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Pads, tampons should not be taxed as luxury items

If toilet paper is not a luxury, pads and tampons should not be either.

People have periods for around 38 years of their lives and no control over it. Feminine hygiene products like pads and tampons are a necessity, and yet 40 states tax them as luxury items, according to Upworthy.

A luxury tax is a tax placed on items that have been deemed nonessential or unnecessary. This seems ludicrous. Currently, Tennessee taxes pads and tampons as luxury items.

How could an item so crucial to the life of nearly every female in the world be considered a nonessential item, let alone a luxury? There is no one in the world who would say having a period is a luxury. It is messy, and do you know what the only way is to keep this fact of life from becoming a giant mess? Pads and tampons.

If you walk into any public restroom, odds are the establishment has kindly provided you with toilet paper free of charge. Toilet paper is not considered a luxury but it has a near identical purpose to pads and tampons: cleanliness and hygiene. No one would want to sit in urine or feces just like no one would want to sit in menstrual fluid.

Student Health Services currently provides pads and tampons free of charge to students. This is a step, but more needs to be done.

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island recently began distributing pads and tampons in every bathroom of their non-residential buildings in order to fight against the “tampon tax.” Those who began the project decided the time for unnecessary taxation on feminine hygiene products needed to come to an end, according to The Washington Post.

Those people took a giant step toward fixing this problem. People who have tried to get the taxes removed have been told the issue is not important. The tax should be considered important when a necessity like pads and tampons are taxed, but a more or less unessential item like condoms may not have been taxed, according to NPR.

This entire debate also brings into question gender bias. Gender bias is the preference of one gender over the other, which implies that in a world where both genders are supposed to be equal, favoritism is shown to the males of society rather than both males and females.

Pads and tampons are completely necessary. No one who menstruates can go without them, because every 21 to 35 days, the uterus sheds its lining and causes immense pain and bloodshed for two to seven days. The items should not be taxed. More schools and universities should follow in Brown University’s footsteps and offer free pads and tampons.

Most people have to constantly worry about whether or not they remembered to put a pad or tampon in their purse or backpack. Also, due to the luxury tax in Tennessee, a box of them can cost anywhere from $4 to $10.

How great would it be if any time someone at APSU had a period emergency, they could go to a bathroom on campus to find pads or tampons available? It would save the day and the clothes. Buildings like Sundquist, Harned and the Morgan University Center that are constantly busy would be great places to have stocked bathrooms. In fact, any building on campus would be beneficial to students if stocked.

Stocking up on pads and tampons would be extremely beneficial to students on campus and it makes sense for a campus with thousands of students to offer this.

If APSU provided free or fairly inexpensive pads in nonresidential buildings, it would save the students on campus money that could go toward food or books.

A pack of 24 rolls of toilet paper can cost only $6 and last for months, while a box of 20 pads costs just as much and may only last through one or two periods. Yes, pads are different; they are thicker and more absorbent, so it makes sense they would be a little more expensive than some other necessities, but the current prices are ridiculously high for something that does not last very long.

Most people will spend around $1,773 or more in their lifetime, about $60 a year, in order to pay for something that she cannot live in society without, according to Huffington Post. That is not even considering all kinds of other expenses, including birth control or new underwear, that can add up to around $18,000, according to Huffington Post. Something as essential as pads and tampons should not have an additional tax added to them and more people need to realize how ridiculous this tax is.

About Jess Stephens

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