Eliminate Tampon Tax in New England
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Currently, 41 states in the U.S. have sales tax that applies to feminine hygiene products. Sales tax does not apply to items that are deemed a necessity. This includes products like food, medical goods, and (in some states) car seats. However, one thing consistently taxed throughout most of the United States is feminine hygiene products.
Feminine hygiene products includes tampons, sanitary napkins, and other products deemed important, if not necessary, to women's health. As of 2016, 4 out of the 6 states in New England tax tampons. Massachusetts does not impose this sales tax and New Hampshire does not have any sales tax in general. This issue is very personal to me and the other 7.3 million women living in New England. It is difficult to get heard on the national level (especially with the country's currently divided political sphere), so with this petition, we will target New England and hopefully more states will follow suit.
The tax on feminine products is extremely hypocritical. These products are considered a luxury and therefore, have sales tax on them. To put the extremity of this taxing into perspective, in Connecticut, guns do not apply to sales tax but necessary feminine hygiene products are. However, a majority of women (myself included), do not consider our periods a "luxury".
Menstruation is a change that occurs around female adolescence and is taught to young women as something to be ashamed of. In health class, children are forced to separate by gender so each can watch their respective informational movie about their bodies and the changes they will go through as they get older. Often, this does not have the effects educators are looking for. The children are not very aware of the things talked about in the opposite group.
This frequently leads to the stigmatization of menstruation. With young boys not being aware that menstruation is completely natural and inevitable, a shadow is cast upon girls going through this difficult and confusing process. Everyone goes through difficulty in this trying time of adolescence; however, as a woman, hearing "she must be on her period" whenever you are upset, angry, or show emotion in almost any way, is nothing short of preventable.
By holding the stigma on menstruation, our society has faulted men and women everywhere. Men are set up for failure on day one by not having a clear understanding of what women go through. Women are silenced every single day and invalidated by people who are victims as well. Whenever we have a passion or strong emotion to express, others diminish it to just hormones, as if women are always victims to their bodies.
The only tangible start to end this damaging stigma is to stop treating menstruation as a luxury to be taxed. It is an inevitable part of life for women everywhere and when it is ignored, women are ignored as well. So, let us set the bar for the rest of the country and end the tampon tax in New England.
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