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Women Aren’t The Only Ones With Periods, Here’s Why Tampon Taxes Are An Everyone Issue

taxfreeperiod.com

In most states across the country, people with periods are charged a sales tax when they purchase menstruation products, but a new campaign aims at dismantling the lawful discriminatory practice.

On Tuesday, founders of LOLA, a natural hygiene brand, and of Period Equity, a law and policy organization fighting for menstrual equity, joined forces to launch Tax Free. Period., a national campaign calling for the end of the tampon tax. The name alludes to the tax states put on menstrual products throughout the country.

“Despite the fact that menstrual products are basic necessities for half the population, 35 states in the U.S. still institute a discriminatory tax on these products. Through LOLA’s partnership with Period Equity to launch Tax Free. Period., we are mobilizing legal action to end this unjust tax, taking crucial steps in the fight to achieve menstrual equity and continuing to work towards lifting the detrimental stigma against women’s health that still exists in this country,” the co-founder of LOLA Jordana Kier told Teen Vogue. “Our goal is to make the tampon tax a non-negotiable by making legal arguments that challenge its constitutionality.”

According to Fortune, 70 percent of US states charge a sales tax on these necessary products, which means that just 15 states don’t currently demand the extra sum. Of them, five have no sales tax at all — as in Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon — five have marked them as tax-exempt items — like in Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — and five have removed their tampon taxes after advocacy against it — as in New York, Illinois, Florida, Connecticut and Nevada. Additionally, cities like Chicago, Denver, and Washington, D.C., also don’t tax menstrual products.

States have the liberty of making their own rules on what gets taxed, and many categorize menstrual products as a luxury item, meaning it’s not exempt in the way other necessities like food and prescriptions might be.

Several countries have already stopped taxing menstrual products because of its unjust economic burden on women. Kenya was the first to put an end to the practice in 2004, with Canada, Malaysia, India and Australia later following suit. In 2016, even President Barack Obama called on states to stop taxing menstrual products.

As a result of the tampon tax, people with periods spend an estimated $150 million a year on these imperative items, and the campaign wants the country to recognize that this is not only unfair but also outmoded.

“Challenging the tampon tax in the U.S. is about much more than lifting a simple financial burden. It is a way to call out laws that are archaic, unfair, and discriminatory,” the co-founder of Period Equity Jennifer Weiss-Wolf told Teen Vogue. “It helps us move toward a better model of economic parity and gender equity. And we believe it is a gateway for getting people to talk and think about the wider implications of menstruation — social, economic, and otherwise. It’s an issue that has already garnered support from both sides of the aisle and from people across the United States. And a chance to win real change for menstrual equity.”

Through Tax Free. Period., organizers will create an educational campaign, a hackathon and a legal action that aims to change the way the public and legislators think about the tampon tax. To help their mission, they’ve also brought on celebrity supporters like Serena Williams and Karlie Kloss.

“A tax on periods is wrong. Telling half of the population that their needs aren’t important is wrong,” Williams told the news outlet. “I’m proud to support LOLA and Period Equity, who have teamed up to launch Tax Free. Period. to help right these wrongs and finally end these unfair policies once and for all in the U.S.”

Read: 7 Latinas Share Their First Period Stories And They’re Backed With All The Jajajas

Latina Writes Letter About Tampons To Her Mom – And It’s Hilarious

#mitúVOICE

Latina Writes Letter About Tampons To Her Mom – And It’s Hilarious

Dear Hi Mom,

It’s time for us to talk about something we’re both going to hate. It involves my vagina and a foreign object. I’m sorry, I know this is going to be super awkward for the both of us.

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Credit: Live From LA

When I first got my period you gave me “The Period Talk.” Granted, you did an okay job explaining that if I have sex or even think about it, I’d end up pregnant and that this officially made me a señorita – whatever that means. You gave me the proper tool, an ultra maxi pad. But honestly, I’m tired of wearing diapers under my skinny jeans and I don’t want to get started on the overnight extra heavy flow pads that go all the way up to my lower back.

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Credit: glee.wikia.com

Insisting that I wear pads is by far the most humiliating thing you could’ve done to me. Every time I go to the restroom to change, everyone knows I’m PMSing because they hear me rip the pad off my underwear. Also, did you forget that I’m sitting on a pillow made up of my own blood for hours at a time? And do you know how hard it is to get rid of a dirty pad when there’s no trash can in the bathroom? It’s the worst.

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Credit: American Idol / Fox / AmericanIdol / Tumblr

Later, no thanks to you, I discovered a little something called a tampon. When I asked you about it, you said, “¡NO!” right away “porque ya no vas a ser virgen.”

But mom, I’ve done my research and here are a few facts about tampons you need to know.

1. As romantic as it sounds, tampons do not take your virginity.

2. Although I won’t wear a white skirt or do gymnastics in a tampon, it does hold everything in place.

3. It’s not just my friends that you don’t like that are wearing them. It’s what most women under 41 use.

4. I know you’re afraid it’ll hurt me or get stuck. No mom, when a tampon is inserted correctly, you don’t feel a thing and your cervix is way too small to let a tampon through. I’m safe.

5. No need for you to show me how to use one, we have ton of YouTube videos, which saves us both the weird conversation.

So, it would be great if next time you go to the store, you buy me a box and leave it on my bed. Glad we had the talk. Love you.

For the love of periods, share.

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