We spoke to the meninist tampon tax guy who told menstruating women to ‘just hold their bladder’
He’s literally every bit as stupid as you would imagine
If you were on the internet yesterday, you probably know Ryan Williams. Ryan went viral after posting a tweet on how women who want tax free tampons should just “hold their bladders” instead. Since then he’s set up a Gofundme to pay for the Biology lessons people kept advising he get, and put his social media on lockdown to deal with the hate.
The 19-year-old, a Photography student in Norwich, hasn’t even been able to go to class since his comments went viral.
I’ll admit it, I thought it was a bit of a pisstake. I thought Ryan was trolling us all, that he was just joking – albeit a really stupid joke in poor taste – but then a friend passed on Ryan’s number after he randomly DMd her, and the horrifying truth became clear. Because Ryan wasn’t a knowing, provocative, aspiring viral-star.
In fact Ryan is soft-spoken, uncertain and infuriating. Ryan isn’t trying to be funny. He’s just a boy on the internet who doesn’t have a fucking clue how offensive he’s being, or how stupid he really is.
Here’s what happened when I spoke to him.
Ryan, how are you?
I’m doing fine. I didn’t realise how loco it had gone. I’ve had a lot of hatemail and my social media profiles have been locked to try to calm down the hate.
Whenever I’ve stated my opinions before I’ve never got so much attention, so it’s crazy how many people have seen this. I wasn’t looking for it to go viral, it was just a few hours later that I looked and saw it had got loads of retweets and hate.
Wait, hang on. I thought this was a joke. Are you saying this is real?
Yeah, this is my real view.
Could you explain a little bit about that?
I think the tampon tax is ridiculous. Tampons are not a necessity. It’s like bottled water – people are trying to keep bottled water in business. But it’s the same thing as with tampons, it’s an unnecessary product. Just hold your bladder.
So, you understand that women don’t bleed from their bladder right?
[Long silence] Sorry what?
You understand that women don’t bleed from their bladder?
What do you mean?
So, a tampon isn’t inserted into a woman’s bladder. Tampons are for periods, not urine. Only urine comes from the bladder.
Yeah. That’s why people were retweeting it.
What, because they don’t agree with my opinions?
No, no no. Not because they don’t agree with your opinions. So – how can I explain this – you know how people were saying you should take a Biology class?
Oh god yeah. Bloody idiots.
Ha, yeah. Do you know why people were asking you to take a Biology class?
Because they think that I’m wrong. But I know I’m not because of the amount of people who have told me that they agree and they can just hold their bladder. [Laughing] It’s not hard.
So. Sorry. So, do you think that women menstruate from their bladders?
They do. It does.
Right. When women menstruate, it comes from their vagina. It doesn’t –
Oh god. Stop. This is getting too graphic for me. I’m sorry.
OK, OK. That’s fine. We won’t talk about that, let’s talk about the reaction instead. So you set up a Gofundme page for a Biology class, and –
Yeah, because like, I’m willing to do that if they want me to, but I’m obviously not gonna fund it myself, am I?
Are you in school now?
I haven’t gone into college because of the virality of it all. It’s not safe at the moment. I’ve even got messages from people in my college threatening to throw their bloody tampons at me if I go into class.
I’m not sure how big it got. I wasn’t really keeping track of it but my email was going nonstop, and later I got a phonecall from Gofundme telling me I violated their policy. I was trying to raise money, I don’t get it.
You mentioned in your posts that you have a long-term girlfriend. What does she think about it all?
I’m afraid I can’t comment on that at this time.
So safe to say that hasn’t been received very well.
Did you study biology at school?
Um [long silence] I think it was PSHE or whatever, wasn’t it?
But did you do science?
Science. Em. With the lab coats and what not and the bunsen burners, yeah.
So you didn’t have health classes at school?
No. Nobody ever talked about periods or bladders or anything like that.
OK. So what got you interested in the issue? Why did you write the tweet?
I just saw it on my timeline. So obviously I’m a youth spokesperson and a politician anyway.
Are you in a political party?
Yeah, the Brexit party.
What’s the Brexit party? I haven’t heard of it.
The Brexit. You’ve heard of Brexit. The Brexit Party. It’s people who voted Brexit.
But that’s not a party. Do you mean UKIP?
Er – is that Brexit?
There was no singular party called ‘The Brexit Party’. Do you mean something you’ve started yourself?
Er. I guess it’s the meninist party. It’s the meninist movement which I’m now taking to the next level to get the facts out there for people.
OK, so what’s your plans to take it to the next level?
Um. Well, I don’t really have a plan so to speak. I mean I always tell people about meninism and how feminism is wrong and everything. But, um, I’m not really sure. I guess just continue posting my views on feminism and why it’s not OK, and make other guys aware of the meninist movement and what we stand for.
Cool. So what does the meninist movement stand for?
At the moment it’s just getting rid of the tampon tax.
Does meninism care about any other big issues?
At the moment it’s primarily focusing on the tampon tax.
What about the high suicide risk among young men and the lack of resources and education dedicated to that. What are your feelings on that?
Um, I’m sure I will have an opinion. I must read about it obviously before speaking about it and do my research.
What kind of research did you do into the tampon tax and what tampons are actually for before you posted your status?
No research is needed because it’s common sense.
Could you explain to me what you think tampons are for?
[Long silence] Sorry, my phone is ringing. I’ve got to go, it’s important.
Unfortunately, though I tried calling him back many times, Ryan never returned my messages. I got the impression he was just confused, scared and unfortunately, not someone who could be convinced of what a fucking idiot he was being. I almost felt a bit sorry for him.
Not really though.