Wednesday, February 13, 2013

There's no womb in society for a tampon tax

Yesterday was a very inspiring day. I finally got round to watching a few videos that I had meaning to watch for awhile, and I was sent a petition that hits close to home.

The first thing brought to my attention was this petition about the tampon tax in Australia. This is something that has made me angry for a long time and I'm glad someone thought to make a petition about it.

Did you know there is a GST on Tampons because they are called a ‘luxury’?  I don’t know about you, but they don’t seem like a luxury to me. Condoms, lubricant, incontinence pads or sunscreen on the other hand are GST free. What’s with that?  

It’s a bloody outrage. Putting a tax on products women need as a direct consequence of their biology is fundamentally sexist.

Seriously - condoms and lubricants aren't taxed, but tampons are? No one is forcing you to have sex, but women have no choice but to have their period.

The second thing that caught my attention was a post on facebook by my brother - this video:

"There's at least ten things that we need to do... I'll walk with my car keys in my hand at night, I'll cross a street if there's a group of men on one side, I won't jog alone, I won't wear a short skirt out. Why? Because if I have to walk home alone I might become a victim and then I'll be told it was somehow my fault. I'll keep my porch light on, I'll look around before I close my door." There are at least a dozen things that women are made to believe that they must do to keep themselves safe. Now why is this normal?

I have always been passionate about women's rights, and I am unashamedly a feminist (by the actual definition of the word - that women and men are equal - neither is better - and that you should not be limited by your gender). I think that this guy sums the problem up pretty well. We can't ignore this anymore.

Then I finally got round to watching this video that my dad sent me recently - it's all about a woman whose mum was diagnosed with cancer and instead of despairing, she decided to actually do something about it. I hope to do something like this about endometriosis. (Language warning, but seriously - she has so many good points. Also featuring Adrien Brody of Entourage fame)

90 % of cancers are curable if caught in stage 1. Why the hell aren't we teaching people how to look for them?... We've spent 40 years and billions of dollars searching for a cure and somehow neglected to share the one cure that we currently have.

So, inspired by those videos and campaigns about changing the world, I have decided to sign up for the conference Big Hearted Business. It is run by my favourite artist of all time, Clare Bowditch, and it's all about learning how to make a business out of what you love. While I am not looking to make money out of spreading endometriosis awareness, I think that I have a lot to learn when it comes to marketing ideas and organisational tactics, and so I have signed up (also, did I mention that I adore everything that Clare Bowditch does?). It is two days of fun and learning and I can't wait. It's not cheap, I haven't bought flights to Melbourne yet to go, and I am going completely on my own, so it is a bit of an investment and it is kinda scary, but so exhiliarting. If you're interested in similar things please check it out and let me know if you'll be joining me!

So far my campaign of writing to magazines to have an article about endometriosis included in an issue has not been very fruitful (apart from Madison saying that they would send it on to their features editor a few weeks ago...). I really do want to make a change in the awareness level of endometriosis and the way that it is viewed by those that do know about the disease. I want people to know that terrible period pain is not normal, fatigue is not normal, having pain when you go to the bathroom or have sex is not normal, and they do not have to put up with it just because it is "a woman's lot in life". I want to make a difference!


  1. That conference looks amazing and is exactly what I need right now! Thanks for posting about it. :)

    1. I was going to say that if you live in Sydney/Perth/Adelaide/Brisbane you can go to a morning tea which is a two hour version of the conference ( but then I saw that you live in Melbourne (stickybeaking at your blog!) so you don't have to worry about flights/accom - awesome! If you buy tickets before 10pm tonight you save $100...

  2. That sounds amazing - wish we had something like that in the UK xx


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