The Cardinal

Why are Feminine Products taxed as a Luxury?

Amanda Leutmixay, Editor-in-Chief

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We live in a day and age where feminism is still looked down upon and women are still making 79 cents for every dollar earned by a male. To top it off, it seems like women have also been burdened with yet another unfair advantage. Crucial feminine necessities, which include tampons, panty liners, sanitary towels, pads and basically anything that would prevent menstruation fluids from leaking, are considered and taxed as luxury items in the United States and many other parts of the world. This demonstrates how underrepresented and discriminated women are.

In the United States, the sales tax for periods vary between four to nine percent. It is estimated that the average woman receives 450 periods, within their lifetime. If we were to add up the estimated cost of $10 a month for 450 months, that’s about $4,500 towards sanitation necessities excluding tax. That may not seem like a big figure, but it all adds up in the end. Why must women pay Uncle Sam for Mother Nature’s act? We do not control the flow of blood in our uterus, that blesses us every month with news that we are not pregnant, along with the period cramps and body soreness that lasts for three to seven days.

Females have about 99 problems to deal with and periods are one of them. The fact that we have to pay a hefty amount of money, just to prevent blood stains from surfacing and infections from growing, seems outrageous. However, it does not surprise me one bit that the U.S. Federal Government passed this tax because it is sadly and obviously a male dominated workforce. These are the very same men who are probably opposed of Planned Parenthood, the notion of Feminism and the outcome of the Roe v. Wade case.

Feminine products are a necessity and they exceed the purpose of being just for hygiene. Yeah it’s nice not having to worry about walking around with an embarrassing stain on my pants (although the paranoia is still there even with a durable pad on), but the fact that periods are categorized as a luxury confuses me to no end. Technology? That’s a luxury. Jewelry? That’s a luxury too. A brand new car? Also a luxury. So, how does our monthly flow get mistaken as a luxury? Even President Obama does not understand.

Earlier in the year, Youtuber Ingrid Nilson had the opportunity to sit down with the POTUS and asked why feminine products were considered “luxury goods” because all women would agree that menstruation is not luxurious.

“I have to tell you, I have no idea why states would tax these as luxury items,” President Obama said, “I suspect it’s because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed.”

This brings me back to the point where gender biases are still a huge issue, despite it being 2016. For some odd reason, haughty individuals with high concentrations of testosterone can not understand that women should be treated as their equals and are capable of being bread-winners too.

Luckily, two Californian politicians (both females) are on our side and are fighting to repeal the tax. It is our duty to fight against this injustice and support the California legislators who plan to abolish this “Pink tax”.  Keep your eyes and ears open for any additional information and be sure to sign the petitions.

 

https://www.change.org/p/jerry-brown-california-board-of-equalization-stop-the-taxation-of-necessary-feminine-hygiene-products-in-california-also-known-as-the-pink-tax

https://www.change.org/p/u-s-state-legislators-stop-taxing-our-periods-period

 


Sources:

1 http://www.iwpr.org/initiatives/pay-equity-and-discrimination

2 http://time.com/4183108/obama-tampon-tax-sanitary/ 

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Why are Feminine Products taxed as a Luxury?