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.