Real Talk: You’re Being Taxed For Having a Period.

period tax

If you’re a woman with a period, you already know you’re paying for it. We sheepishly toss a box of tampons or pads into our carts every month and pay whatever we have to pay.

But you may not have realized not only are you paying for your feminine hygiene products – but you’re also being taxed on them.

What is the “period tax”?

Taxes vary by state here in the U.S. – but the majority of states have sales tax on “non essential items” otherwise known as a “luxury tax.”

“Essential items” that are exempt from sales tax include food and medicine. Unfortunately for us ladies – feminine hygiene products don’t often make the cut.

In fact, 38 states have taxes on pads and tampons.

So let me summarize this up for you. 38 out of 50 states believe tampons and pads are luxury, non essential items even though we as women literally don’t have a choice about having a period.

How much is the period tax costing you?

So all that being said – what’s the actual cost to you?

According to the office of California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia – it is estimated that women who menstruate spend $7 per month for 40 years of tampons and pads.

That adds up to more than $3,000 in a lifetime.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take that $3K+ and head to Europe for a few weeks.

Feminine hygiene products aren’t optional.

If you’re a woman reading this – I don’t really have to argue too hard here.

When your period surprises you in the middle of a trip to TJ Maxx and you don’t have a pad or tampon on hand – you’re actually screwed. Toilet paper is is not an alternative, towels or paper towels are not an alternative. Literally there is no alternative to feminine hygiene products. And if you’re a woman who’s ever been caught without one – you know just how right I am.

To all the girls who tried to layer in wads of toilet paper during lunch in high school but still ended up with an embarrassing stain on their pants – you get it. To all the women that had to kiss their favorite pair of white jeans goodbye because toilet paper isn’t an alternative to a pad or tampon – you get it.

We aren’t buying feminine hygiene products because they’re super fun luxuries for us. This isn’t like buying nail polish and mascara.

Tampons and pads are not luxury items. They’re basic necessities.

Periods aren’t something to be ashamed of – or something to tax.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend I’m a full blown feminist. I’m not. And I think feminism is a hard concept to even define.

But what I am is super pissed off.

I’m pissed off because I didn’t choose to have a period, but I’m forced to pay for it. And if you’re a woman who has a period – so are you.

Remember a handful of years back with Kiran Gandhi ran the London Marathon without a pad or tampon? She literally ran 19 miles freely bleeding because holy shit it was going to be uncomfortable to run that far with a pad in between her legs chaffing away.

I’m not as brave as Kiran – but she’s an amazing example of how periods are natural and shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of.

And they also shouldn’t be taxed.

Let’s murder the period tax once and for all.

It’s really easy to get fired up about something, but do nothing to inspire change. If you’re as pissed as I am about having to pay for your period – and you should be pissed – you can take a few moments to make a difference simply by doing some research and signing a petition.

Cosmopolitan Magazine actually set up a petition to kill the “tampon tax” in the US and you can sign it here! Boom. You just impacted the lives of thousands of women across the US and it only took you a few minutes.

Nailed it. 

Share your thoughts on the period tax in the comments below!

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3 responses to “Real Talk: You’re Being Taxed For Having a Period.”

  1. I agree with you 100% on this! Thank you for sharing the petition, because otherwise I would have never found it!

  2. […] you’re dehydrated and your skin is left feeling dull. Sometimes it’s right around that time of the month and you’re breaking out like crazy. I’ll usually stand in front of the mirror, evaluate […]

  3. Lee T says:

    Could not love this post anymore. Thank you for sharing this. (…and now I go on an internet hunt to find out if we in Canada are also being taxed for this)
    Lee |

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