As much as I wish it were different, there is nothing luxurious about having my period. So why are my menstrual products considered a luxury item and taxed? I think there’s a case to be made for removing the tax from menstrual products. They’re a necessity, not a luxury.
I can understand taxes on “luxury” items. I mean, if there are gold threaded pads woven by cherubs on clouds with unicorn hair, I’d pay extra for that. However, it feels to me on some level that I am being taxed simply because I have a uterus. After all, I have to buy something to take care of my needs while I’m on my period. Unless, of course, women were allowed to go around bleeding all over the place in public, which is made perfectly clear people do NOT want. Remember just a few weeks ago when that woman posted a picture on her Instagram account of her period stain while she was in bed and Instagram removed it? Yeah, society is so totally not down with free flowing menstrual blood.
So, here I am, basically forced by rules of societal “appropriateness” that I had nothing to do with creating to take care of my menstrual blood. So, I go to the store to find that a package of 18 tampons cost $4.00 and I’ll be taxed, in my area, $0.07 for every one of those dollars. Why?
Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with paying my fair share. I’m a supporter of public schools, of libraries, of roads that don’t have potholes the size of Texas and of helping those in need to have food to feed their children. But where I live you can buy lard and Twix bars without being taxed, so why shouldn’t feminine hygiene products be exempt too?
Another aspect to this is obviously economical. I do okay for myself and can afford pads when I need them, but what about women that can’t? Food stamps don’t cover menstrual products, and I’m sure there’s more than one woman who has sold her food stamps to pay for the “luxury” that is feminine hygiene products. There are women in prisons that don’t have access to feminine hygiene products at all. Quite simply, the fact that tampons and pads are so expensive to begin with, and then taxed on top of it, for half of the population that really has no choice but to buy them for a good portion of their lives is ridiculous.
This issue isn’t just all about the cost, though. It’s about principle. Menstrual care is health care and should be treated like it. After all, other medical devices are tax exempt, so why shouldn’t feminine hygiene products be? It seems to me as if it’s a part of the institutional sexism of our culture. I, for one, am sick of it.
To find out more about the #AxeThePeriodTax campaign, CLICK HERE.
Click here to sign the Period View petition #AxeThePeriodTax on Change.org.
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