Paying To Be A Woman: The Tampon Tax Explained

Paying To Be A Woman: The Tampon Tax Explained

We often hear of the so-called "tampon tax" or the "pink tax" referring to the sales tax placed on tampons, here is why it is so important to eradicate it.

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Periods are often a very taboo topic and aren't often discussed. In many countries, specifically in South Asia, periods are considered so secretive and odd that women have to be secluded or exiled during their period or cannot participate in daily activities. Men are so often uncomfortable talking about feminine hygiene and the natural process of menstruation, which makes women insecure about their periods and less likely to discuss them openly as a part of their bodies. With periods as this foreign, hidden thing that we don't talk about, it isn't hard to believe that legislatively, it is not considered a natural or need-based process.

The tax code in the United States specifies a sales tax for "luxury items". Non-luxury items usually include food, medical, supplies, agricultural supplies, and sometimes clothing. The list varies from state to state, but items that aren't taxed are those considered to be an item we need rather than want. Tampons don't make this list, meaning they are considered a "luxury" item or something women buy to make their lives easier without necessarily needing. This could not be further from the truth, as women need to have a way to control their bleeding in order to go about their lives. Women cannot bleed freely without staining clothing, furniture, etc. and free bleeding is not acceptable anywhere in modern society.

Arguably, tampons and other sanitary products should be considered a medical item, since they must be replaced every four to six hours or women risk toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Further, menstruation is a medical process that needs to be dealt with in order to live a comfortable life. Women need access to tampons in order to function during their period. Making tampons expensive and only accessible to wealthier women is not only wrong but discriminatory, as it prohibits women who cannot afford period products from getting the schooling and careers that women who can afford them can get.

Women spend nearly $2,000 on tampons in their lifetimes, which is a pretty significant price tag for something that occurs naturally and is out of your control. Further, women spend an average of $11,400 on birth control over their lifetimes, which is the only way to avoid the need to purchase tampons. The one way to avoid having your period costs more than actually having your period, so this is definitely a need for women everywhere.

Only 7 states currently do not tax tampons and 3 of those states have no sales tax at all. We need to put force behind legislation that eradicates the tampon tax in every state because it is simply immoral. Society has made menstruation, and as an extension simply being a woman, a degrading act. Girls hide their tampons at the store and go home from school because of stains. Making women literally pay for something that the public faults them for makes periods even more embarrassing. We need to get rid of the stigma surrounding periods and being female, which will only happen when we stop putting a price tag on menstruation.

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4 Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Making Laws About Women's Bodies

Why do men get to decide if women have a choice?

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Everyone is so quick to judge, especially Christians. Going forward, I'd like to make a point. As Tomi Lahren wrote in a Twitter post on May 16, 2019: "You're not God so don't you dare evaluate my faith based on your moral superiority complex." In more words, judging someone is a sin, and each sin is seen as the same in God's eyes. Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death..."

There is no specification as to which sin wages as the worst, so before you are so quick to judge, remember we are all seen as the same in God's eyes.

1. Men cannot become pregnant

"Men cannot become pregnant." They have no idea what it is like to be pregnant and to co-exist for an entire 9 months.

2. Men say things like... 

"Rape is kinda like the weather. If it's inevitable, relax and enjoy it." — Clayton Williams, TX Rep.

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that thing down." — Todd Akin, MO Rep.

"Rape victims should make the best of a bad situation." — Rick Santorum, PA Rep.

"If a woman has the right to abortion, why shouldn't a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist's pursuit of sexual freedom doesn't (in most cases) result in anyone's death." - Lawrence Lockman, ME Rep.

3. Men do not get their rights taken away by female politicians 

I'm sure there are things men go through that women couldn't imagine. But we don't judge them about whatever those things may be. Most women are advocates for men and their health. They acknowledge statistics about men, their mental health, and their physical health. We would never want to force men to get (what most of the media is buzzing about) a vasectomy until marriage. That isn't right, and no one would ever consider doing something that radical because ironically enough, it isn't right to tell someone else what to do with their body.

4. Men are men, politicians are politicians, and that doesn't mean they have the appropriate education to make decisions like this 

Some men are rather educated on women and their bodies. On the other hand, there are thousands of men, even men that are in the public eye all the time, that are not educated on women and women's health. They are politicians, they want to win, they want to manipulate, and they will use every single tool that they can to get to the top. Most of the men signing these bills into place have no credibility when it comes to women's health.

At the end of the day, this list could be so long that it would take hours to read. But, it shouldn't have to be. If a man isn't educated and credible enough, he shouldn't be making laws. Women's bodies aren't a playground to see who can go the furthest on the monkey bars. We must put a stop to this. We have to educate our youth. Most of all, we have to put these manipulative politicians in their place.

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