At the moment in Australia there are protests about the tax that needs to be paid on feminine products. This is also an issue in Europe where sanitary towels and tampons are defined as a luxury good and are taxed accordingly. The main reason why there is a tax on these products is because those who have the power to change the tax laws don’t want to discuss it…maybe because it will ick men out…and most of them are men…and they don’t want to be icked.
There are also issues around the safety of sanitary towels and tampons. Fibres used to make these products are bleached and things no one has ever heard of before form a major part of their ingredients. What exactly is ‘infinicel’? What are ActiPearls?
Then there are issues with disposal of these products. They end up in landfill and cause massive pollution.
It may surprise people to know that disposable sanitary towels are not the only option for women on their periods. There are a range of more eco friendly, more economical and better for women. Items such as menstrual cups or sponges. Buzzfeed have 18 reasons why women should switch to a menstrual cup.
And this is not just for girls. It is not just for women. This is an issue that men need to be aware of even if it doesn’t directly affect them. Men need to know about periods and need to know about the products. Men need to be able to discuss it.
Not just so they can discuss whether sanitary products count as luxury products.
There are places in the world where women become ill or die because they use rags when they are on their periods and these become infected; where men marry women and have no idea that it is normal for a woman to bleed; or places where a picture of a woman on her period is removed from the internet because it shows blood; places where female sports players wear white and spend more time worrying about leaking than they do about playing; where women are not allowed to leave their home during their periods.
It is time when female health is not just a female issue. When discussions are had about issues linked to periods men shouldn’t be so icked out about it that they don’t consider the issue. For equality, there shouldn’t be conversations that half the population are left out of because of their gender.
Periods don’t just affect women, they affect everyone. Men know that.