Laydeez and gents, did you know that tampons are taxed? Yep, it’s true: our pointy little period pals are deemed a “non-essential, luxury” item and are therefore not exempt from the unscrupulous wiles of taxing. To be precise, our sanitary products incur a 5% tax. For twenty-seven years, between 1973 and 2000, our ever-faithful sanitary saviours were taxed at an extortionate and fanny-clenching 17.5%. Yes, you read it right: SEVENTEEN POINT FIVE PERCENT. Mind-blowing, huh?
Now, if you follow me on Twitter (why the fuck don’t you?) you’ll see that I lose my figurative shit about tampon tax roughly once every week; I find it ludicrous. Absurd. Nonsensical. Patriarchal. Infuriating. A literal Bloody Joke. Except it’s not really that funny. This petition has been circulating for a while in a desperate bid to end this senseless, satanic, sanitary madness, but I feel as though the whole shebang has been made a great deal more accessible thanks to bloodydisgrace.org. Hit up the website and give the petition a sign. The geniuses behind Bloody Disgrace have even gone to the trouble of telling us what we could have bought, had we not been paying tax on tampons for most our lives. My loss? 41 bottles of vodka. FORTY ONE! Applying my own math, that’s about £600 – depending on how expensive your tipple (I’ve based this figure on the vodka priced just above Tesco’s Own… no offence intended Tesco) – which would buy me a pair of Stella McCartney flatforms. The anger is real right now.
You might be sitting there thinking “Well, sure, it’s not ideal but don’t we have bigger fish to fry? Aren’t there bigger battles to be… battled?” and I suppose you’re right, there are plenty of battles out there worth fighting for but, relatively speaking, there are 3.52 billion females on this earth – a great deal of whom are being taxed for having a uterus – so, relatively speaking, I think this is a pretty bloody big battle. In the interest of fairness, it’s gotta be noted that Kenya have seen sense and abolished tax on sanitary products back in 2011. Sadly, the UK is flagging way behind.
Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t really consider fingering myself with a cotton-wool stick a luxurious pastime, nor do I think it would be totes socially appropes if I bypassed the cotton-wool stick altogether and let my monthly menstruation run riot on the streets of London. Keep in mind also: the devastation caused to silks and satins; the cost of seat fabric refurb nationwide; the inevitable denouement of Kimmy K’s #allnudeeverything reign (ain’t nobody gon’ risk wearing nude when they’re surfing the crimson wave, unaided); and so on and so forth. My point is: we’re being taxed for bleeding, for bleeding sake!
If you need anymore convincing at this point then, frankly, you’re a lost cause in my eyes but I shall persevere nonetheless. I’m a big fan of Jaffa Cakes – I can Total Eclipse a pack of those suckers in (what I imagine is) record time. It might help you to learn that Jaffa Cakes incur roughly… 0% tax. Yup, British to the very core, we deem biscuits an essential item (let’s not start the cake vs biscuit debacle right now; that’s a serious argument that deserves its own post). So, applying logic, Jaffa Cakes are considered more important than vajayjays. You might also be interested to know that, in our humble UK homeland, crocodile meat is considered an ‘essential’ item, too. So, if you do the math, WHO THE FUCK EVEN EATS CROCODILE MEAT? It’s patriarchy gone mad. Tampon tax is regressive and sexist. How can you possibly value biscuits over reproductive health? What kind of message is that sending out? I am a fervent fanny supporter and I’ll be damned if our hoo-haa’s aren’t held in high regard. It’s all ’bout tax-free menstruation for the nation, people!
Do us all a favour and sign the bloody petition now.