Letter to the Editor — Making Menstrual Products Free

Katherine Davies

Making menstrual products free and eradicating the infamous Pink Tax is not a new topic, and has been widely discussed among the media, but not much has changed. As a woman who has her period every month, I can safely say I never asked for the cramps or anxiety of bleeding all over. By the end of this letter, I want people to become aware of the Pink Tax, how it affects women financially, and find economic and safe ways to change the Pink Tax.

The Pink Tax, according to bankrate.com, is a tax on feminine products that stems from discrimination and results in an extra $1300 spent by women on feminine products. These products include pads, tampons, razors, clothing, and baby diapers. Getting rid of the tax itself would be a simple solution, and it was introduced as a bill in 2019 for the Federal Government, but it only got as far as being introduced. If getting rid of the Pink Tax idea has been floating around for a long time, why is it still around? By getting rid of the Pink Tax, we can help not only women financially but also businesses. 

I have an idea as to how we can change the direction of the tax and make its use for the better. First, all businesses should provide free feminine products in all public bathrooms. The businesses with public bathrooms will buy said products with tax, but they will tally the tax on all the products and put it into a credit. Then this tax will be reissued at the same time the working population gets their tax refund paycheck. It will be distributed in the same way each year with the rule that this refund has to be used to either buy more feminine products or make the business safer to work in for minority parties. By doing this you can make your workplace more enjoyable to work in, and you are supporting your coworkers who may not always feel seen or heard. 

This will also help businesses financially because they are getting their money refunded and they can use that refund to purchase feminine products making them, in a way, free to the company. Then, conversely, with everyday life, you can do something similar by recrediting the tax females spend on feminine products with a tax refund check. You can keep track of the purchases by scanning a receipt or a barcode on the box itself that won’t be activated until after the purchase. Even these little things can help alleviate the discrimination that is in the Pink Tax. We should not make people feel inferior for things about their bodies that they cannot control. 

Of course the combination of these ideas has potential, but it is not perfect. These ideas are solely geared toward the tax on menstrual products. This is not directly taking razors, diapers, or the like into immediate consideration, but they can be added into the idea of scanning the receipt. Any improvement is an improvement when it comes to this issue. Spending extra money that doesn’t need to be spent makes anyone mad, but imagine having to do that every time a normal, bodily function happens. By making slight alterations to the Pink Tax we can make a change, one period at a time.