Free the Tampon

Let’s play a quick game of word association before we begin: I say ‘period’ and you reply with maybe ‘pain’ or ‘blood’ or ‘cramps’, the general feeling being largely negative (except from the grammar geeks/mildly naive amongst you who think ‘Oooh Punctuation!’ and get all excited and make out with your dictionaries). Let us continue.BloodyDisgrace

There are over 3.5 billion women on the planet and most of us leak a rouge river once a month- unless you’re Leona Lewis who apparently also bleeds love- in order to keep the population going. Mother Nature pops up (in true toast style) rather inconveniently every now and then until we are lumbered with rather pregnancy, menopause or death, why then are our sanitary products taxed as luxury items?

LUXURY. This is the part that makes my blood (sorry) boil possibly even more than the actual tax part, because unless you have some kind of peculiar blood fetish (I’d say I’m not judging but we all know I am) like the woman that paints with hers, I think we can agree that they’re hardly an enjoyable experience. So why are mechanisms for menstrual control treated as optional? Our lack of alternatives means we shouldn’t be charged for them in the first place, let alone pay an additional price for simply having a functioning vagina. 11018423_622486811185511_430044650_n

In the UK, condoms for young people are free and rightly so. Anyone under the age of 25 can dash to their nearest patronisingly named ‘Family Planning Clinic’ and within 15 minutes, a quick counselling chat with a woman called Val and a glow in the dark sperm keyring later, come out with a C-Card that allows you to get free condoms. The sperm keyring word here being ‘free’. You run out of condoms you can get another free batch, you run out of pads and you rather have to pay actual money for a new box or risk a ‘strawberry jam disaster’ (as my grandma elegantly put it in 2012. I have not consumed jam since).CCuhipvWIAAqq_l

Now don’t get me wrong, I normally wouldn’t begrudge 5% tax, especially when you work out that for 20 super plus Tampax tampons it costs £3 so the government are really only taking 15p of my (mum’s) hard earned money. But when you think that there are 24 hours in a day and you can’t wear a tampon for more than 8 (but usually 6 because don’t lie: we’re all majorly scared of that TSS thing) so means we go through at least 4 tampons a day. This means a box of 20 serves five days- a box every month if you’re one of those wonderwomen that flashfloods and is over in such a petite time frame I didn’t even have time to comprehend you starting. For the rest of us it’s a box and a half… if only you could buy half boxes. So we’re spending about £4.50 on tamps a month. 10986231_1545419659057746_926957367_n

But what about pads? Because with pads you need your daytime support (£3.15 for 16) and your night saviours (£2.10 for 10) so already a month of menstruating is costing you £9.75- this doesn’t even include those special wipes or soap that women who really have lives together buy! Or mooncups! Or the price of all the pants you’ve had to replace over the years! £9.75 a month just to period- 48p of that as ‘luxury tax’. B_RLY3CUsAASukB

And 48p may not sound like a lot but over a year it’s costing you about £117 (still only £5.85 in tax, which doesn’t seem as unreasonable as the principle of taxing itself), but what about 5 years? £585.  That’s equivalent to a Taylor BT2 Mahogany Acoustic Guitar and 98 Ghostbusters DVDs. Or the £29.25 tax could buy you a Benefit Primping with the Stars kit including the £3 delivery charge.Screen-Shot-2015-03-24-at-16_17_02

But I know what you’re really waiting for/dreading: what is the price you pay for a whole decade worth of being a kick-ass, period dealing with woman-girl-thing? Well, with ten years worth of tax alone (£58.50) I could buy a 5 chicken wing Nando’s meal with 2 sides, an adult entry to Churchill’s War Rooms and a Big Issue from the seller outside. As for the total price, £1170, or in the style of the ladies from Sorry I’ve Got No Head, “a thousand pounds!”, you could purchase:

