The Pink Tax is defined as the price difference in women’s hygiene products as opposed to men’s hygiene products. According to The Pink Tax: What’s the Cost of Being a Female Consumer This Year?), researchers have found that women pay 42%, roughly $1300, more for hygiene products. Women being charged higher prices has been going on for decades. The politicians decide the sales taxes in the United States, and they chose feminine hygiene products as one.
According to (The Pink Tax: What’s the Cost of Being a Female Consumer This Year?), tampons and pads are subject to sales tax because they are considered “luxury” items. “Periods are certainly not a luxury, and I’m sure every woman would agree.” Many women have to deal with the inconvenience of the side effects of their periods, such as bleeding for days, hormonal changes, fatigue, cramps, and aches, bloating, etc. These side effects become an inconvenience to a woman’s life, especially when spending more money to maintain their personal hygiene. This is especially hard for some women with fibroid tumors, endometriosis, and ovarian cysts, who are more likely to have significant blood clots and cramps.
The issues that come with a woman’s menstrual cycle should be considered valid reasons to be absent. Various girls and women have different levels of pain tolerance when dealing with menstrual trials and tribulations. Having to show up for school or work can be too stressful, and that’s just the physical pain. This causes you to go through more pads which in the end causes you to spend more money on sanitary napkins. Therefore, a menstrual cycle is not a “luxury.”
The easiest way to eliminate the Pink Tax is to make feminine products for periods essential and necessary. Ways to help alleviate the price burden are: donating feminine hygiene products to organizations that pass items out for free, such as shelters, and informing people on “Period Panties.” Period panties are an invention that stems from the sanitary pad. According to Period Underwear 101, period panties are constructed to look and feel like regular underwear but are made with extra layers and unique fabrics in the crotch area to absorb menstrual blood. They are designed to hold 1 to 2 tampons worth of menstrual flow at a time to protect from moisture and prevent leaks. These can be used during a menstrual cycle, then washed and reused. This can be convenient for women who are allergic to sanitary products, prefer something different, or feminine products that do not fit into the budget. Period Panties were explicitly designed to eliminate sanitary napkins and tampons altogether.
A Piece of Black History
The Sanitary Belt, now known as the Sanitary Pad, was created by Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner, a Black woman from Monroe, North Carolina. Before the sanitary pad was invented, women used different fabrics to soak up menstrual flows. In the beginning, Kenner’s invention was rejected for a patent due to racial injustice. In 1956 almost 30 years after her first attempt to patent her invention, the world realized they needed Mary’s invention. It was too important to be ignored.