Sofi Washington

The Tampon Tax

Products that are a necessity for half of the population, such as pads and tampons, are still viewed as a luxury. This is an issue that needs to change.

Dear Ms. Rodham Clinton,

I am greatly excited to have you as our next president, to have a female president. The qualifications and ideas you will bring to office will lead our country in an amazing direction. As a female, it is great to see the progressive ideas you have concerning women's rights and pro-choice policies, things that will greatly affect me. To have a president who will fight for my rights over my own body, my rights to earn a decent living for whatever career I decide to pursue, and make an effort to stop the all too common issue of sexual assault against women is both a relief and a gift. I know you will be a great role model and do great things for women and girls everywhere. There is one issue concerning women, however, that I would like to bring up with you, and that is the "tampon tax". Now I know this is not a tax directed solely at tampons, pads and other period products but a sales tax that is just being applied to these products. I also know this is a state issue. But on the other hand, there are many products in certain states that are exempt from sales tax. Yes, some of those things are necessities, such as groceries, food stamps or clothes. But some of them aren't. For example, candy or soda aren't taxed in eleven states, yet ten of those states still tax feminine hygiene products. Only five states have made the decision to exempt pads and tampons from sales tax. It is ridiculous to me that something that is a necessity to half of the population is treated as a luxury. That menstruation is treated as a disease or illness rather than a natural bodily function. Some women even feel ashamed to talk about their periods. I've seen friends try to hide pads or tampons up their sleeves while going to the bathroom, trying to keep people from seeing them. This is a huge issue to me, and I think the first step we can take as a country to stop women from being so embarrassed about their periods is to finally declare tampons pads or whatever other sanitary product a women might choose to use a necessity in all states. We need to make these products more accessible to all women, as some, like homeless women, can't even get the products when they need them. As our next president, and as a female, I ask you to think about this issue and see what you can do to fix it. I know this decision cannot only be on you, but if we have more people pushing to declare tampons and pads a necessity, and especially if one of those people is our president, I know we can make a difference.