Every time a menstruating person gets their period, they have to purchase goods to help them through the (sometimes extremely difficult) week.
Menstruation is usually 23-25 days off, and 3-5 days on. Some people experience the full 5 days of heavy bleeding, and others may only experience light spotting for a day or two – there are a million different scenarios in between, because everyone’s body is different.
The pain that is often associated can come days before your period begins, or last less than a day. Some people don’t get any pain at all. People who have endometriosis often experience severe pain, that can be agonising enough to stop them from engaging in normal daily activities, such as work or school.
Some of the purchases that may come from getting your period can extend to (but is not limited to): pads and tampons, painkillers, muscle relaxants, wheat bags and hot water bottles, new knickers to replace that ones that valiantly lost the battle against the surprise visitor, and much more. For people who experience severe pain or heavy flow, this can add up to a fucking expensive week.
I have known young people who have suffered from severe period pain, and were resigned to the fact that they would be just be eating homebrand tinned tuna that week, due to all the aforementioned necessary items being so expensive. I have known women who have had to ‘free-bleed’ – purely because they could not afford sanitary products. I know a woman who regularly couldn’t pay her rent because her endometriosis meant that she had to take unpaid sick days – she then got fired from work for taking too many ‘fake sickies’, as her male bosses didn’t think endo was a ‘real reason’ to not come into work.
Seriously… periods are a money-drain, and they can really fucking suck.
But this is one of the things that fucking sucks the most: the most fundamental thing women are forced to purchase is pads or tampons. Both of which still have the 10% GST tax attached to every pack. Other items, which are classified as ‘important health goods’, are exempt from GST. This includes condoms, sunscreen, nictotine patches, and many more.
A petition for this topic has been started by a Sydney university student called Subeta Vimalarajah, who says that statistically, women are more likely to be below to poverty line, and if not, women earn less of a wage than men. Which makes the fact that women are taxed for something that is completely natural and unavoidable, even worse.
Subeta’s goal is to flood the tax review with thousands of submissions calling on the government to remove the unfair tampon tax.
I’ve said a lot a mean things about periods during this piece – they are actually quite amazing, they literally create life, and they do have the potential to make you feel womanly and empowered (and they can often boost your libido, just FYI) – but the Australian Taxation Office shouldn’t really have anything to do with my menses, ja feel?
So, if you think tampons and pads should be included in the GST-free ‘important health goods’ classification, sign the petition and email Joe Hockey here:
via Community Run
Image via Rupi Kaur on Instagram