You may be aware of this already but I’ll reiterate for those of you at the back: half of the population bleed out of their vaginas every month. It’s all part of our menstrual cycle; the bleeding part is called menstruation – more commonly known as a period or, if you want to give it a pet name, Aunt Flo, Penny, Blob, whatever you want to call it. I know two of my friends use Barack Obama as a code name for theirs. The point is, that no matter its name, every person with a uterus will bleed monthly – the frequency of menstruation does depend on the length of your personal cycle, though, so don’t panic if it’s not entirely regular.
In order to stop our blood from getting everywhere, we must use some form of ‘feminine hygiene’ product to catch it. Now that could be a tampon, sanitary towel (pad) or menstrual cup. I personally prefer wearing pads but wear tampons as well, especially if a pad will not do the job properly! (So on occasions were I’m swimming or sunbathing etc.) I’ve never used a menstrual cup before, but, in all honesty, they kind of scare me a bit. Maybe intimidate is a better word to use. Plus, anyone who knows me is aware of how clumsy I am so we can all imagine what a disaster it would be.
Feminine hygiene products are necessary items to everyone who has a period. Free-bleeding isn’t a good thing. Yes, it can make everything a bit messy, but can also lead to the spread of disease and is generally very unhygienic. Plus it’s a pain having to get blood out of clothes whenever you leak.
Despite being necessary, feminine hygiene products are still classed as ‘luxury’ items by the government, which means that we have to pay tax on items that are essential to our lives. Bearing in mind here, that things that are considered ‘essential’ are kangaroo and crocodile meats, edible sugar flowers, men’s razors and alcoholic jellies. Those are what is considered to be ‘essential’ to everyday life. So let me ask you: when was the last time you ate crocodile meat? It’s not necessary for men to shave, but it’s necessary for people with periods to catch their blood a sanitary product. If anything, they should be free – however, I’m aware that that isn’t very practical.
Why is it fair that we have to pay extra for something that is essential to us?
There was a petition that reached over 320,000 signatures last year I think it was (or maybe the beginning of this year as well) but nothing has changed yet. To sign a change.org petition that applies to your area click here, and to sign the newer (active) UK government petition click here!
If you liked this post you might like: Why We Need to Talk About Our Periods