27/10/2015

Apparently, a tampon is more of a luxury than a pitta bread.

The affectionately known 'tampon tax' is something that has rattled me for ages.  I've never quite understood why sanitary towels and tampons are deemed to be a "luxury".

Yet, as one Labour MP explained in Parliament recently, there are quite a few discrepancies over what are deemed luxuries and necessities.  Razor blades, jaffa cakes and even pitta breads are zero rated, thus deeming them more of a "necessity" than tampons or sanitary towels.

I'm sorry, but when Mother Nature makes her monthly visit to me I would deem a tampon far more of a necessity than a pitta bread (maybe not more than a jaffa cake - you know, chocolate and all that!)  What use is a bloody pitta bread?! You can't even make a proper sandwich out of it!

Yet these "necessities" - which are clearly more of a treat - are deemed more of an essential to our lives than a tampon?

My point is, to women, tampons and sanitary towels are among the most essential of items.  They're right up there with a bra - and even a bra isn't essential at night like a tampon or pad is!

Surely the only reason we are being taxed on them is because the government recognise their necessity to women and know they can always make money from it?  It's not like taxes on cigarettes or alcohol where sales will often fluctuate depending on time of year or big sporting occasion - the sales of tampons and sanitary items will be constant because women always need them.

If the tampon tax is to stay, then surely a tax should be added to a "luxury" male item - such as hair gel or razor blades.  After all, adding loads of product to your quiff is far more of a "luxury" than ensuring we don't see blood flowing freely from our nether regions every month.

Whatever will be next - will we be taxed on deodorant or shampoo because it's deemed luxury?  These items ensure that we all keep ourselves hygienic - which is exactly the purpose of tampons and sanitary towels.

I'm not one to harp on usually about gender inequalities etc, and it pains me a little bit to say it, but this is a glaring example of how women can be the victims of an unequal society.

If tampons or sanitary towels really were a "luxury", then only a handful of women would use them.  The rest would get by.  I'd consider Fox's biscuits a luxury - I'll only buy them when they're on offer.  This is what the attitude towards tampons and sanitary towels would be.  But it's not.  Do you know why?  Because it would be obvious!  And no woman in the world wants everyone to know when she's on her period.  Making these little saviours an absolute necessity.  For not only our personal hygiene but for our personal lives.

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