The Tampon: A History

The cultural, political, and technological roots of a fraught piece of cotton

Photo: Sasimoto / Shutterstock / Kara Gordon / The Atlantic

By Ashley Fetters

On Aug. 18, 2011, a thread titled “I design tampons. AMA!” appeared on the news-conversation website Reddit. Hosted by a user named “karnim” who identified himself only as a college-aged male research-and-development intern at one of the “big three”…

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