Bloody Good News
I love saying that title in an OTT old man from Yorkshire accent.
So a few of days ago Scotland voted in favour of making sanitary products free – the first country in the world to do so. Brilliant news of course, as obviously periods are not something we ladies can control or stop or do much about to be honest. The fact we have to spend our hard-earned cash on products to stop blood dripping down our legs is rather annoying. I mean I would far rather spend my money on cheese or wine or huge bags of salt and vinegar crisps.
Not that I’m complaining much. I have it easy compared to some and at least I’ve never known the indignity of not being able to afford sanitary products – plenty of girls have. I was pretty young when I started my period and because I had no female guardian in my family (I lived with my grandad) I did have the hideously embarrassing task of buying my own stuff. I remember hanging around our local pharmacy ducking and diving in the sanitary products aisle, trying to build up the confidence to pick up a pack and walk to the counter. Makes me laugh really – like I have NO embarrassment of stuff like that now. Here you wanna see my basket that’s full of cheese, wine and a Canesten cream?
And for people going ‘eew that’s gross’ – I’m not actually being gross – these are things that happen. Deal with it.
In England we pay VAT on sanitary products which basically means they are classed as a non-essential and ‘luxury’ item. Non-essential?? Seriously you want to see blood stains over my leggings?
Look it’s bad enough we girls HAVE periods. Men joke about it, our ‘bad moods’ or having ‘a monthly’ or whatever but they don’t actually know what it’s like. On the physical side I’m lucky, mine are regular and light and not really an issue. The worst bit is undeniably the week before where I feel far more emotional than usual – down in the dumps (I’d go as far as to say depressed) with high anxiety levels and far more capacity for tears.
So we have to deal with being depressed, having sore boobs and stomach cramps, feelings of shame and embarrassment about a completely normal biological function AND putting up with hilarious jokes about that ‘time of the month’ if we dare cry at a particularly harrowing episode of Masterchef or have a meltdown because the washing up hasn’t been done yet.
Apparently the VAT thing is coming to an end on 31 December this year which is a step in the right direction (and many thanks to all the feminists who campaigned for it) but I still feel the world could take a leaf out of Scotland’s book (not something I thought I’d ever say) and start making products free for all.
After all we CAN’T control them, we CAN’T stop them and we have to put up with them – why should we pay for them too?
So well done to Scotland for being so pioneering. When I heard about it, I thought that’s bloody good news (and I did think it in a Yorkshire accent).