Free the flow

Bianca Martinez

We have all heard this argument at one point or another in our lives, whether in the news or on a Tumblr post.

But the fact is this discussion will always remain as long as ovaries are still a part of human anatomy.

Should tampons, pads and other sanitary products be exempt from tax?

Sanitary items such as tampons, panty liners and pads are subject to tax because they are not considered an essential item.

Some items that are tax exempt because they are considered a necessity are food and prescribed medication.

Sanitary items should be tax free so they can be easily accessible and affordable for those who need sanitary period because as we have all heard at one point or another, periods are not a luxury.

I do appreciate the fact that some schools do accommodate by including sanitary dispensers in the restroom; but generally: the dispensers aren’t even stocked, they don’t function properly and it is not granted that every single female restroom will even have a dispenser.

There are currently only a few number of states where sanitary products are considered an essential item:

  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

There are also a few number of states where sanitary products are exempt:

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • New Hampshire
  • Montana
  • Oregon

Not even double digit numbers!

How pitiful is that?

You’d think those in charge of taxing specific items would take their own mothers, sisters, grandmothers and etc. into consideration when deciding what is essential or not.

Periods are already uncomfortable for the four to seven days they are experienced monthly, let’s not add unto the discomfort by having those who experience said periods stress out whether or not they can afford sanitary products.

Ideally, tampons, pads, etc. should be as free and easily attainable as condoms are.

Sure, some people argue the point that condoms are a necessity but the fact of the matter is a person can choose to be sexually active.

However, periods are a biological construct meaning that they are essentially out of our control.

Depending on your cycle, your body decides when it is time to shed its uterine lining, not the individual.

So why is it that those who experience menstruation must pay for something that is completely out of their control?

Where is our large fishbowl full of pads?

Only until recently has the campus placed sanitary item dispensers, yesterday to be exact, in the women’s restroom of the new Fine Arts and Communications Building.

Only until recently.

And simply due to the fact that it had been brought to the attention of Dean of Student Services Dr. Stephen Johnson by Talon Marks news editor David Jenkins.

What if no one had spoken up about the dispensers?

Would those in need still would have been stuck up a flowing river without a paddle?