Free condoms, so why are tampons taxed

Condoms are free in several locations, but tampon users face an increased tax on every box.

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Condoms are free in several locations, but tampon users face an increased tax on every box.

Myriah Dittmar, Reporter

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Click, click, tap, tap… page reloads…. And Google (or whatever search engine you are using) says: here’s what we’ve found.” Considering today’s society has progressed to moving mostly online, it isn’t a shocker that it takes a fraction of a second to get the information you need. In this case, it took less than a half of a second to find information showing several easily accessible places to find free condoms in any given town. For example, head to the school nurse’s office, a doctor’s office, any Planned Parenthood health center or local health department, or even a valid website called “Condom Finder”, and you will find options for free condoms without question.  It took another half of a second to find the absolutely shocking list of places to find free tampons- the school nurse’s office. While it is easy to find free condoms in several locations, there are not the same options for tampons and other feminine sanitary options.

Additionally, women face the increasing challenges of physical, social, and economic factors of simply being a woman. Let’s dive into the math. On average, women will spend about three to seven days per month menstrating for about 42 years, or 3,528 days over her lifetime. A healthy woman will cycle through about three to four tampons per day, depending on her flow, and at $10 per box that has around 20 tampons in it, the money adds up fast. In the United States and the  United Kingdom, it is expected to pay an additional 5- 6.85% on each box, due to the law that states that women’s health sanitary products are labeled as a “luxury” item. The cost of having a period for 3,528 days in your lifetime and using tampons that are additionally taxed for no reason that can be found other than they are “luxury items” is absolutely huge, and every single woman in modern day society is expected to pay it. After all, even though it is a natural bodily function, having a period and having it shown to the world is taboo (for good reason- diseases and infections spread through blood-to-body contact is very real and very risky), women are expected to do whatever they can to keep themselves clean, including spending hundreds of extra dollars on items that should be labeled as necessities.

Remember the beginning of this article? Condoms (an item meant for men, obviously) are free in many locations, and you’re going to get something that not only gets the job done, but is also comfortable. Tampons? Not so much. You would be lucky to find a free tampon in a school nurse’s office, and if you do, chances are it’s going to be a cheap, poorly made version that can cause pain and discomfort for the wearer. And on top of that, there is an extra tax on every box of tampons you buy! One might say this is just another example of the double standard provided by men who create laws that dictate women and what they do with their bodies.