Did you know that you ladies spend about 2,300 days of your life menstruating? That amounts to about 10,400 tampons or pads, over 5,000 pills for your cramps, and about 500 chocolate bars to make you feel a bit less miserable.
What if you didn’t have to pay for at least some of these period expenses? Let’s do some math.
An average woman uses about 20 tampons or pads during her period. With a 28-day cycle, she has 13 visits from Aunt Flo every year – that’s 260 disposable menstrual products that she throws away every year. On average, that costs her about $50.
Now, $50 may seem like a lot to some people; nothing at all for others. But think about this. The last time you used a public washroom, did you have to pay for the toilet paper?
Then, why don’t we make tampons and pads available for free? At least in public washrooms.
Every month, women have to put their income toward something men don’t have to worry about. Some argue that if men were the ones who menstruated, tampons would have already become free of charge. We’ll never know for sure.
But imagine you were an 11-year-old girl, getting her very first period in the middle of a school day. How would you feel? I’ll tell you – embarrassed and confused. You sure wouldn’t want anyone to know your dirty little secret. Not that I know from experience, a friend told me.
Of course, periods are nothing to be ashamed of, and free tampons in school bathrooms would help the situation. 10% of girls in Africa wouldn’t skip school while on their period. And female workers wouldn’t miss an average of 6 days of work monthly.
Plus, being exposed to free menstrual products would likely make everyone a little more open about it. Nobody signed up for having periods, but half of the population experiences them. So why do you feel uncomfortable talking about this?
Half of all women say at least once in their lives they’ve found themselves without pads or tampons at the moment they needed them. If menstrual products were available free, those women would simply have to run to the nearest washroom – and could avoid practicing the back-to-the-wall shuffle.
Here’s another stat for you. 50,000 women in the U.S. alone are living on the street. Every month they have to decide between buying a pad or buying lunch. With free tampons, they’d wouldn’t have to get by using toilet paper, towels, even socks. None of that is sanitary.
But if women didn’t pay for their pads, who would?
It’s true, you didn’t choose to have a period, but companies producing pads and tampons wouldn’t be able to give away millions of dollars of product for free. It would be up to the government to pay for the menstrual products with tax money.
But the government doesn’t cover the cost of those kinds of necessities. Your food isn’t free. Your clothes aren’t free. Why should your pads be?
You may argue men can get free condoms, but let’s be honest, condoms aren’t just for men. Women should carry them around as well to protect against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.
The least the government could do though, is to not charge sales tax for women’s pads and tampons.
What do you think?
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- “This Is The Price Of Your Period”. 2015. Huffpost Canada. Accessed April 4 2019.
- “How Do Homeless Women Cope With Their Periods? | Nsfwomen”. 2019. Youtube. Accessed April 4 2019.
- “Periods An Extra Hardship For Homeless Women | The Star”. 2019. thestar.com. Accessed April 4 2019.
- “The Case For Free Tampons | Jessica Valenti”. Valenti, Jessica. 2014. The Guardian. Accessed April 4 2019.