Let's Talk Luxury

When someone mentions the word luxury, some of the things that come to mind include jewelry, fancy dinners, fast cars, a vacation — but nowhere in that train of thought does the word tampon come up.

The “pink tax” refers to the extra amount of money women are charged for certain services or products. Gender based marketing plays a huge role when it comes to this. Items that are virtually the same, yet, designed for women typically tend to cost more. As women not only are we paid less but we also get charged more. Tampons are one of the various items that fall under this category.

We’ve all seen those tweets, memes and Facebook posts about how terrible menstruation can be, yet there are still some who view a basic necessity, such as tampons, as a way to profit from. Political decisions such as the luxury tax of tampons display just a small glimpse of the gender gap that has developed over time and continues to this day. Did you know women will spend  an approximate $3,000 more in their lifetime due to female hygiene products being taxed as a luxury?  Yet, if we were to ask around – I’ve yet to meet a woman that when prompted, categorizes menstruation as a luxury.

The nature of these regulations is not a surprise as it seems that it stems largely from a bias in the Sciences. Science has learned to present the menstrual cycle as a “failure” to effectively create healthy eggs for fertilization and for some reason it is clear that ideologies of this kind have reached a level of political and national engagement. Just as women are discriminated against for ovulation, they are taxed against a natural process that constitutes a cyclical part of life; One that we as women have not chosen for ourselves.

 I asked several of my male friends about the availability of condoms and a vast majority mentioned how condoms are readily available and free at most bathroom stalls. If sex is not considered a luxury, then why is menstruation?