Protesters rally to end the #TamponTax


Courtesy of Samantha Korkoff

Sophomore Samantha Korkoff (left) and freshman Maura McCawley (right) protest the #TamponTax at the Capitol building in Washington D.C.

Maeve Hennessy, Editor-in-Chief

Thirty-five U.S states currently have a tax on menstrual products, and yet one in four women are still struggling to afford these products. PERIOD, a non-profit organization, decided that enough is enough. They believe menstrual products are essential and should be more accessible to everyone. On Saturday, October 18th, sixty rallies in fifty states and four countries were held to end the “#TamponTax.”

“To ensure a fully equitable society, laws must be in place that reflect the fact that half of our country’s population menstruates. At its core, this issue is about meeting the hygiene needs of all women and girls, hence a fundamental issue for human rights and dignity. Period products should be tax-exempt. They should be available, affordable, and safe for our bodies because periods shouldn’t hold anyone back. Period.” said Girl Up co-president, sophomore Samantha Korkoff.

While participants in the rally were diverse in interest and backgrounds, many of the members of WS club Girl Up attended the movement last Saturday. Girl Up is a global foundation that empowers young women to defend gender equality and is a platform that advocates for broad social change.

“[Girl Up aims] to advocate for girls’ rights and empowerment in developing countries through fundraising and awareness. Also, we want to be clear that our intent isn’t to hold one gender in higher regard than another, but rather to increase global equality. Some of our objectives this year are to raise even more feminine hygiene products than we did last year to donate to local homeless shelters and raise as much money as possible to help finance transportation to school for girls in third world countries,” said Girl Up co-president, senior Katie Orchard.

However, people independent from any organizations were also very inclined and inspired to attend the rally to raise their student voices in favor of change. Junior Kenzie Chase heard about the rally from a friend and felt motivated to go and speak up.

“I thought that it was really important to show support for the women and girls who are incarcerated or experiencing extreme poverty, and their lives are completely derailed by not being able to pay for a basic medical right. I do not believe that in the United States girls are missing school and being taken away from the right to learn because their families can’t afford products for them,” said Chase.

While individuals have their own personal experiences or reasons they support the PERIOD movement, the organization stresses that all people are invited to support this cause, and it affects more unique pockets of society than the average onlooker might assume.

“It’s really important to note that not all menstruators are women nor does every woman menstruate. The majority of the pre-existing conversation on menstrual equity excludes trans and non-binary folk, a dangerous factor that threatens progress across the board. Including these often marginalized groups in the conversation is a fundamental start to reforming the legislation that put us in this position; after all, that’s what the menstrual movement is all about,” said Korkoff.