Are Tampons Really "Luxuries?"

by Emma Cueto

It continues to boggle my mind that for the purposes of taxation, tampons are officially classified as "luxury items" in the United States and many other countries. I'm not the only one who's flabbergasted by this designation, though — and to highlight just how ridiculous it is, the folks behind the activist website Luxuriously Taxable have created a satirical commercial for tampons as "luxury goods." Because if officials are going to treat tampons as luxury goods, advertisements might as well follow suit, right? And, of course, since this means tampons and other period supplies aren't necessities and thus that women don't really need to use them, everyone should logically be alright with women free-bleeding all over the place. After all, not leaking menstrual blood all over everything is a luxury, guys.

Although Luxuriously Taxable and the associated petition aimed at ending the tampon tax are focused on policy in the UK, the luxury tax on tampons also applies in the United States. And honestly, although the fact that the law doesn't recognize tampons, pads, and other menstrual products as necessities baffles me, I'd be willing to bet that it probably has something to do with the fact that men make up such a disproportionate share of lawmakers. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if men spent five to seven days a month involuntarily bleeding, then not only would period supplies not be taxed, they would be free, without condition, for everyone.

Also, advertisements for period products would be very different.

But alas, that is not the world we live in. Instead, we're stuck with tampons that are classified as luxury items. But at least now we have the commercial to match. Behold:

1. The High Class Case

What? You don't store your tampons in a delicate filigree box?

2. The Association With Fancy Negligees

Tampons are sexy, people.

3. Faceless Women On Fancy Couches

So sexy.

4. And The General Glorification Of Something That Winds Up Bloody And In The Trash

They are luxuries, after all.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Canada recently ditched the tampon tax — and it's about time the rest of us follow suit.

Watch the full video below:

Images: Fotolia; Bip Seller/YouTube (4)