Marjorie Taylor Greene blames men who buy tampons

It should come as no great surprise that the United States is now facing a shortage of tampons. After all, since the start of 2020 there have been shortages of, well, seemingly everything. This ranges from the big (or rather not so big) shortage of toilet paper that coincided with the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, to shortages of personal protective equipment, cleaning products, yeast, bicycles and toilet paper. a host of other products over the ensuing period. two years until the recent shortage of infant formula. What may be more surprising, however, is who is to blame for the shortage of tampons. Or maybe it’s not at all surprising given the current dearth of attention to facts and science.

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

Instead, apparently P&G claimed that Schumer’s “It’s Time for Tampax” ad campaign for P&G in July 2020 is what caused a surge in retail sales, with demand for Tampax “up 7, 7% over the past two years,” according to Semuels. And this unexpected demand exceeded P&G’s supply. Semuels added that “the company operates its Auburn, Maine Tampax plant 24/7 to meet demand.” This single factory would manufacture all of P&G’s tampons, similar to how a single factory in Dover, Delaware is responsible for all Edgewell Personal Care tampon stock, including the Playtex and ob brands.

Meanwhile, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), who is not officially a comedian, scientist or supply chain expert, laid the blame elsewhere. And one of his targets is close to, well, you can see that in the following June 13 tweet from Taylor Greene:

As you can see, Taylor Greene wrote, “Has anyone checked the warehouses at the border where all the infant formula is stored floor to ceiling on shelves? Eh? In the dish of peach, what does “the border” have to do with the shortage of tampons?

Taylor Greene’s tweet continued, “Or maybe a men’s room? Apparently they are available there. Before the Gazpacho police storm the men’s room to get 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. Unsurprisingly, this conversation also quickly went to the toilet. David Edwards, who writes for raw storyshared a video clip of her appearance in the following tweet:

Yes, in the clip, Taylor Greene claimed the shortage of tampons is “probably because men are buying tampons.” The conversation stream then continued with Glenn’s response, “We have as many beta men joining this program as they can menstruate? It’s crazy, absolutely crazy. To that, Taylor Greene replied, “They’re putting tampons in the men’s toilets,” and added, “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 ad campaign is responsible for the shortage of a product that was already essential for many people. It is unclear whether the increase in Tampax sales was an increase in the total number of tampons purchased or a switch to Tampax from other competing products such as other brands of tampons.

More obvious targets would be the things that have caused the shortage of other products since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Namely, shortages of raw materials, personnel and manufacturing capacity. All three for these can apply to the buffer situation. Tampons are usually made of cotton and rayon, a by-product of cotton, and cotton shortages have been reported before. Likewise, on March 26, 2021, harvard business review Bindiya Vakil’s article describes supply chain issues with plastic, another key component of tampons.

Additionally, while relying on so few factories to make all the pads rather than maintaining more redundancy can reduce costs when all goes well, it does make the entire pad supply chain much more vulnerable. to disturbances. In other words, if you try to keep everything running all the time without too much extra capacity, you’re going to get 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 meant to be like a good pair of yoga pants, resilient and able to adapt to changes in different aspects of supply and demand.

This is especially important for basics, things you need on a regular basis, like tampons. Tampons aren’t luxury items like champagne trunks or sleeveless hoodies. You can’t just say, “Okay, maybe I won’t be buying tampons for the next few months. Instead, your body will just tell you when tampons are needed, period. Thus, with demand remaining continuous, any interruption in the flow of tampons to the shelves could lead to the shortages seen today.

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