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Sorry, Republican State Senators, I’m Buying Laptops on Tax-Free Weekends, Not Tampons

Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation


You know the joy of a tax-free weekend? The one where you can go and get a laptop without spending an extra $100 dollars on it in taxes? No? Well, it’s a thing, and apparently, Republicans in Tennessee think that we’re all (meaning those who need tampons in order to maintain their periods) going to take advantage of that weekend to stockpile tampons, a “luxury item,” in some massive way that will be financially unviable for the state.

Let me explain: MALE Republican Tennessee state senators are trying to understand tampons and how we use them, and failing miserably.

According to The Charlotte Observer, the idea is that if one were to include tampons in a “tax holiday” one weekend a year, those who need tampons would flock to their local stores, stockpile enough for the entire year (because I guess we have unlimited storage?) and, in buying 12 boxes just to be safe, the government would lose a grand total of $6.84 per tampon user who has the space to store 12 boxes of tampons.

I did this math by going on a tax calculating website for the state of Tennessee (I am not trying to do that math on my own) and choosing Wal-Mart prices, because I don’t know Tennessee and what they’re like, so I figured that was a safe bet. Whatever. The point is that the government of Tennessee is not losing hundreds of thousands of dollars if someone decided to do this.

According to American Independent, tampon users spend over a $1,000 on menstrual products in a lifetime, and … lol that really seems like low-balling things, my dudes. Now, at least Tennessee’s estimate is a bit higher, at $120 a year—still low in my opinion, but at least better. Still though, the idea that period-havers are rushing to buy tampons en masse on a tax-free weekend?

Billy Porter in Like A Boss

Let me get my calculator out again. I’m going to get real personal with my period, folks, because I have to in 2020, and I don’t even like people knowing when I have mine so like THANKS SOCIETY. BUT, for me personally, I like to use different size tampons depending on what I’m doing. I like to sleep wearing a larger size tampon because I fear waking up and looking like that Johnny Depp scene from A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Bloody bed

But that means that I, typically, buy either that mixed pack of tampons (which is $9.99 and doesn’t have a lot in it), or I buy a box of regular tampons and a box of super. Since both boxes are, roughly, $7–$8 each, I’m spending around $16 dollars a month. So, in one year, I’m spending $190+ dollars on feminine hygiene products that are considered a “luxury.” Without that luxury, I’ll just come to bleed all over the couches of those Republicans who think they know more about periods than I do.

So, in my lifetime (bearing in mind that I do not know when I will be going through menopause, but I’m going with the max age just for fun), I’m spending almost $10,000 dollars on tampons. So I guess that is, technically, “over $1,000” but … you know, by a lotAnd it is also $70 dollars more per year than the estimated cost from the state of Tennessee.

What’s so baffling about this entire thing is that Tennessee state Sen. Joey Hensley (yeah, I’m naming names) thinks that women are so concerned with the taxes on tampons that enough of us would go out of our way to avoid them to cause a problem for the state financially. Look, would I like to save $1 on my tampons? Sure, but on a tax holiday, I’m going for big-ticket items like a new laptop or television or something that has a tax price of hundreds of dollars.

But, alas, we live in a society where men think they have the right to our bodies or, more importantly, the right to dictate what we can do with them, and that even includes the purchasing of tampons. So, if you want to continue to go on and on about tampons, men, the next time I have my period, I’ll just stroll up into your offices, sit down using nothing, and ruin your upholstery just to make my point.

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Rachel (she/her) is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album, and would sell her soul for Pedro Pascal as Kraven the Hunter. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. Secretly Grogu's mom and Lizzie Olsen's best friend.