Just about every woman in the world has a period, and yet the cost of sanitary supplies is a big problem.
If we assume that the average woman has her period from age thirteen to age fifty, and goes through half a box of tampons every month, that’s a few hundred dollars spent solely on one bodily function. Now, you might be thinking “but what about toilet paper? That costs money too!”
Of course, you’d be right. But toilet paper is free in public, whereas a tampon costs at least 25 cents in public restrooms. Even condoms are free at some universities and health clinics, and sex is definitely easier to abstain from than menstruation.
Now, a lot of feminists will argue that tampons are being taxed as a “luxury” item, and, while it is true that they’re subject to added sales tax, there’s no special tax for fancy items. That is to say, the government doesn’t think that tampons are on the same level as, say, face masks. However, it is noteworthy that nicotine patches, sunscreen, and even personal lubricants are exempt from luxury taxes.
Of course it’s easy to not have sex or smoke, but not having a period is just about impossible without birth control, which definitely isn’t cheap or easy to get either. The issue here isn’t the money being spent on sanitary supplies itself, although I’d definitely prefer them to be cheaper. The fact that tampons are viewed as less essential than condoms gives clear insight into how society views women and our periods.
In response to the outcry against the additional charge on tampons, one man took to twitter to suggest that women should “hold in their period until they get to a bathroom.” Anyone with basic knowledge of menstruation knows that you can’t “hold in” a period until you get to a restroom. Be that as it may, this tweet has made me consider how many men think that a period is just an excuse to spend an excessive amount of time in the bathroom goofing off.
So, there’s two issues here. One is the fact that females are taught excessively in health class about how the male anatomy works, but males are taught very little about female anatomy. I personally believe that no man should be able to get married or have a daughter without knowing how periods work. The other issue is that you can’t get necessary items for free in public settings.
I think that change is in order for how we treat women’s bodies in general.
Health and Wellness
The Issue With Periods
Oct 31, 2016
Periods are expensive, and men seem to think that's okay.