Marjorie Taylor Greene blames men for buying tampons

Marjorie Taylor Greene blames men for buying tampons

Marjorie Taylor Greene blames men for buying tampons

It should come as no great surprise that the US is now struggling with a tampon shortage. After all, since early 2020 there has been a shortage of, well, seemingly everything. This ranges from the major (or rather not so great) shortage of toilet paper that coincided with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic to shortages of personal protective equipment, cleaning products, yeast, bicycles and a host of other products over the following two years until the recent shortage of baby food. Perhaps even more surprising is who is to blame for the tampon shortage. Or perhaps it is not at all surprising given the current ongoing lack of attention to facts and science.

Some people have referred to a comedian, men’s restrooms, and the border as reasons for the tampon shortage, which may sound like the start of a joke. In this case, comedian Amy Schumer, who starred in the 2015 film Train wreck. As Alana Semuels described in a June 7 Time article, Procter & Gamble (P&G), the makers of Tampax, essentially blamed Schumer for the tampon shortage. Yes, you heard that right, a celebrity. Now if you’re wondering whether Schumer herself cleared the shelves and built a tampon fort in her home, keep in mind that in 2021 Schumer had surgery to remove her uterus because of endometriosis. In other words, she no longer has a uterus, as Schumer reminded everyone in the following Instagram post:

Instead, P&G has apparently claimed that Schumer’s “It’s time to Tampax” ad campaign for P&G in July 2020 caused a surge in retail sales, with demand for Tampax “up 7.7% over the past two years.” said Semuels. And this unexpected demand outstripped P&G’s supply. Semuels added that “the company runs its factory in Auburn, Maine Tampax 24/7 to meet demand.” That one factory reportedly makes all of P&G’s tampons, similar to how a single factory in Dover, Delaware, is responsible for the entire inventory of Edgewell Personal Care tampons, including the Playtex and ob.

Meanwhile, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), who is not officially a comedian, scientist or supply chain expert, has put the blame elsewhere. And one of her goals bordered on, well, you can see that in Taylor Greene’s following June 13 tweet:

As you can see, Taylor Greene wrote, “Has anyone checked the border warehouses where all the baby food is on shelves from floor to ceiling?” How so? In the peach tree shell, what does “the limit” have to do with the tampon shortage?

Taylor Greene’s tweet continued, “Or maybe some men’s toilets? Apparently they’re available there.” Before you let the Gazpacho police storm the men’s restrooms to buy you tampons, let’s hear what Taylor Greene had to say about tampons during her recent appearance on a Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN) show hosted by Brian Glenn. It is therefore not surprising that this conversation quickly ended up in the toilet.David Edwards, who writes for rough storyshared a video clip of her appearance in the following tweet:

In the clip, Taylor Greene started with an “It’s Reigning Men” argument, claiming that men have taken over everything, such as women’s sports, presumably referring to transgender men. She went on to argue that the tampon shortage is “probably because men buy tampons”. Then the conversation turned to Glenn, who replied, “We have so many beta males buying this diary that they can menstruate? This is insane, absolutely insane.” To that, Taylor Greene replied, “They put tampons in men’s restrooms,” adding, “the war on women.”

Umm, try a war on evidence. Did Taylor Greene provide any real facts to back up any of these claims? Likewise, it’s hard to believe that a single celebrity’s ad campaign was responsible for the shortage of a product that was already essential to many people. It is not clear whether the boost in Tampax sales was an increase in the total number of tampons purchased or a shift to Tampax from other competing products such as other brands of tampons.

More obvious targets would be the things that have caused the shortages of other products since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, namely shortages of raw materials, personnel and production capacity. All three of these can apply to the tampon situation. Tampons usually consist of cotton and rayon, a by-product of cotton, and cotton shortages have already been reported. Likewise, a March 26, 2021, Harvard Business Review Bindiya Vakil article described supply chain problems with plastic, another important component of tampons.

In addition, while relying on so few factories to manufacture all tampons instead of maintaining more redundancy can save costs if everything runs smoothly, it makes the entire tampon supply chain much more vulnerable to disruption. In other words, if you try to run everything lean all the time without much extra capacity, you’ll be caught with your proverbial pants down when the supply of raw materials, personnel or equipment or demand changes, like what happened during the Covid-19 pandemic. A well-built supply chain is supposed to be like a good pair of yoga pants, resilient and able to adapt to changes in various aspects of supply and demand.

All this is especially important for staple products. Not things that are in staples, but things that are needed regularly, such as tampons. Tampons are not luxury items like champagne cases or sleeveless hoodies. You can’t just say, “Okay, maybe I’ll just not buy tampons for the next few months.” On that, your body will just tell you when tampons are needed, period. So as demand remains fairly constant, any interruption in the flow of tampons to the shelves could lead to the current shortages.