OPINION: Stop blaming your vagina. The real bloody disgrace is climate-denying men

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Facebook has me accurately pegged as a bleeding heart with a bleeding vagina.

And like any woman of child-bearing age whose digital trail reveals environmental inclinations, my Facebook feed is stuffed – like bloated organic cotton-wadding inside a consciously-consuming vagina – with empowering menstruation management alternatives.

My social media feed is saturated with refreshingly average-sized women in their underwear ‘bravely’ road-testing silicon menstrual cups and period pants. Smiling. Shimmying. Sharing. Saving the planet.

I have been told so many times by the marketers of these sponsored products of the shameful tonnes of sanitary waste that go into landfill every year that I’m starting to think the official metric unit for environmental degradation is a maroon mountain of subterraneous sanitary stuffing.

I’m not for a second discrediting reusable period products. May the most ethical and sustainable brand win the consumer battle. But wouldn’t it be nice if those in power were held to account for their environmental policies as much as women were for their personal hygiene habits.

Treasurer Scott Morrison’s remarkable refusal to reclassify tampons from ‘non-essential luxury’ items to GST-exempt ‘health products’, despite the fact it’s costing him lady-votes, reveals just how contemptuous he is of uteri and their owners.

Women are being taxed for simply existing in the world. And while we fret over the carbon miles of our new menstrual cup, Mr Morrison fondles coal in federal parliament.

The parliamentary coal-fondling stunt during Question Time earlier this year was a visual gag in response to the opposition’s call to phase out coal and embrace renewables.

While there is seemingly no room in the budget for a tax break on tampons, the Commonwealth investment board is considering loaning Indian multinational conglomerate, Adani, $1 billion in federal money to assist the development of mining infrastructure to create what would be Australia’s biggest ever coal mine.  If completed, and all coal from the Galilee Basin extracted and burnt, it would push the world one-third of the way towards a devastating 2℃ global warming increase.

According to The Conversation, this single mine would see up to 2.3 billion tonnes of coal extracted from an area five times the size of Sydney Harbour over 60 years. This is equivalent to putting out 7.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases.

So while Australian women are expected to self-flagellate for their part in the 8,000 metric tonnes of sanitary waste which goes to landfill annually, a few men in parliament are pushing to back a climate-change timebomb to the tune of $1 billion.

Again, I’m not at all dissing environmentally sustainable innovations such as reusable feminine hygiene products.  We need to forge ahead with multiple sustainable experiments in order to maximise our chances of saving the planet.

But while our social media feeds are being overrun with paid advertisements imploring us to think harder about the environmental impact of our monthly bleed, we can’t be distracted into thinking this is the main game.

The real bloody disgrace is not the contents of our bathroom bin but the climate-change-denying decisions which are being made in parliament. Decisions which put our children’s future at real risk. Remember, these come from the same decision-makers who have the gall to tax us for simply having a uterus.

Just to be clear where we should be directing our collective pre-menstrual tension attention.

 

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