We’re excited to announce that Seattle DSA has partnered with local women’s shelter & resource center Mary’s Place to host a feminine hygiene product drive! We launch this month-long drive on International Women’s Day in solidarity with women in need.
You may bring new, unopened items to any event hosted by Seattle DSA this month. Yep, we’re talking mainly about tampons/pads* but also deodorant, soap, shampoo/conditioner, even lip balm. A team will drop off donations at Mary’s Place after our general meeting on April 6th. For a full wish-list see http://www.marysplaceseattle.org/support-us/share-your-stuff/. We are happy to collect and deliver anything you bring.
Sounds great but…what does this have to do with socialism?
- SDSA believes everyone should be able to live a full and dignified life. As anyone who has had a period can attest, access to menstrual and basic hygiene products is essential not only for physical health, but for mental health and well-being. We want to take this opportunity to help those in need have necessary sanitary items with dignity, free from discrimination or restrictions.
- Over their lifetime, a menstruating person will spend on average $3000 on tampons/pads alone. Adding to the cost, Washington state does not consider these items to be a “necessity,” therefore, they are taxed at the same rate as ordinary retail goods. Especially true in King County, our regressive sales tax of 9.5% means low-income and homeless people are spending a disproportionately high percentage of their income on mandatory sanitary items every single month, on top of already inflated costs for women’s products. Taxing items women need as a consequence of their biology is a form of sexism.
- This brings us to the Pink Tax. This is the insidious practice of increased pricing for branded “women’s” products vs. “men’s.” Anything from children’s toys to clothing to haircare to razor blades cost more when they are marketed as being for women or girls. This practice preys upon societal expectations for women and is an example of the infuriating inequality perpetuated by a capitalist system.
*Although we support your personal preferences and efforts to be environmentally friendly, we ask that you do not donate menstrual cups or reusable pads for this drive. If you have questions, contact [email protected]