Stop Taxing My Period

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The tampon tax petition is calling for an end to taxation on tampons and other feminine hygiene products. The government considers these products to be “luxury items,” therefore justifying a tax. Women are criticized daily for a number of things and “that time of the month” is defintiely one of them. As women, we do not have the luxury of an option as to whether or not we get a period. In fact, almost every woman prefers not to have their period. I mean, who enjoys all those cramps, mood swings and cravings? I sure don’t.

Lets be honest, it is a burden all the time. Figuring out what week you’ll get it, making sure you don’t wear white, hoping you have a pad or tampon handy, and always worrying about bleeding through is stressful. Including a tax on feminine hygiene products causes even more unnecessary fiancial stress. Women already pay more money to be a woman than a man does to be a man, not to mention the fact that we get 78 cents to every dollar a man makes.

Surely women could go without tampons and pads. "Free bleeding" is an option that two students in the U.K. pursued in their free bleed petition in front of the U.K.’s parliament building due to a 5% tax increase on pads and tampons. Menstruation is an involuntary bodily function, and a woman paying the government because she is on her period is absolutely absurd. Paying for tampons and other products is an obligatory monthly expense for most women. Taxes only add to the financial stress and compromised health of low-income women, single mothers with daughters, and homeless women.

After Canada petitioned to end their tampon tax this past summer, many countries are now expected to follow suit. In the United States, there is a sales tax between 5 and 9 percent on feminine hygiene products. It is different in every state, but five states, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Maryland, do not tax feminine hygiene products. I became interested in this topic after reading an article in Cosmopolitan where Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, vice president for development at the Brennan Center for Justice and an advocate for the elimination of the tampon tax, told Cosmo "that making tampons duty-free does three major things: It lifts a small financial burden from all women, promotes gender equality, and opens the door to what broader policy reforms could look like and what the problem really does look like for low-income women."

There have been multiple attempts of spreading the word on tampon tax. Two British comedians created a spoof of Taylor Swift's Bad Blood video because they were fed up with the tax. Weiss-Wolf created the #NoTaxOnTampons campaign and petition, which you can sign and join the movement.

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