Period Stigmas, the Tampon Tax and Social Justice

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Cosmopolitan magazine continues its coverage of the menstrual equity movement:

In the last year alone, the American Medical Association weighed in against tampon taxes. Jessica Williams railed against them on The Daily Show. And Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui made a fan of every menstruating Olympic viewer when she talked honestly about the challenge of swimming a relay the day after her period started. Amy Schumer told red-carpet reporters at the Emmys she was wearing “Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford shoes, and an O.B. tampon.” In an interview with YouTube vlogger Ingrid Nilsen, no less than President Barack Obama was asked about tampon taxes. “I have no idea why states would tax these as luxury items,” he said. “I suspect it’s because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed.” Take a minute on that. The president talked about periods!

All the taboo breaking and tampon-tax slashing has helped launch a movement for what [Jennifer] Weiss-Wolf calls menstrual equity. Why do so many of our policies fail to account for this core reality of women’s lives, she asks? And if periods are the great equalizer that all women have in common, why do we have such vastly different access to products? On campuses and in offices, women’s shelters, and jails, activists are calling attention to how critical it is to have access to period products. It’s not just about women’s finances — it affects the freedom to work, study, and move about the world with basic dignity.

Read the full article here.

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