The tampon tax is ridiculous, but once again, almost everyone has missed the point

While under no illusion that my comments are about as significant as a farting gnat, I feel it’s my duty to opine to you all once more in the hope that you will one day realise I was right all along (a bit too Milo?).

Yes, the latest hoo-ha sweeping the nation (sorry, social media) is the tampon tax, which in the space of 48 hours has descended into one big bloody mess. In a rare case where feminists, Eurosceptics and anti-taxers meet, the Great British Public is united at the ridiculousness of it.

The idea that an additional tax should be levied on women because they have periods is illogical, although the logic for defining its illogicalness is rather weak.

Many, including the greatest female heroines of our time – yes, you, Stella Creasy – have wasted little time in waging war. In their attempts to look more self-righteous than the folk next to them, proclaim: “They should be free!” before continuing to blast the patriarchy and the man – because it’s always a man – who would have imposed the tax initially.

This, of course, is nonsensical. It’s not the role of the state to subsidise tampons, no more than it is for the government to pay for condoms, toilet paper, shampoo or any essential. The case that this is only a female problem doesn’t hold up to scrutiny either unless you are to address every disadvantage males are at in society.

And, as you all know, nothing is free anyway. By declaring that something should be “free”, you simply demand that somebody else should foot the bill. That doesn’t however mean that the tampon tax is right. It isn’t.

So, what is the root cause of this temper tamptrum? Surprise, surprise, it’s the European Union. Yes, thanks to being a member of the failing political union which gives us access to a declining trade area – and one that is in the midst of a haplessly-handled migrant crisis – the tampon tax is unavoidable.

As a result of EU regulations, our unsovereign nation is unable to lower the VAT rate on sanitary items below 5 percent. And, to achieve any change, the agreement of all 28 member states would be required. Quite simply, the entirely unelected European Commission which proposed this absurd legislation overrides anything which Westminster may desire.

However, despite this evident unnecessary Brussels interference, the Labour Luvvies and co. will quietly sidestep this issue, and God forbid would they consider that our EU membership is riddled with negatives. As well as going against the party line – although we all know Jeremy Corbyn is a closet Eurosceptic anyway – it’s also a trickier horse to flog. Having a crack at the patriarchy earns far more retweets and likes than a pop at EU meddling could ever dream of – trust me, I know.

And, amusingly, the first party to bring up the crazy tampon tax was UKIP. More in common than you once thought?

But perhaps more than anything, that the tampon tax is symbolised as one of the biggest indicators of sexism in society is a symptom of ugly modern feminism. In the Western world, we have reached a situation where sexism is no longer an issue. Rude tweets, tampon taxes and “lad culture” are – I would hazard an educated guess – not problems which Emmeline Pankhurst, Emily Davison and the like were fighting for.

However, there are plenty of injustices taking place around the world which modern feminism shuns. Female genital mutilation, forced marriages and honour killings go unnoticed, largely because tackling them would require feminists to remove themselves from Twitter, get their hands dirty, and risk “offending” horrendously backwards cultures.

These women face genuine oppression, but their plight is forgotten. It doesn’t have the social media sellability that the attention-seeking Caitlyn Jenner has.

The tampon tax story has many similarities to a play in the horrifically patriarchal sport of golf. The sweetly struck shot came so close to glory, zoning in on the pin, but ended up pinging off the flag and into the rough. Instead of highlighting the actual problem, the point, once again, has been badly missed.

Must be the time of the month.


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