Brits are rejoicing that as of January 1, 2021, there is no longer any value-added tax (VAT) on women’s sanitary products. Her Majesty’s Treasury announced the dissolution of the tax (more commonly known as the ‘tampon tax’) with a simple infographic that featured a drawing of a tampon. Libertarian radio presenter and journalist Adam Garrie created a storm on Twitter after stating that, in his opinion, the image was “obscene.”

Like you could have expected, the internet was ruthless. Twitter blew up with negative comments against Garrie. Meanwhile, the media was having a field day as well. Keep in mind that Garrie fully supports the actual policy—it’s the drawing that he has an issue with.

Bored Panda reached out to Garrie to get his take on the public’s reaction to his tweet and the broader implications this has for people’s freedom of speech due to “conformity through compulsion.” He revealed to us that he’s received “quite a few threats” for sharing his opinion online.

“If someone wants to publish photos of their genitals, bodily fluids, or anything else of that nature, I shall defend their right to do so. If someone seeks to bully me into enjoying it, I shall calmly state my entirely reasonable opposition,” he said. Read on for our full in-depth interview and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section below, dear Readers.

Adam Garrie, who supports abolishing the ‘tampon tax,’ received a large amount of backlash after sharing his opinion about this drawing

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Here’s how people reacted to Garrie’s tweet and what he answered. Quite a few people were upset with his opinion

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“In an age where most schools are concerned with teaching people what to think rather than how to think, it should surprise no one when a simple and reasonable statement can arouse such a storm in a teacup. Beyond this, the remarks of many on the self-described left make something else abundantly clear. We are living in an age in which conceptions of public and private spheres have become worryingly reversed,” Garrie shared his thoughts with Bored Panda.

“Such people believe that the freedom of artistic expression, free speech, and the freedom to assemble should be contingent on the approval of a numerically small but heavily amplified mob. Simultaneous to this, they offer nothing but a whirlwind of execration for those who wish to lead their private life in a manner that is based on the teaching of traditional religions (whether Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc) and on the principle that one’s home is one’s castle. Not only are they comfortable with sharing photos of their bodily fluids and genitals online, but they seek to force those with personally traditional values to revel in the kind of exhibitionism which they enjoy,” he explained his position.

Garrie, who identifies as a libertarian, stated that he has no problem with other people being open about the things that would have been classified as a person’s ‘private life’ in earlier generations. However, he believes that he’s being coerced to follow a single line of thought. “I refuse to genuflect before a movement which seeks to make erstwhile private activities into a kind of public idolatry to which we must all pay tribute,” he said.

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“‘To each their own,’ used to be the mantra of the liberal. Today, however, it would seem that those who disingenuously call themselves liberals have adopted the Maoist principles of conformity through compulsion. In other words, it is not just enough to tolerate one’s point of view (which myself and other libertarians certainly do), but one must publicly endorse it or else be treated as some sort of criminal.”

Garrie continued: “In this sense, my opposition to a piece of crude government propaganda has been most educational. I have seen first hand the intolerance, bigotry, and sexism of those who want all men and all women to think alike. I believe in individual liberty and I shall continue to oppose all those who want to enforce a single point of view on others.”

The radio presenter also had a warning that the political situation might shift in the future; he was open that he’ll be on the frontlines fighting against any censorship, whether enforced by the left or the right.

“To those who revel in the fact that the leftist elite are currently in power, I shall say this: one day, the extreme right may take power and become the new elite. If they do, they shall seek to censor you. As a classical liberal, I shall defend you against them when and if they take power. The words of John Donne ought to toll heavily in the ears of those who think that censorship and bullying is a one-way street. It is certainly not.”

Garrie also said that he’s gotten “multiple unsolicited photos” of people’s genitals and bodily fluids as part of the backlash on Twitter.

And here’s what some other people on Twitter had to say

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In short, Garrie, like most of his critics, believes that abolishing the tax was a positive thing, but he personally objects to broadcasting ‘an image conjuring thoughts of bodily fluids’ on a government channel. In other words, he has different standards for government social media accounts than for private ones.

Some people started calling Garrie’s face “obscene” while others even suggested sending Garrie tampons. Just remember—even if you don’t agree with Garrie’s position, it’s no reason to threaten him. So keep it classy, Pandas.

According to the UK Government’s website, the decision to abolish the ‘tampon tax’ is part of wider action to End Period Poverty that includes rolling out free sanitary products in schools, colleges, as well as hospitals.