Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. For realz. Did you know that we pay extra for shit? Such as getting our hair done, and clothing, and hygiene products in pink packaging with the words, “For Women” written on them. Why do clothing companies, hair stylists, and manufacturers of bullshit “For Women” products charge women more? Well, because they can. So they do. They know that we will pay more money for a woman’s product even though it’s the same exact thing as the men’s formula, just with a “feminine” scent added to it. What can I say? We’re idiots. We totally buy into the gendered marketing phenomenon because, ooh…this deodorant is strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. I feel so special.
I would characterize cucumber-avocado shower gel as a somewhat luxurious, non-essential item. After all, you could always use regular soap and save money. However, there are some products that women definitely need in a very essential, and very non-luxurious kind of way. I’m of course referring to menstruation peripherals (thanks, Russ), otherwise known as feminine hygiene products. These are some of the most essential products required by anyone with a functioning uterus. Getting one’s period is not a unique, nor a luxurious experience. Therefore, why on earth are tampons and similar products classified as “non-essential, luxury items” by HM Revenue and Customs in the UK? This classification means they are subject to VAT, a luxury tax that’s not added to completely non-luxurious, and absolutely essential items like edible sugar flowers. After all, everyone buys edible sugar flowers every time they go grocery shopping, right? They are as essential as crocodile meat and alcoholic jellies (I mean…Jello Shots! Hello!!), both of which are also not subject to VAT.
But for some reason, tampons are. Granted, it’s a reduced VAT. It used to be 17.5% but it was dropped to 5% in 2000. I just don’t understand the reasoning behind the idea that tampons are luxurious and non-essential. They are required by every single female with a functioning reproductive system. Once again, we’re being charged extra just because we’re women.
By the way, you know what else is subject to the 5% VAT? Children’s car seats. Apparently the HMRC also considers these to be non-essential and luxurious. I thought parents were required by law to use them, but what do I know?