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The Tampon Tax

by Madison Rheam 4 years ago in activism
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We Bleed, Our Government Wins

The tampon tax has been around for ages, but especially now with the feminist movement, women are fighting back. If you'd like to read more about feminism, check out one of my latest articles.

The Washington Post says, in California the state earns over $20 million annually, just in the taxes that come from feminine hygiene products. Many places like California charge eight percent sales tax on feminine hygiene products, but some cities are even higher. In places like Chicago, there is a 10 percent sales tax on feminine hygiene products. This would bring an originally $6.99 box of tampons/pads close to $8.00 after taxes. The average woman spends seven dollars per month on taxed feminine hygiene products.

With these statistics, on average, women are spending $3,360 on taxed feminine hygiene products, throughout their forty years of purchasing. These products are a necessity, women have no choice but to buy them. As women, we should not be taxed merely for our reproductive parts. Our US government doesn’t tax the majority of food and medications, because they’re considered a necessity. Since when were tampons considered a luxury? I wasn't aware that bleeding was a privilege now. Sorry, no one told me. The New York Times says, Viagra is not taxed, because it is considered medically necessary, in some cases, but feminine hygiene isn’t? How about some of the other products in this country that aren't taxed? Such as food coloring, cooking spray, cookies, potato chips, brownies, cupcakes, nicotine patches, nicotine gum. Toilet paper is not taxed, because it is necessary to maintain hygiene of our species. Feminine HYGIENE products are NECESSARY to maintain the HYGIENE of women.

Ultimately feminine hygiene products are overpriced to begin with, but adding an additional expense is unnecessary. Especially for women of the lower class, it’s hard enough to be able to afford these necessary products, but to add another expense on top of it is absurd. I'm not asking for them to be free—although I do highly support that—I'm just asking that women are only asked to pay list price and not any additional sales tax. Nine states within our fifty don’t tax feminine hygiene products, but if nine states can do it, why can’t the rest of the United States join in? This is not only a problem we are facing in the US, but all over the world. Canada recently eliminated their tax on tampons, after thousands of women signed an online petition against the tampon tax. Britain has yet to abolish its tampon tax, but women are staging protests against the tax regularly. This is obviously an international problem when it shouldn’t be.

These were two women who joined the protests taking place in the UK, where women simply chose to not use any feminine hygiene products while on their period. Some may say this is disgusting, and against the rights we have as humans, but maybe this is what is needed to get the point across that feminine hygiene shouldn't be taken lightly. It is a necessity for women all over. I appreciate these women's courage to be vulnerable as the way they were in this photo.

Women are coming together, and turning fountains to 'blood' with red (non taxable) food coloring, bringing the discomfort to those who find periods an uncomfortable subject.

Women in India protest against their 12 percent sales tax that comes along with feminine hygiene products.

Women in Britain have come up with a new slogan, "Axe the tax."

As you can see, these women are bringing the discomfort public, by not allowing uncomfortable people to look away from their dyed underwear, on their head.

In the end, there are two things women can always count on, taxes and periods, but the two simply shouldn't go together.

activism

About the author

Madison Rheam

HACC graduate with Associates Degree in Social Sciences, LGBTQ+, raging liberal, feminist.

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