  • A 7 night Alaska Cruise for two
  • A second-hand Toyota Yaris plus insurance
  • 26 pairs of converse
  • 78 .com blog domains

By now I’d like to think you’re waving your Poundland purse (you could’ve bought a better one but you were too busy paying tampon tax) in the air, filled with old pharmacy receipts that you’re planning on ceremoniously burning tonight in honour of being ripped off. Do not fear. Amidst our anger (or ‘vaganger’ as I think we’ll now call it) there is a group trying to abolish this ‘luxury’ label and eradicate tax on sanitary products: #BloodyDisgrace.B_MWZpbWkAEsphv

Their website can be found here:

Sign the petition HERE

 All images are courtesy of this fabulous campaign of which I hope you can join me spread the word. Together we can free the tampon: financially and emotionally. And after 8 hours probably physically too. Sorry, TMI.


13 thoughts on “Free the Tampon

  1. jennythegirlking says:

    And if you care to use something a bit nicer, you pay more. I buy Tampax Pearl. A box of 36 for about $6 (and that’s Wal-Mart price — what if you don’t want to shop there? You pay more!) I do not know if we have luxury tax on tampons, here in America, but I’m going to go find out! It is absurd! Regardless of we have the luxury tax or not, the prices for things we HAVE to buy like, toilet paper and tampons, are far more expensive than they need to be! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Squidge says:

      Thank you! I’m really grateful for your comment- and also really apologetic that you’re now as angry as I am! (I’m totally a tampax pearl girl myself) You bring up such an honest point about the cost of basics; I can’t imagine what it must be like in some households where they have to chose between food or sanitary wear because they can’t afford both- the prices these days are ridiculous. The campaign needs all the help it can get (the tax has just been scrapped in Canada! Result!) so if you can sign the petition and send it to everyone you know please do x

      Liked by 1 person

      • jennythegirlking says:

        I will sign, not sure of the stipulations since I’m not in your cou try, but I will check it out. I have friends of friends there though so I will make sure they see it. Another point – I saw this topic a few months ago: feminine hygiene products for homeless women are often forgotten about when people donate items, so they are hard to come buy. When I read that article I was in awe. I had never thought about that either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Squidge says:

        Definitely- homeless women are constantly ignored when it comes to campaigns supporting women. That’s given me a great idea for a future blog post, keep your eyes peeled…thank you for your thoughts!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. saracopylover says:

    Squidge, many thanks for blogging about this, especially such an amazing write up 🙂
    I’m just going to leave our petition link here, if people want to sign it without going through our website.

    Sending happy things your way. Like metaphorical unicorns and skittles 😉


    • Squidge says:

      Thank you for your kind words! Your cause is really important to me and many other women I’m sure- periods are bad enough already without the tax, right? I’ve added the petition link in now too and will continue to promote it best I can; keep me updated!


  3. flourishingpetal says:

    Currently that time of the month for myself, this was just the post I needed! Humorous but you speak true words and it’s a real shame that something that is a necessity is being masked as a luxury and we females have to pay the price of it! Absolutely shocking!

    Great read x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Squidge says:

      Thank you for reading- I hope I haven’t left you feeling even more emotional! I never really thought much about the taxing until I saw this campaign and felt super passionately about the cause! It’s currently very topical so hopefully some changes will at least be considered.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. inspiredelegance says:

    This is a subject that really angers me. I don’t agree with tampons and pads having tax on at all. It’s ridiculous. Men’s razors don’t have tax on them. This is stupid because men don’t NEED razors. Women need tampons. Do they just expect us to bleed everywhere? Imagine if for a month every female refused to use tampons…imagine the mess it would cause. So why can’t they simply remove tax? Lovely post x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Squidge says:

      It’s so ridiculous even crocodile meat isn’t classed as a luxury item but tampons are!? Where’s the logic Britain? When I saw that campaign I was so happy that people were finally acting on something so unfair. Thanks for reading x

      Liked by 1 person

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