Opinions Staff Writer
Ohio repealed its tax on menstrual products in November. Cover photo courtesy of Wikimedia
Last year, when I was a senior in high school, I gave a presentation on why Ohio should eliminate the “Pink Tax.” In my experience of the slow progress on social issues that our country values so much, I never expected to see the headlines that I did this month.
Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine signed a repeal of the “Tampon Tax” in Ohio as an extension to a bill that will also provide teachers with tax credits for school supplies. This legislation will take effect in early February 2020.
The argument as to why the taxation has lasted for so long all over the country is that menstrual products are a luxury good. That reasoning is almost laughable seeing as I have never met a fellow lady who enjoys their period.
The “Ax the Pink Tax” Movement in recent years has helped a handful of states abolish the added sales tax, but it still is not enough. A majority of states still tax femenine hygiene “luxury” products but deem condoms and erectile dysfunction medication as necessities. And the problem extends beyond just tampons. “The Pink Tax” covers the price deficits between women and men’s shampoos, lotions, razors, clothes, and even children’s toys.
Something clearly does not add up, but being a woman in the 21st century, I have been conditioned to accept this sexist inequality as normal or something that I cannot change. But the reality is, we can fix it, and we did (sort of)! For my home state, this is a major win for feminism, especially in a climate that shys away from these kinds of issues. Even the word “feminism” carries a nasty connotation, and periods are undeniably stigmatized even though more than half of the world’s population experiences menstruation in their lives.
On campus here at the University of Dayton, pads and tampons are still not readily available in restrooms and are sold limitedly around campus. Our next step as a society and as a community is to destigmatize women’s health, promote safe and clean period products, and invite the rest of the U.S. and the world to Ax the Pink Tax. As for myself, I am looking forward to my tax credit come February.