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Pink Tax

Let's talk about it.

This was actually my English Final Paper my first semester of college. I wanted to write this in a way everyone would understand.

Imagine you're at a friend's house, sitting on their pretty white couch wearing your brand new white shorts. But then you look down to find your pants and the couch RED. You're automatically embarrassed and you want to go home, you want to cry. You find yourself apologizing a million times. You didn't have a pad nor a tampon on you because you couldn't afford them or it's your first period. What do you do? You can't do anything. And contrary to what some men may think (including men in power) women cannot hold in the blood. 

Now, if you're a male realize that this is a possibility for females all around the world. The fear of getting your period during a time you're wearing light colored pants, on someone else's furniture, in public, etc. (Also, don't make a big deal out of it. They're already upset and embarrassed, you freaking out about it makes it worse.) Now, think about all the homeless women who are buying feminine products instead of buying food. Why is it that these medical items are treated as a luxury? Why do we have to go into some random store  and pay at least $6 (not including tax) for something we need? And that's if they decide not to overprice it, which has been an issue in the past. 

Before going any further, think about where you stand. Is it fair to tell women to "deal with it" because it's part of their biology?

Over the years the campaign "Free The Tampon" has come up a lot in the media and has been getting worldwide attention. There have been on-going debates about whether or not tampons, pads, and other sanitary items should be considered medical items, meaning they would be either tax-free or completely free, covered by the taxes we pay every day. 

And please note, that our every day taxes, a good percentage of them are going towards our military. They're building new weapons that cost millions if not billions of dollars that end up not being used but instead disposed of.

There are so many reasons as to why these items should be considered a medical item. For one, women pay thousands of dollars throughout their lifetime for tampons, heating pads, pain medication, etc. Over a woman's lifetime she will pay over $1,200 for medication (Advil, Midol, Tylenol) to help with her cramps, over $1,700 on tampons and pads, over $400 on panty liners, over $2,000 on new underwear (due to period stains), nearly $1,000 on cravings, nearly $100 on acne medication, over $11,000 on birth control, and (if she's lucky) $40 on heating pads. Now, add all of that up. That's over $17,000. Imagine $17K of your hard-earned money being spent to buy these things because our government thinks you should buy your own pads and tampons because it's "your problem." Do they not realize we didn't ask to be born a female? And that we definitely didn't ask to go through menstruation? I will repeat this again, against contrary belief WE CANNOT HOLD IT IN, IT IS NOT URINE. IT DOES NOT COME OUT OF THE SAME HOLEIT'S BLOOD. Cut your arm and try to hold the blood in. Can you do it? No? Neither can we.

Oh by the way, they're technically considered toiletries. Would you expect people to charge you for toilet paper when you're using the bathroom in a public space and it runs out? No? So why are we charging women for them? When a woman is rummaging through her bag and can't find one the last thing she wants to do is buy it. 

Females miss school and work due to their periods. The intense cramps, the amount of blood flowing, the anxiety, it all adds up. They're afraid they won't have a pad, they're afraid they're going to have to run to the nurse's office and ask for one, they're afraid they'll get it in the middle of class, afraid professors won't allow them to go to the bathroom when they need to or ask why they're taking their bags (none of your business!). It's already embarrassing enough having to go through all of this, but then realizing you don't have one when you're in the bathroom and then having to go on a journey to find one, seriously? 

Would you want to be at an airport, like Carlee Field was, to find that neither you nor the restroom have any sanitary pads? You don't want to go out to one of the convenience stores and buy a box of tampons for $15, which is 2x the normal price, just because they think they can get away with it? Again, that's like using the restroom and asking someone for toilet paper only to have them tell you it's going to cost you $10 for the roll. Seriously? TEN DOLLARS? Outrageous.

Now, there are arguments out there explaining why they shouldn’t be free or why they shouldn’t reduce the cost for these items. When it comes to the “who will pay for this?” issue many will be quick to say, “the public, through taxes” but do we really want that? Tampons and pads cost about $6 per box and that’s just for a month’s supply. Do we really want more taxes to be taken out of our paychecks to pay for at most $10 of tampons and pads a month? However, how much would be taken out of our paychecks is the real question. There are millions of people living in the United States, and news flash! HALF OF THEM ARE MALES. Yes, it may be unfair to take maybe an extra dollar out, if even that, of a male’s paycheck to help women pay for these items but it’s also unfair that they get free condoms everywhere they go; schools, fairs, doctor offices, etc. We don’t choose to have our periods, but we do choose to have sex. If we get $1 (maybe less) from everyone in the U.S. we would be able to provide tampons and pads for everyone.

Even if you’re not okay with providing it for everyone, what about homeless women at least? They’re already struggling to get food, they shouldn’t have to worry about getting an infection just because they can’t afford sanitary items. Just imagine being a homeless woman, dividing the little money you get from the good people off the street to find out whether or not you can afford a bite to eat if you buy a box of sanitary items. If they don’t buy these items they will struggle with infections—e.g., urinary tract infections—and won’t be able to afford medicine to treat it, but if they do buy it they may not be able to eat. What would you do in this position? Wouldn’t you want just a little help? That’s all women are asking for: a little help. We have so many other things to worry about, periods shouldn’t be one of them. Life is hard as is, let’s make it a little easier for everyone involved. Let’s make these items, medical items.

If any of you would like to know where I got my information from feel free to send me an email and I'll gladly tell you :)