On the first Tuesday of every month, high school students across the country participate in Tampon Tuesday events in order to collect pads, tampons, and charity for underprivileged girls who do not have access to adequate feminine hygiene products. This year alone, women in the US will spend well over $2 billion on their periods, and over a lifetime, a woman will use over 16,800 feminine hygiene products. Realizing that we are privileged to have unlimited access to feminine hygiene products at school, home, and nearly everywhere else we go, Tampon Tuesday has provided us the opportunity  to learn more and recognize the challenges women face around the world surrounding feminine hygiene products. Women and girls in undeveloped countries are experiencing extremely high rates of cervical cancer,  infections caused by contaminated rags, or even dropping out of school all because of something THEY CAN’T CONTROL. Even here in Chicago, homeless or incarcerated women face similar risks when they don’t have access or can’t afford feminine products.

The fact is, our periods aren’t optional, so why do people act as if tampons are? What kind of society would deny a girls and women tampons as a basic health care right? More importantly, what kind of society would tax a women for tampons but not a man for viagra?