Michigan bills to ease monetary menstruation woes
The fear and panic that sets in when you think you’ve started your period in public and aren’t sure if you have a tampon, is unlike any other panic that is felt. You run to the bathroom just to realize that you don’t have any nor do you have a quarter to buy one. Fuck, there go your favorite undies.
The price for a 36 count of Tampax Pearl at Meijer is $6.99 plus the state’s six percent sales tax. This is roughly $7.41 a month. That’s also only if the women buys tampons, that’s not counting if they buy pads or panty liners. Due to Toxic Shock Syndrome, it is not recommended to wear only tampons.
A pack of Always overnight pads is $7.29 plus tax and a pack of Always panty-liners is $4.19. Monthly a woman is looking at $19.83. Assuming the woman started her period when she was 13 and starts menopause at 51, the women will be spending roughly $9,110 throughout her life on feminine hygiene products.
State Representative Sarah Roberts has proposed a bill that will eliminate sales tax on any feminine hygiene products. Roberts has also proposed a bill that will make feminine hygiene products available for free in public schools and state buildings. The Detroit Free Press says having a tampon tax is basically a punishment for women, when they have no control of their menstruation.
If passed, Michigan will not be the first state to eliminate the tax, five states have already eliminated the tax on the products; five other states have no sales tax at all.
Michigan has tax exemption on things that are considered to be necessary, groceries, prescription drugs, even newspapers. Yet women are paying taxes on feminine hygiene products for something that they can’t change, something they were born with.
Another reason Roberts has proposed these bills is to help with the idea that menstruation has to be a dirty little secret, people know about it, yet most men still say “ew” or cringe when anything about a period is mentioned. The idea of a young girl not being able to get a feminine hygiene product at school because she’s ashamed to ask for one or because there are none available for her, is the point behind the second bill.
Periods are something that men will never experience, so the question is… if men used these products would there be a tax on them? Would they be as expensive as they are? Would this even be an issue?
You opinions on these bills can be heard! State representatives: Go to house.michigan.gov or call 517-373-6339. State senators: Go to senate.michigan.gov or call 517-373-2400.