We Need to Make Periods Less Expensive. Period.


Nyla Williams, Staff Writer

Given the frustration it already causes, you’d think that more people are open to making menstruation at least a little bit less expensive. You’d think, taking into account the pain anyone with a uterus feels once a month, that the least we could do would be to spare a few pads. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to do so, and many are not even willing to make it less expensive.

If you’re over the age of twelve, you’re aware of what a menstrual cycle is and that it’s involuntary. If you haven’t had yours yet (or are male and don’t have to deal with it), you’ve heard that it’s not fun, and this is out of anyone’s control. What is in our control is how hard it really has to be. SWNS Digital has revealed that the average woman surveyed spends $13.25 a month on menstrual products ‒ that’s $6,360 in an average woman’s reproductive lifetime (ages 12-52).” Twenty-two states have considered making it that much easier and eliminating taxes on the products we use to keep sanitary during this time of discomfort. What this means is that twenty-eight states haven’t taken it into consideration. But in total, thirty-five states still tax the items. The New York Times’ Karen Zraick writes, “Opponents of the tax argue that tampons and pads should be treated like groceries and medical supplies: They should be tax-exempt because they are necessities.” This article also points out the fact that while period products are taxed, Viagra, an erection pill, is not. This should really make us question our priorities. 

Sometimes that time of the month comes unexpectedly it’s awful feeling ill-prepared, which is why menstrual product dispensers come in handy at schools. The issue is that students have to pay twenty-five cents in order to use the products. To pay twenty-five cents to use a pad/tampon, we’d have to carry spare change in our pockets. I can’t speak for everyone, but I dare say that not as many of us carry our change purses around the halls as one might assume. According to a We.News article, “Currently, in the United States, only three states—California, Illinois, and New York— require schools serving students in grades six through twelve to provide menstrual products in women’s restrooms for free.” The rest of us could just carry hygiene products from home, but this defeats the purpose of the emergency dispensers almost full of pads that come in open boxes. It truly is a shame that they don’t use the fifty cents they get a month from these dispensers to up their product quality, because period products are not a luxury, they are a necessity.