John Locke famously stated that the core natural rights are “life, liberty, and property.” Thomas Jefferson tweaked Locke’s list to reflect his own understanding of human rights by stating, in the Declaration of Independence, that these rights are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And Emily Peck, executive business editor for Huffington Post, recently followed the Jeffersonian tradition of augmentation by asserting that our Creator has also endowed the womanly half of mankind with the unalienable right to free tampons.
If you have a basic familiarity with Locke, Jefferson, or third-grade civics, however, you may have noticed something slightly problematic with Peck’s brash addition to the list of human rights — namely that the feminine hygiene product of which Peck speaks is not something that God granted to all human beings by virtue of their humanity. Instead it is a good human beings invented for themselves and must continue producing for it to continue existing.
In other words, the problem with saying that tampons are a human right is that it’s a very silly thing to say. They’re most obviously not, at least not in a universe where words and concepts can’t be gutted of their meaning so that you can sanctify your desire to not pay for stuff.