Femininity for Free


Kylie Fink, Contributing Reporter

I am advocating for the millions of girls out there. For the girls which make up over half of the population. The babies, the elderly women, and every woman in between. The women of the world are suffering an unfair expense in their lives. What could this overarching injustice be?

The injustice is going to the store every month to buy products for a process that is uncontrollable. Taking money out of paychecks for menstruation products that many people cannot afford, but also cannot live without. That is the overarching injustice.

When walking into a bathroom at school, a girl can use as much toilet paper as she might need. The purpose of the toilet paper is to help keep your body sanitized and clean from a necessary bodily function. A tampon does the same job, just for a different bodily function. Although, toilet paper and tampons are used for very similar purposes, the price and the ability to access the items are very different. This issue has an easy remedy that has already been put in place for toilet paper. Toilet paper is needed for everyday use and is a non-stop expense. Every week families and companies have to go and stock up on it, using their funds. Yet at every school, restaurant, gas station, or building, the toilet paper is free. Menstruation products do not have this same availability. Although they are used by only half of the population, for only a couple days a month, they are not deemed important enough to be purchased by the companies for use by their customers. Buying these products is an extra expense for girls, and this needs to change.

Every month girls pay too much money for having a bodily function that is simply unchangeable. The price of tampons and feminine products are very changeable, however. Whether it be a quarter, a dime, or a nickel, it is too much money for girls to be spending. How is it a girl’s fault that a simple biological factor cannot be changed? A large majority of women are already paid less in society than their male counterparts. The flaws in the fact that most women get paid less and yet must spend more to supply themselves with necessary products are clearly apparent. This needs to change.

What would happen if a woman could not pay for a tampon or a sanitary pad? She must stop going to school, which limits her education. She is unable to attend work, limiting her income even greater. She would find it difficult to leave her home, because leaking can come at any time. Not giving a woman access to free feminine products has the potential to eliminate education, work, and overall quality of life.

It is understandable that asking for menstruation products to be free right away might not be possible. But even if a product is not free, it should at least have no added state or national tax. Products such as medicated condoms have no tax. Why should something that a man can control have no extra charge, but a function a girl cannot control can be taxed, causing an additional, unnecessary expense? Whether a girl wants it or not, she will eventually need feminine products on a regular basis. A guy cannot say the same.

In the case of the non-taxed medicated condoms, this is a product that a guy may want, but it is also a product a guy has control over. The guy can choose to wait and not have sex. A woman cannot choose to not have her period. Yet, the guy can go out and buy a product with no tax even though it is not a necessary item in life. It is a choice for the man. If a female could choose to have her period, would she? Would she want limitations? Would she want pain? Would she want possible humiliation? Medicated condoms are not taxed because they are used to help prevent STI’s. They are viewed as “medication”, which is not taxed, but it is still a choice for a man to have sex. A woman cannot choose to not get her period without unnecessary added expense. Men never have to experience something similar to a period so they might not understand or pay attention to this added expense women must face.

Do not put shame on women for their gender. Embrace them. Do so in a simple way. Let them be women. Give women a free way to overcome one of their toughest reoccurring obstacles in their lives. Allow them to have a guaranteed way to attend school and work and live their day-to-day lives without the added expense and inconvenience of their periods.