One of my more memorable arguments with my ex-husband, a smoker, went as follows:
Ex (holding a cigarette): Do you have matches?
Me: No, why would I have matches?
Ex: In that whole big handbag of yours, there are no matches? Seriously?
Me: Why would I have matches? I don’t smoke.
Ex: But I smoke!
Me: Do you carry tampons?
I started menstruating when I was around 13 — it was the year The Godfather came out, and I think I’ve told you that story — and stopped in December of 2008, which suddenly seems a helluva long time ago. For decades I bought feminine hygiene products, often griping at their cost, but never thinking about how much of that was TAX. I am retroactively angry, wondering if I could get a menses rebate. I could use the dough. Especially for those years I had an IUD and bled heavily for a solid 7 days per month. And for those perimenopause years, the latter ones, when periods came hard and often, catching me by surprise after years of tremendous regularity.
Like equal marriage (equality generally) and so many other issues, this seems to me a no brainer: stop taxing feminine hygiene products. What’s to discuss? It’s discriminatory. It’s ridiculous. They are essential health care. As such, if they were prescribed by doctors, at least here in Scotland where I live, they’d be entirely FREE.
I’ll be curious to see what the EU has to say on the topic.