Everyone should have learned about a woman's monthly visitor back in their middle school sex ed class, but for those who have no idea what I'm talking about, let's have a little lesson. Once a girl hits puberty she starts having a period once a month (yes we’re having a period talk right now, and no it’s not gross). During the monthly menstruation cycle the uterus will actually shed its own lining, which causes the woman to bleed from anywhere between two to seven days. This cycle not only tells us that our body is healthy and in working order, it also kindly reminds us that we are not pregnant.
According to the 2015 Census, out of the 321,418,820 people living in the United States, 50.8 percent of the population is comprised of women. This means more than half of the population will endure a period for majority of their lives. Most women will either use pads or tampons during their monthly cycle, which can become a costly expense. Not to mention the cramps. If that wasn't enough, then you haven't heard of the tampon tax.
The tampon tax – only charged in certain states – refers to the sales tax imposed on feminine hygiene products because they have been labeled as luxury products. Since this tax is a state and not federal tax, states have free range on how much to demand, and if they are going to implement the tax at all. Out of the 50 states, only ten don’t have a tampon tax and includes the five states that have no sales tax at all. So in actuality, only five states have chosen to not impose the tampon tax on women.
This horrible tax actually stems from a set of tolls known as the pink tax. The pink tax refers to the amount of extra taxes women are charged for certain products and services. This can include clothes, razors, shaving cream and even repairs on their cars. Not only are women making less in the workplace compared to men, they are being forced to pay more than men for everyday commodities. Women will spend close to $18,000 on periods in their lifetime. That’s enough money to buy a car.
What I would like to know is why women are being taxed for simply being women. Periods are a natural bodily function yet we are treated as if it’s a luxury. We are also being forced to pay extra for everyday items while men can buy condoms and Viagra without any extra tax at all. It’s just another way that represents the separation that is alive and well between women and men. But we can fight back. A group of girls have already started the fight. You can visit #BloodyDisgrace to sign a petition and join the fight today.
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