Tampon terrorism…

(originally a MySpace blog, but during the transfer over to this blog, I slipped up and forgot to enter the date… I’m not going  back through 20 pages of blogs on myspace to figure it out, and it’s not time-sensitive anyway)
A bulletin was posted recently by a friend about tampons having asbestos in them. It’s a lie that’s been circulating around the internet since 1998. I responded with a link to the snopes.com article about the subject: http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/tampon.asp

My well meaning friend said in response: “…it gets women thinking about the things that they put into their body… without thinking. So myth or no myth sparking conversation and debate is important to me, especially dealing with womens issues.”

What follows is my response:
.I agree that it’s important that everyone is considerate of what they put into their bodies.
But sparking a debate based on a complete fabrication is not the way to go about it. It’s actually detrimental to any “cause” to promote lies about it.
This urban legend doesn’t seem to promote critical thinking about the hygiene of women as much as it is a  conspiratorial tale of the sinister collusion of government and “big business”.
What’s funny, is that every agency that has researched the subject has found that not only are modern tampons safe (aside from the concerns of Toxic Shock Syndrome) but that there are risks with all cotton tampons that you do not have with regular tampons. What this means is that the “organic alternative” solution is either no better or possibly worse than the ones manufactured by “big business”. The major difference between the two is that the “organic alternative” will cost you around $2.00 more per box (plus shipping if you can’t find them locally).
So in effect, what you’re doing is being a fear mongering shill for a company that charges more for a product without based in fallacious claims and vague “feel good” sentiment. This does not promote healthy intellectual debate, it stifles it with outlandish claims.
There are many lousy businesses that have done their best to lie, cheat and steal to get your last dollar. There are plenty of corrupt politicians that will take a bribe to benefit themselves over the people they are supposed to represent, and there are also well meaning folks who are willing to pass along lies unchallenged because of vague notions that it sparks debate.
If it did indeed spark debate, you would have looked into it instead of just passing it along. If it sparked debate, the message wouldn’t have continued to circulate around the internet for NINE years!
The real target of this report is not “women’s issues”, it bolsters fear and promulgate the idea that government and corporations are in cahoots to fuck over the “common woman”. It’s not true certainly in this situation, and not only is it not true – it’s a libelous statement. Not only that – but it takes away from debate and concern for actual, real, legit problems that women face!
Women’s oppression in muslim countries is real, and has real work consequences. For all the blather about women being oppressed in the United States, they’ve got nothing on the brain washing and shame and actual mutilation and murder that muslim women are subject to.
I have a pretty cynical view of the average persons ability to be reflective and considerate of truth. The continued propagation of urban myths is proof of this to me. The fact that most people believe in “god” is proof of this to me. So if you’re going to spend your time and effort advocating something you see as positive or denouncing something you think is negative, start the ball rolling and be considerate and reflective first! Fact check it!