt their anger.
The first incident I had with a cop, Office Najera, incase you want to send him a fan letter, was when I was sitting peacefully in the auditorium overflow room watching Lt. Governor David Dewhurst pretend he cares about women’s rights when he had tweeted days prior “we fought to pass SB5 and this is why” with this picture:
Officer Najera walked in front of the row I was sitting at, pointed his finger at me and the girl sitting next to me, and said, “You two, come with me for a second.”
To which I replied, “No, no I’m not going to do that.”
“I need to ask you a few questions.” His breath smelled like sweaty authority.
“Ask us here then, we are in the middle of watching a very important debate, you see that large screen behind you?”
“Are you two together,” he asks, because that matters.
“No we are not, but we are sitting next to each other.”
He seems to decide I’m too much work and focuses on the girl next to me. He asks her to come aside again, by herself.
I chime in. “No, nobody is going with you. Ask us your questions before Wendy comes on, man.”
“Do you have any marijuana on you?”
Ya’ll, I don’t know how stupid I look, but do I look like I’m about to bring some drugs up in the Texas Capitol while wearing an orange shirt in protest of what the Texas government is doing? The answer is offended, as in me being out of control offended at the whole exchange that just took place.
“No, sir, I didn’t bring drugs with me to the Texas Capitol where I would be rallying against law makers. But thank you for offending me more than I have been all day. And that’s saying a lot, sir.”
After this exchange I went home to stuff my face with some Quorn fake chicken nuggets and power up before heading back into the lion’s den. I packed two tampons in my bag because of that thing where you bleed for about a week instead of producing a baby inside your tummy — this is the scientific explanation of the menstrual cycle. I waited in line to get back into the capitol for way too long and then headed through security.
“Are these yours?” The Police officer asks, holding up two regular size Tampax Pearl Tampons.
“Yes, sir. I use those for when I have my period. Like today, when I got my period.”
The officer looks at the male officer next to him, still holding up the tampons as hundreds of people are walking by, entering the capitol, leaving the capitol, staring at the man holding tampons, “Is this okay?” He asks.
“Are you asking the man next to you if it’s okay that I have tampons? Because I’m bleeding right now and I use those to stop that soo are we also not allowing bandaids? Gauze? Are cotton balls okay? Is it still okay for that guy to have a concealed gun?”
The answer was it was okay to have all of those things, except for tampons. Luckily, I only had two and the grand tampon raid of 2013 had already happened. The mass confiscation of tampons would come to be known as the day women were stripped of their right to choose whether to carry a child while being simultaneously punished for that choice by banning tampons, the symbol of a woman being not pregnant. (Remember that time republican’s bullshitted their way into making this bill appear like it was about women’s health?)
They confiscated these things as a way to prevent pro-choicers from disrupting the proceedings. However, the opportunity for someone to use a concealed gun in this same attempt was completely overlooked. Someone look at me right now with a straight face and say tampons are more dangerous than guns. Do it, I dare you. If you answer yes than you are agreeing to come to my house and have a duel whereas I have a gun and you have a tampon.
Men, how PISSED would you be if we regulated your ability to release viable sperm into the world. How dare you blow that load into a tissue! That’s potential human life, for christ’s sake. Yeah, I seem pretty stupid for saying this, don’t I? Isn’t is so ridiculous to think that we would tell you when you can and cannot release your baby-making juice into a woman. Almost as stupid as not allowing women to have tampons.
There was plenty of reports about women making up Tampongate but I am hear to testify. I am a sister that is comfortable in my own skin. I walk around braless in front of whoever won’t complain, I announce when I need to poop, I fart when the urge arises but I am still human. I still do not feel comfortable being targeted by a police officer as being a drug user as I’m practicing my constitutionally protected right to peacefully assemble and take part in my law-making process. And when you hold my tampons in the air, officer, I am still a bit uneasy. Not because I am ashamed to be a women but because people like you and this state have made being a woman a crime and I don’t want to be convicted.
In the words of Wendy, “Some believe this fight is over with this vote tonight, but they’re wrong. The fight for the future of Texas is just beginning.”
*The abortion bill did pass, as expected, and is off to Governor
Dumbass’s Perry’s desk to be signed with one of his many Jesus pens.