A Period is NOT a Luxury! By: Kayla Howard, Spelman College

By September 25, 2019 Uncategorized 3 Comments
Cartoon caption from Change.org

Throughout history, women have been excluded from activities and events during their period due to being deemed unclean and unworthy. Historically and systemically, this has limited their participation. But there are also socio-economic and gender barriers that make it even harder to women and girls to get or maintain access to participation. It is oppressive. According to the Hinckly Journal of Politics, the tampon tax is defined as “a policy in which feminine hygiene products are taxed as “luxury goods” despite the fact that many countries exempt “necessary goods”—such as basic groceries and medical products—from sales tax”.

Tampons and sanitary napkins are absolutely necessary as they allow women to maintain proper hygiene throughout the duration of their menstrual cycles. This tax specifically and unfairly targets women and is even more of a hardship for women in low-income families. Without pads and tampons, we would be unable to attend class, maintain a job or go out in public at all!

Nearly half of all women in the U.S. are the breadwinners for their household and cannot afford to miss work for days at a time due to their period. This is much bigger than just pads and tampons.

Plain and simple, the tampon tax is a blatant injustice against women. If the men who made these laws had a period, these products would distributed for free! Much like condoms. It is a continuation of archaic practices that have long deemed women undeserving of positions of power.

Speaking of power, people even claimed that Hillary Clinton could not be a successful president because of her period. The first step to change is awareness, so consider this your call to action. In 2018, Washington, D.C. (where I am from), passed a law to outlaw the tampon tax. Let D.C. be an example for other states to follow!

If men had periods, do you think the tampon tax would exist? Do you believe the tampon tax is fair? How do we change things so that needs are NOT considered a luxury?


  • Kemely blaise says:

    If men had periods there would not be any taxes because men would finally “understand” and erase taxes as this would benefit themselves. No I do not believe the tampon tax is fair as we women are the ones only suffering and this product is a necessity.

  • Dre'Shawn Spearman says:

    As a man, I would first like to identify the privilege that we have as men in society. I wholeheartedly support your stance on this issue, and I agree to the fact that this would not be the case if men dealt with these same issues. This is an injustice to women overall, along with many other toxic and patriotic views that are pressed upon them as a whole.

  • Ke'Ana Darden says:

    The fact that it’s legally considered a luxury is bogus. If they understood what we, as women, go through with our bodies, no laws that control what we do with them would exist. It’s sad that things have to be that way but they are. As a society, we must continue to shine on how our bodies function, so that awareness can be brought to light & we can move forward.

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