A new social media campaign is trying to destigmatize menstruation. #JustATampon is an initiative started by VPoint and Plan UK looking to change the way we talk about periods and the way women’s periods are treated in society. The campaign points first to the priciness of having your period, that women have to buy sanitary goods in order to take care of their monthly flow. But in spite of the fact that sanitary items are goods women need, they are still taxed in the U.K. at 5%.
The campaign also mentions the millennia-old taboo surrounding menstruation. “Smuggling sanitary items, trying to pretend that your various parts of your anatomy are not swelling, burning or gushing only adds to the emotional trauma. It might be dirty, but why does it have to be a secret too? I’m not suggesting that workplaces bring in easy desk-side tampon changing facilities, but really there has to be more understanding and support.” VPoint hopes to open the conversation about tampons and get people comfortable with menstruation through the power of social media.
Men and women alike are posting images of themselves holding tampons to prove that periods are not a big deal and should not be treated as such. “Neither gender feel the need to publicly announce other toilet activities – but the fact that half the office is losing up to 80ml of blood at various times of the month needn’t be ignored.”
— Kat Lister (@Madame_George) June 10, 2015
— Femmecup Ltd (@femmecup) June 10, 2015
— Danny Doyle (@Danny_T_Doyle) June 10, 2015
— Robert Llewellyn (@bobbyllew) June 10, 2015
— Charlie Cuff (@CharlieBCuff) June 10, 2015
— Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4) June 8, 2015
Of course, no campaign supporting women can go by without indignant men trying to derail the cause. After Jon Snow, a British TV News anchor posted a picture of himself holding a tampon, one of his very troubled male followers, @Bruciebabe, responded by saying other necessities for men are taxed… like trousers. While amused feminists and supporters of the #JustATampon cause dragged him on Twitter, responding simply tweeting the word “trousers,” Everiss took to his blog to complain about the campaign. Everiss argues that feminists are whining because they want their tampons tax-free while men’s shaving items are taxed at 20% in the U.K. Sadly, Everiss fails to address the fact that shaving isn’t considered a taboo in our society, which is part of what the campaign is trying to destroy. Other men uncomfortable with #JustATampon cite propriety and old-fashionedness as the reason they are against the campaign.
But despite the naysayers, #JustATampon soldiers on and continues to collect money to provide needy women with sanitary towels. If you’re interested in joining the cause, you can donate here.