Monday, 16 November 2015

The Tampon Tax & Why It's Complete Bull

I’ve seen a lot lately in the news, social media, blogs around the subject of tampon tax and it’s something that I feel quite passionately about. For those who don’t know, in the UK tampons and sanitary towels are taxed as “luxury items” and so have more of a tax than other things such as jaffa cakes. Yes, stupid things such as sweets aren’t taxed as luxury items, but things that make women feel cleaner during a difficult time, are.

Not only is the tampon tax utterly bullshit, the fact that men in parliament couldn’t even bring themselves to say the word tampon shows how overrun by men our government is. They can’t see how difficult a time some women have when they are on their period and how putting a luxury tax on them is disgusting. A woman on a normal cycle will spend a lot on sanitary products over her lifetime. A woman with a normal flow, who’s on their period for around 3-5 days will spend around £10,000 on tampons or sanitary towels in their lifetime. That’s not counting the unfortunate women who have irregular or non stop bleeding, or the women who have just had babies and have to wear sanitary towels on a regular basis.

(accurate representation of MP's when it comes to periods)

What the government won’t see is the women who are in constant pain because they haven’t got a regular period and so their cramps are excruciating and this can lead them to have days off work or school. What the government won’t see are the homeless women who search high and low for something to get through the horrible time of bleeding while living on the streets. What the government refuse to acknowledge is the fact that women suffer and I know, personally that I’ve struggled to buy tampons before. It gets to that time of the month and I’m skint. I’m already in my overdraft and I don’t even have money to get to work, nevermind spend up to £3 so that I don’t gross out the men in my office or that I can feel clean and secure when all I really want to do is curl up into a ball and cry. What I fail to understand is how men, with wives and daughters and mothers, can see tampons as luxury and question why we would want the luxury tax removed. Have these MP’s that refuse to say the word “tampon” ever seen their daughter cry because her uterus feels like it’s going to explode? Or sob because she’s leaked out of her tampon while you were shopping and she’s embarrassed that people can see the blood on her jeans? Or your wife that has snapped at you, demanded chocolate and cried at the silliest things because her hormones are all over the place?

Not only is the tampon tax irrelevant and disgusting, it’s highlighting a time that women would much rather pass quickly. No woman wants periods. They don’t want the hassle, basically and men have it a lot easier. That might seem sexist, but they do. I will do anything to make my period easier and having safe, natural products that are reasonably priced makes me feel better. I have been having my period now for 10 years (only 20, yay for starting early) and so I know what my body wants when I’m on my period. I know that it wants chocolate and a hot water bottle and for my hair to be stroked. I also know that without the use of the contraception pill, I would be in absolutely agony every month. When I first started my period I used to have to have days off school because I used to be doubled over in pain and cry because I didn’t know what was happening. I would force myself to go to sleep to get rid of the pain and for a 11 year old girl, I got pretty used to painkillers way too quickly. I know if my dad was in parliament, or my brother or boyfriend they’d understand what women go through. They’d be able to say the word tampon because they know what I go through and I have it easy. They’d understand that I have to ask my boyfriend to pick some up for me because I’m too uncomfortable to leave the house. They’d think it was ridiculous that something that keeps my sheets clean, me sanitized and comfortable, could never be seen as luxury. Especially when everything that they have as a luxury, isn’t taxed that way.

At the end of the day, tampons and sanitary towels are a necessity for women and should be priced that way. They should be safe, clean and easy to get hold of for everyone. No woman is demanding they be free, although I feel they should be for some. They just want them to be recognised as a way we get by.

What are your opinions on the tampon tax? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Til’ next time! XOXO


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