Today at my uni, we were doing a photo campaign against the tampon tax and getting passers by to get involved. Most people seemed to be up for it, although we did get the usual “um…sorry” from people who just awkwardly walked away because they were kind of scared of our angry signs about bleeding. Fair enough. Bye, Felicia.
Now, as I write a draft of a story covering the event for a student news site, I can almost hear the cries from the comment section of angry men reminding me about George Osborne’s latest proposal. “But the money is being used to fund crisis centres, surely that’s what you want?”
And yes, of course I want money to go to crisis centres. But, fictitious angry man, I was kind of hoping you would be helping pay for it as well.
Here’s a run down of why I’m still not happy with this proposal.
Now it’s just women who are having to pay for this
I know this is a generalisation, but let’s be honest here, a lot of women who have to turn to crisis centres because of domestic abuse usually have to do so because they have been attacked by a male partner. Of course, these things can affect men as well, and men should be given the exact same level of treatment. There should be crisis centres for men too, which is why I’m annoyed by this proposal: why is it only women that are now funding them, when proportionately, men are a) the reason women are in there in the first place and b) men should also be allowed to use them when they are in need. So why don’t they have to help pay for them? How about the government stops scrapping welfare and actually helps us out, instead of funding things with just women’s money.
There’s a whole guilt factor now
Now, when I pay for sanitary items, I’m gonna be thinking that if I buy a cheaper brand, this means less money will go to the centres. So I’ll feel kind of emotionally blackmailed into buying the more expensive stuff so that I can help people. This isn’t my main issue with it, but it’s an important side note to consider.
There will be people who will argue that this whole thing is pointless because if you don’t have the money you can always buy a supermarket own brand that’s quite a bit cheaper. But have you seen those? They are beyond shit. And anyway, it’s the principal of the matter: I shouldn’t have to pay more money for a good level of sanitation. I’m not asking for rhinestone encrusted, jasmine scented pads here. I just want something comfy and absorbent, but that’s clearly too luxurious.
Which leads to my next point…
The priorities are still way off balance
Lots of men like to shave to feel clean, and men’s razors are not taxed because this is seen as a necessity. I mean, fair enough, we should all be allowed to shave if we want to. But women also like to feel clean when, I dunno, we have blood coming out of our vaginas?!
But of course, it’s considered a luxury by our government to not have to bleed all over ourselves. But items such as Jaffa cakes and crocodile meat aren’t taxed, because, like men’s razors, they’re seen as a necessity. I mean, where are they getting this info from, the people who decide on Essential Waitrose products?
And so, George Osborne, I’m sorry but… no thanks. You tried, and I see where you’re coming from, but it’s not gonna cut it this time. Just get rid of the tax once and for all, and stop relying on our tampon money to fund crisis centres. This is something we all need to be paying for, and something we all should be allowed to use, so stop taking the money solely from women and let us buy our necessary items at a cheaper price.