Sunday, May 29, 2022

Government Overreach


 I went into one of those cripple accessible “ family” bathrooms. And because it was coed there was a tampon dispenser mounted on the wall across from the toilet.

 The dispenser was a white, metal box and on the front it said, “meets the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act”.

I wondered what the hell that meant. Are there ADA accessibility standards for tampons? Are they required to have a sticker on them that says in Braille THIS END UP?

Or maybe it was the dispenser itself that was in full compliance. But that didn’t seem to be the case. There was no Braille anywhere on the dispenser. So, if a blind person was in the bathroom in need of a tampon, they would have no idea that relief was so nearby.

The only other thing I could think of was that maybe the ADA reference pertained to the height at which the tampon dispenser was mounted on the wall. But how would the manufacturers of the dispenser know that indeed it was installed at a compliant height unless they installed it themselves? And that didn’t seem likely. 

Thus, I circled back to my original hypothesis that perhaps there are access standards for the tampons themselves. I looked it up online, because the internet never lies. And I found out that earlier this year tampon guidelines that included quantitative measures for absorbency, etc. were released by ANSI. I’ve always known that acronym to stand for the American National Standards Institute. But in this case, ANSI stood for the Australian National Standards Institute.

So I must hereby concede that there appear to be no ADA access standards for tampons. (Somebody out there please correct me if I’m wrong.) I figured that would the case because if there were such standards, I’m sure by now I would’ve heard some be bitter libertarian holding this up as yet another egregious example of government overreach. They’d be frothing on and on about how soon we’ll all be living in  a socialist hellscape, like Australia. 

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