I had to buy tampons today.
I was sure I had just bought a box recently and after an extensive search through the house and handbags I found them in the toy box because unwrapping tampons and flinging them around the room is a favourite past time for many toddlers.
You might think I’m kidding, but I’m not. Hundreds of tampons have been sacrificed to the entertainment of little people and you have no control over it. They will find them no matter where you hide them.
I have to fight tiny versions of myself for tampon ownership. That is not a battle I thought I’d ever have to face but the struggle is real and fucking ironic.
So I found myself in need of tampons.
I threw on some elastic waist pants and loaded the kids into the car.
We entered the supermarket with purpose and went straight to the required aisle.
“What are these for?” asked the 9 year old.
“I’m not in the mood for questions today” I snapped back because lets face it, I’m really fucking not.
I grab a couple of boxes. The ones with the silky outer cover because fuck those cotton ones.
Panty liners I guess too. Ok some pads might come in handy.
Im also going to need some neurofen. Have you ever seen someone try to start a fire by fiercely rubbing 2 sticks together? That’s whats happening in my uterus at present. That feeling usually preceeds the feeling of carrying around a bowling ball in my womb. A bowling ball that’s on fire and has spikes on it and is trying to kill me.
While I’m here I’m grabbing some frozen pizza and snacks because cooking can get fucked.
9 year old wants a magazine. 3 year old wants a toy car. I don’t even care, just grab your shit and hurry up because I just want to get home. Everyone has annoying faces today and I don’t know if it’s just really hot in here but things are just a bit too “damp” for my liking.
So im standing at the checkout and I unload my pizzas and my neurofen and whatever my kids got and my assortment of sanitary products that makes the checkout boy go a little pink in the cheeks while he tries not to make eye contact with me because periods are SO GROSS and after paying my $46.27 I suddenly thought… why the fuck am I still paying tax on my tampons.
There are atleast 27 things I can think of immediately that I should be paying more tax on than my tampons.
I can only assume that men are in charge of this decision making process. The same men that say “tampons are a luxury item” and don’t believe that cramps are a valid reason for ever leaving work early. You know, those fuckers.
I am paying tax for a “luxury item” so that I don’t bleed on your floor. You should be grateful. Let me go home and cry about it.
Its either those fuckers or the really mature ones that pretend periods don’t even happen.
You tell me I am expected to keep functioning as normal while my body rips itself apart but the thing I need to keep functioning is classed as “non essential.” Yet you can get tax free nicotine patches to help you deal with the stress of all those gosh darn feminists (just women) chanting at you about “no uterus, no opinion”. Which is actually kind of a valid point when you think about it.
Just to put things into perspective I’m going to tell you a story about my first period.
Imagine being 9 – yes 9. You know what periods are but society says you’re still a few years away from worrying about it. So one day, when you’re in school, you go to the bathroom to find a few spots of blood in your underwear. Horrified, you don’t know what to do next. Is this my period? Am I dying? You want to call your mum. But you don’t want the people in the school office to hear you on the phone. You panic and approach the one other girl in school you know who has her period. You ask her for help all non chalant like you’ve dealt with this before and you’re not a massive nerd freaking out over something “natural”. She gives you a pad. You don’t know what to do with it and inevitably end up sticking it on you instead of your underwear. The next time you go to the toilet its gone. Its fallen out somewhere because pads don’t stick to vaginas and you spend your entire lunch break walking around the school looking for the pad that fell out. That’s mortifying.
The first time I used a tampon I put it in wrong and because I didn’t know what it was meant to feel like I thought maybe it was normal to not be able to bend over or sit down properly while you were using them. I did that for a whole day until my cousin was like “na, I don’t think that’s right” and we looked at the instruction leaflet again.
Do they sound like fucking luxury items to you? Its not like im putting gold watches up there. As far as basic necessity and hygiene goes – this. Right here, this is it.
For 5 – 7 days a month I can’t wear white pants which isn’t really an issue for me but I’m sure there are women out there that are really affected by that.
My boobs get sore. My head hurts. I get angry and want to eat everything. I feel horny but disgusting and I can’t sneeze safely. I am so fucking tired because seriously, have you googled what your body is actually going through during this process? We should be immortal.
I feel like being a girl comes with a lot of terms and conditions I didn’t sign up for.
Have I not been through enough? Do you really have to tax my anatomy?
So today after we are back from the supermarket, the kids are making a huge mess I don’t even give a fuck about, there’s a pizza in the oven that is going to be their lunch AND dinner and I’ve already eaten an entire block of chocolate – Mr 9 approaches me;
“mum. Is it that time of the month?”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“is it that time of the month? I hear dad say that sometimes when you’re not feeling well and its usually when you buy those things”
Mr 9 is also known as Mr Observant.
Having already had some conversations about anatomy and the facts of life this week I think, fuck it. I would rather you hear it from me. So I give my son the low down on periods.
“so this happens to all women every month for your whole life”
“so women are basically super heroes.”
Yes son. Yes we are. Here have a block of chocolate you little champion.
If I do have to pay tax on my tampons they should be posted to me every month in a pretty box with scented paper and a complimentary heat pad delivered by a sexy topless guy maybe named Pablo who tells me I am gorgeous in my husbands trackpants and that he loves what I’ve done with my hair (nothing). Otherwise we should just scrap the tampon tax completely. Some places are doing it already, because its kind of a no brainer, yeah? Yeah.