There has been a lot of news about menstruation lately and it’s been very encouraging. For too long I’ve been faced with looks of disgust from men every time I bring up the words ‘period’ and ‘blood’ in the same sentence. It’s as if they’re alright with fucking my vagina and eating it out, but a little bit of natural blood comes out and suddenly everyone is disgusted, as if I’m birthing the alien from Alien down there.
It’s as if the world is finally coming to realize that, yes, menstruation happens every month and it is not disgusting (although it can be messy), and yes only women get it but that’s like a little more than half the planet.
Anyway, Canadian women had a win when the federal government committed to nixing the GST on feminine hygiene products come July 1, 2015. Obviously my first reaction was that I didn’t even know how this was happening in the first place! So apparently in Canada, they categorized feminine hygiene products (pads, tampons, etc.) as ‘luxury’ items and slapped a 5% tax on them. Wow. I can just about see a group of fat men gathered around the table talking about these ‘silly’ bleeding women and how they can just stick a cloth up there and plug up the bleeding. So yeah obviously buying actual tampons is just a waste of their men’s money. Uh… NO! It’s especially crazy when you know other items like cake decoration, music lessons and contact lenses are exempt from tax! What?!
If something happens to half the population every damn month, then it’s a necessity and not a luxury. So yeah, Canadian women have been trying for ages to get the government to scrap this silly tax and it looks like it’s finally happening. Removing the 5% tax might seem like a small difference to individuals but is estimated to cost the government around $36 million. Kinda sucks to think that your government is making money off of something that happens naturally to women and that you can’t do anything about.
Obviously this victory has been felt in other countries like Australia and the UK, who are also lobbying to get the tampon tax exempted in their respective countries. There has even been some movement in the US as lawmakers in New York are trying to repeal the state’s tax on feminine hygiene products.
It’s about time that our menstruation is treated as a natural course in nature and not an excuse to silence us even more every time it comes around. Nor to make it seem that any feminine hygiene product that is necessary to make it easier (and neater) for us women is also an extra burden – one that only women need to worry about. That’s like taxing the ocean for being tumultuous.
Coleen Singer is a writer, photographer, film editor and all-around geeky gal at Sssh.com, where she often waxes eloquent about sex, porn, sex toys, censorship, the literary and pandering evils of Fifty Shades of Grey and other topics not likely to be found on the Pulitzer Prize shortlist. She is also the editor and curator of EroticScribes.com. When she is not doing all of the above, Singer is an amateur stock-car racer and enjoys modifying vintage 1970s cars for the racetrack. Oh, she also likes porn.