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This College Student Was Called "Pathetic" And "Stupid" After Arguing For Free Tampons

"You will never be equal to a man."

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Zoey Freedman told BuzzFeed News she wrote the column, titled "Free tampons would slow flow of gender inequality," as part of a three-part series for the Daily Bruin, the student newspaper at UCLA.

In her article, Freedman argued that feminine hygiene products are an "essential health product" that shouldn't be treated as a luxury item by the government.

Natacha Pisarenko / AP

"It's about time that the federal government recognizes that even the most basic health care needs to start subsidizing the cost of tampons and pads for women, or covering the cost completely," she wrote. "This is only fair, since health insurance is supposed to cover the major aspects of a person's health."

She also said that if the government were to do this, it could go a long way to "normalizing menstruation within society."

But shortly after her article was published, it came under attack from trolls. The trolls told her she was "pathetic" and "stupid," with one person telling her "you will never be equal to a man."

"Can men get free handy-j's? I spend about half of the total daily bathroom time allotment doing that already, so compared to a few bathroom visits per month for tampons, my need is clearly far greater," one man wrote.

The article also was mocked by conservative media outlets.

Bizarre UCLA Daily Bruin Tampon Editorial Outshined by More Bizarre Editors Note Seriously. Read this. http://t.co/nlAfUuNrBD

Freedman said that she completely welcomed those who disagree with her to express their view, but didn't see why it should become a "personal attack."

Zoey Freedman

"When the feedback I received was attacking me as a person, my gender, my intelligence, my family, and my school, it just wasn't productive in any sense," she said. "There is a big difference between disagreement and disrespect."

Rather than shy away from the controversy, Freedman decided to face it head on. She changed the focus of her second article to discuss the critical comments.

Zoey Freedman

She said that by focusing on her gender rather than her argument, many of her male critics proved her point.

"Unfortunately, this type of criticism isn’t an experience unique to me, but it is an experience unique to women," she said. "When a woman voices her opinion or makes an assertion, she usually isn’t taken seriously and is instead faced with negative and even misogynistic remarks."

But the hateful comments continued, saying things like:

How typical of Feminists. When their ideas are bad, they hide behind being a woman, and mischaracterize any attacks on their bad ideas as attacks on women. It's almost as if to say 'I can never be wrong, because I am a woman.'
I think we have found who the real sexists are. If they had their way, Feminists would characterize going to the nail salon as health care as well and demand that we all pay for it.

Despite the backlash, Freedman said she has no plans to stop writing about what she believes.

She said she is going to focus the third article in her series on health care as well.

"Criticism isn't going to stop me from exploring ideas that interest me, writing, and sharing my opinion," she said.

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