Periods – they’re totally natural, they’re an unavoidable bodily function and they can also very annoying (especially when they sneak up on you while wearing those new white pants!). But you know what’s even more annoying? That you, as a woman trekking to the supermarket in her precious spare time to sort out her period, has to pay tax on those necessary feminine hygiene products like pads, tampons and other sanitary items. It’s known as the tampon tax and it’s #bloodyannoying.
Sure, when you look at in in dollar figures, the tax isn’t actually that high per sanitary item. But it’s the principle of it – that according to the Goods and Services Tax, introduced to Australia in 2000, feminine hygiene products are considered a non-essential ‘luxury’. Even more frustrating? The fact that items such as Viagra, condoms and lubricant are GST exempt. Say it with me now – “HUH?!”
But seriously, it’s 2018 people and periods are a natural, inevitable part of life – so why are women being taxed simply for having a vagina? Here at beautyheaven we reckon the tampon tax has got to go and here are just a few reasons why…
#1 – The tampon tax is gender selective
Most men don’t need to buy sanitary items like pads or tampons because unlike us women, they don’t get periods. Which means that this tax is only impacting the wallets of women, just because we happened to be born female.
Also, lots of us lucky ladies have to contend with the consistent cramps, wild mood swings and fighting the urge to eat everything in a five kilometre radius while on our periods – clearly we’ve got enough to deal while menstruating, thanks! So why are we paying extra for having a uterus? Nah – not fair.
#2 – We’ve got more important things to spend our money on
Those who are indifferent to the tampon tax say that it doesn’t matter as the tax is small and not noticeable to the average woman buying her super-absorbent overnight pads each month at Woolies. But A) it’s the principle and B) it really does add up and we’re gonna do it, right now.
So let’s say, for a woman who gets a regular monthly visit from Aunt Flo, it might cost around $10 per month for a box of tampons and a box of pads. Multiply that by each month of the year and we’re looking at a spend of $120 annually on feminine hygiene products. Over an average female lifetime of period-getting, we could be spending up to $5000 on sanitary items! That’s a lot of dough that women are coughing up for ‘luxury’ items.
I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot of other things I’d like to splash that cash on and you could literally buy a small car for that amount! Ah well, since my boyfriend doesn’t have to spend $5k on sanitary products, perhaps he can drive me to the store to get my tampons – you know, in the car that he bought with all his sanitary-item savings!
#3 – Sanitary products aren’t a ‘luxury’ to women
So we’ve covered that our government believes that feminine hygiene products are a ‘luxury’ under the GST. But we all know that when you think luxury, the humble tampon isn’t exactly what springs to mind.
An iconic tub of La Mer’s Crème de la Mer? Totally. A Mason Pearson Handy Pure Bristle brush? For sure. But a box of Carefree Supers that legitimately plug my body to stop my period from leaking all over my jeans? NOPE, not a bloody luxury (literally).
In Australia, we’re really lucky that menstruation has become far less stigmatised than it used to be. And we’ve got it a whole lot better than a lot of other countries, where some countries lack access to basic sanitation services or even forbid women from cooking or even entering the home while on their period! But until female sanitary items are recognised as an essential purchase for women and thus exempt from tax, we’ve still got work to do.
Here at beautyheaven we’re fed up with the tampon tax and we’ve teamed up with a number of leading Bauer Media titles such as ELLE, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day and Money, to promote the need for change as part of the No Gender Selective Tax campaign. If you agree that the tampon tax has to go, say “I agree” by signing the petition at bloodyannoying.com.
Do you support abolishing the tampon tax?