This week, people have been banging on to me about the #tampontax. The argument being that the 5% tax levied on tampons should be abolished because tampons are not a luxury item. They used to be taxed more, 17.5% I think, but in 2000, after lobbying by Labour MP Dawn Primarolo, the tax was reduced to 5%. She explained the reduction was “about fairness, and doing what we can to lower the cost of a necessity”
In Ireland (I think) and recently in Canada, after a similar campaign, the tax was dropped on these ‘feminine hygiene products’.
Tampons aren’t a luxury. I don’t think. Unless we want lots more state money spent cleaning bus seats, tubes and chairs country-wide.
Like all campaigns like this, I’ve heard two main objections / arguments tweeted to me in angered or pissed off tones:
1. Yeah fine, it’s a bit unfair, but surely there are worse things this lot could focus on
2. So what do all these fucking feminists think about toilet paper? That’s taxed as a luxury item.
Well done. Yes, women also wipe their arses it’s true. But these sort of lowly annoyed or pissed off objections happen everytime I see any sort of campaign to change things and they baffle me. Humans aren’t stupid. We can focus on more than one thing. Everyone knows that tampon tax isn’t as pressing as the relation of life expectancy to postcode or child mortality. And most would agree that toilet paper is also not a luxury.
So instead of sitting getting pissed off that a small group of people are trying to change something you don’t think is as unfair as something else, maybe get off your backside and go campaign about those things you think are worse OR remember that perhaps, just perhaps, those people are working on multiple causes at once.
ps. my boobs and legs are really sore, my stomach is in stitches and I feel like vomiting. This happens for four days before I start my period. It’s pretty annoying. Not as annoying as global wealth inequality but still, annoying.
Here’s a good link for anyone interested in the importance of sanitary products for girls and women x