The Tampon Tax: Blatant theft
Updated: Dec 27, 2022
Thirty of the fifty US States still have the tampon tax. Ten EU countries tax as high as 20% for menstrual products. These countries’ governments are profiting off of periods, and it’s disgusting.
The patriarchal system wants us to believe that period products are “non-essential” items as this benefits them, because apparently not wanting to bleed all over yourself is “non-essential”. Not only does this go against both people’s human and health care rights, but it forces people to spend an average of $8,891 on period products within their lifetime! This means that around 26% of the population have to pay to bleed! Not only is this absurd by itself, but comparing it to things such as medicated condoms, which are filed under an essential item, and receive an exemption for sales taxes, it makes the whole thing all the more ridiculous. Especially since it should be obvious to anyone, that you choose to have sex, you don’t choose to bleed on a monthly basis.
64% of people who menstruate struggle to afford menstrual products, 21% out of these people struggle on a monthly basis. According to a study of college students that menstruate, 14.2% reported experiencing period poverty within the last year, and an additional 10% experienced it monthly.
Not only do people who menstruate experience discrimination when it comes to period products, but a study in New York proved that the price of stereotypical “girly” toys (eg. the classic barbie) are 55% more expensive than the stereotypical toys intended for boys (eg. a monster truck). Also, women’s razors, shampoo, shaving cream, body wash, conditioner, etc, suffer from the pink tax (because it is marketed towards women, it costs more), something that men’s products do not have to endure.
In conclusion, people who experience periods (a normal reproductive function) are required to pay to bleed, which just shows the inequality and messed up nature of a patriarchal society. In my opinion, menstrual pads and tampons should be free, and I long for the day when people who menstruate don’t have to struggle to have safe periods.