The Pink Tax Needs to be Repealed, Period

May 22, 2017
By SkylerKahng BRONZE, Naperville, Illinois
SkylerKahng BRONZE, Naperville, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The “Period Paradox.” Everyone knows about it, but still refer to it by using euphemisms. People avoid the topic, and treat it like a dirty secret, when it should be acknowledged more. Tampons and such already cost enough by themselves- tax only adds to the burden. Taxes on menstrual products are just financially penalizing women for being women. The taxes on tampons and pads make life harder for poor and homeless women, and the reason for the tampon tax is ridiculous- so, should the tax be taken off of woman necessities?

Taxes are on menstrual products because the government(s) say that female products are not necessities and therefore, are taxed. As a kid, I thought that tampons and pads were free because even my tiny mind could comprehend that all women needed them and that they were a necessity. Some people seem to think women can predict or control their period, but little do they know that almost all women have experienced being unprepared for their monthly blood-bath. The US was founded upon the morals of “liberty and justice for all,” but how is there justice when nearly half of the population is being charged for something they can’t control?

Periods are a real issue that people seem to hate to acknowledge, and people have a tendency to shy away from the word. According to The Independant, there are over 5000 ways all over the world to say “period,” without saying it. Menstruation is a normal bodily function, and the fact that women are judged for being a woman is ridiculous. The “pink tax,” goes way further than being just a pecuniary issue, it’s also an issue in that the governments are continuously looking over the issues of women all over the world. Some people act as if only women in America have periods but, (big surprise) women all over the world have a period. Taxed tampons hurt more women in Africa, India, and other areas than it probably ever will in America. If more people would acknowledge this problem, there probably wouldn’t be an issue. Likely, if men had a menstrual cycle and if everyone knew about this bloody issue, we wouldn’t be arguing about unnecessary taxes on basic needs.

The poor do have issues buying feminine hygiene products- they have trouble buying everything; that’s what it means to be poor. Should the government be paying for everyone’s needs? No, that’s not what the government was made for. It is a bit out of mind to ask for free gender based-items; men require more food than women, so should they get more, free food? No, they shouldn’t, but homeless woman face a monthly struggle that just adds to their complications as a homeless person. Repealing the tampon tax may seem unimportant, but if you were to be so financially strapped you had to choose between food for a day or a tampon, getting rid of the tax would mean a lot.

To crush a popular opinion about homeless women on their periods- no, toilet paper does not cut it. Usually, the homeless have struggles to use public bathrooms because they draw unwanted attention and businesses have closing times. Lisa De Bode from Al Jazeera America says that often, homeless women use their own toilet paper, but their toilet paper are obtained from pipe alleys or dirty backrooms. There are shelters for the homeless that supply many basic needs, but women are usually rejected from majority of the shelters. In the shelter’s eyes, homeless women bring undesired conflicts. There are shelters built specifically for women, but how often do you see those? Food stamps don’t cover feminine products either- homeless and poor women are usually never supplied with female hygiene products. Homeless women’s menstrual cycles are usually so difficult and crude to handle, and to make matters even worse, sleep deprivation actually makes the perception of pain much stronger. Nearly every homeless person is sleep deprived- and homeless people usually have no way to buy themselves pain-killers. The way the government overlooks this issue is extremely unsensible- the issues they have with homeless and poor women now could easily be resolved by removing the tampon tax.

A necessity defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary means, “an urgent need or desire.” Right now, there is most definitely an urgent need and desire for the pink tax to be repealed. Some women across the world drop out of school due to their period- that’s insane. Periods have been around since women have existed, and the fact that people still, after millions of years, don’t acknowledge periods as much as they should, is concerning. The pink tax needs to be repealed as soon as possible, period. 



Anderson, Jane. "Shouldn’t Everything Be Free? For Women, I Mean?" A Voice for Men. N.p., 15 Aug. 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

Bode, Lisa De. "Hygiene and Heartache: Homeless Women's Daily Struggle to Keep Clean."Al Jazeera America. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2017

Lee, Rachel And Helen. "OP-ED: The Tax on Feminine Hygiene Products Is Sexist, Period."The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost, 10 Oct. 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

O'Connor, Roisin. "Menstruation Study Finds over 5,000 Slang Terms for 'period'." The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 01 Mar. 2016. Web. 02 May 2017.

Peck, Emily. "Free Tampons Should Be A Human Right." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost, 08 Mar. 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

Rabin, Roni Caryn. "Free the Tampons." The New York Times. The New York Times, 29 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

Shay, Kylyssa. "Homeless Periods: A Problem of Poverty, Dignity, and Feminine Hygiene."Soapboxie. Soapboxie, 19 Nov. 2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2017.

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