On Tuesday, November 6th, we had two major intersectional feminist wins. Not only are there more than 100 women in the House of Representatives, but Nevada also became the tenth state to ditch the so-called “tampon tax” along with states like New York, Illinois, and Florida, and Washington D.C.
Now that’s what I call a step in the right direction!
No longer will persons with a uterus have to fork over an additional 6.85% tax on their menstrual products like tampons, pads, or even the menstrual cup. Nevada joining the ranks as the tenth state will only push menstrual freedom farther. In fact, there is a term and movement coined by feminist Jennifer Wiess-Wolf called “menstrual equity”. This movement aims to rid the world of the so-called tampon tax and make these products more easily accessible and affordable.
Despite Nevada becoming the 10th state to change their laws on the tampon tax, the United States still needs to play “catch-up” to the rest of the world. Just this year alone, Malaysia, India, and Australia all have removed the tax from menstrual products. Even Kenya and Canada revoked it in 2004 and 2015 respectively.
I’d also like to mention some of the strange things that have had their taxes waived in the U.S. rather than having the tampon tax waived. Texas has waived the tax on cowboy boots (because those are apparently a necessity), and Idaho has waved the tax on chainsaws (in case of an incident like the Texas chainsaw massacre). Clearly, these two items are more of a needed thing than affordable tampons. Clearly.
To me, it’s weird to think that chainsaws and cowboy boots are more useful than a tampon or pad. What has America come to?
However, despite lagging in the race for menstrual freedom, the U.S. is moving in the right direction. I hope in my years on Earth I will come to see a country in which menstrual products are free and affordable for all women. In fact, feminists, this is my call to action for you: Help move this wave of freedom in the right direction. Use your right to free speech as a springboard to convince your mostly white cis male legislators that the tampon tax is a bad thing and all menstrual products should be affordable, as they are necessities for anyone with a uterus. Not only will this change your own life but will change the life of anyone who is impoverished and in dire need for these products.
You can be the change! Contact your representatives (now there’s more than 100 women who will actually listen to you) and tell them your state needs non-taxed menstrual goods! Advocate for free tampons and mads everywhere bathrooms are located! Think of all the folks you’ll be helping: people with periods everywhere. So, feminists, use that voice of yours for change! Be the change you want in your state, and soon the U.S. will be a menstrual tax free nation.
7 thoughts on “Bye Bye Tampon Tax”
I loved reading this post! Tampon tax is a topic that I have not thought about. With JMU’s recent decision to place free tampons in the bathrooms, I have thought about free menstrual products but, I never thought about tax. Tax on menstrual products is unfair in my opinion. Menstrual products are products that every woman needs. It is not like a lipstick, where most women like it but don’t need it. Periods are something women can’t control and as a result, we need to buy products to contain our flow. By taxing these products, it makes it more difficult and more expensive for all women to contain their flow. This will definitely be an issue I conduct further research on.
I think your article is so important and indicative of a deeper problem in our country. Women and their needs are seen as almost an extra or unnecessary in our society, hence the luxury tax. Imagine if men needed to use menstrual products. If that was the case tampons definitely would not have an extra tax. This tax shows how we need more women to represent our interest so that our necessary items aren’t labeled as an extra or a luxury simply because a man doesn’t need it. Menstrual products aren’t a luxury, they’re a necessity. We shouldn’t have to pay more for things because we are women. This tampon tax reminds me of something called a pink tax where companies charge women more for a product than the male equivalent of a product would cost. Both taxes I think unfairly target women, and especially hurt low-income women who are forced to choose between tampons and other necessities because of this high tax.
THIS!!!!! I love that we are moving into the right direction about removing the tampon tax!! The fact that this is still a thing pisses me off. Also what do you think about how not only menstrual products are more expensive but also women’s deodorant (which barely even works), and women’s razors and other things are continuously being more expensive than male products.
It’s about time that more states are joining this movement and I couldn’t be happier about the progress we are making for women. With that being said, we certainly have a long way to go but this is definitely a step in the right direction…every effort counts!!
Love this!!!! I think this is an important article and more people need to see it. I think that it is ridiculous that because I am a women I am taxed more on a product that I need! I will say while there are only ten states I feel that JMU has been progressive in this movement and finally made tampons free in all bathrooms. I think the rest of the United States needs to step and support women and stop taking taxes off of items that are not necessary to life.
This is an issue that I am still astounded by. In what way could pads and tampons ever be considered a luxury? Yes, I supposed in theory people with uteruses could go without menstrual products, but they are the easiest way to handle menstruation, and realistically I doubt anyone would consider them anything less than a necessity. I think it’s fantastic that some states are finally getting rid of the tax; it is absolutely a step in the right direction. However, this is an issue that we must remain aware of and continue to fight for.
Thank you for bringing this to light! I never really thought about the tax on menstrual products, and it just shows how we as feminists need to make the transparent apprent in our everyday lives. So many women use menstrual products each month to prevent health issues, and it’s so concerning that they aren’t covered under insurance and that even worse, they’re taxed!