Who Wins the Tampon Tax Sweepstakes?

The Harper Government has done it again—thrown us here at Humans vs Harper into a tizzy of wonder and speculation. In response to a petition signed by nearly 75,000 menstruators and their allies, they have announced that women would no longer have to pay GST on tampons and menstrual pads.

Is this Election Hysteria? Or is it the dreaded PES (Pre-Election Syndrome)? It can’t be Harper giving a perk to the women who support him because not enough women do support him. His base is generally thought to be male and over 60 years old. Most of these guys are still scared of tampons; they can barely get to sanitary napkins.

So just who is Stephen Harper trying to please by taxing off the tampons?

  • Feminists?

If Harper is wooing the feminist vote, this tiny fraction of an action just shows how little he knows about what women really need. It will take more than a few cents a month to make them change their minds about him. According to The Beaverton, women still face 3,424 areas of gender inequality. Can we now expect Harper to bring in legislation to remedy all of them?

  • First Nations women?

We expect they would be the last women to be soothed by tax-free tampons. Just on the short list of their far bigger concerns there’s the problem of clean drinking water on reserves. Then there’s Harper’s failure to call an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women. Today, the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been released. It’s likely Indigenous women will use that event to again demand action and, again, remind us that Harper does not care to do anything meaningful for First Nations people.

  • Tampon manufacturers?

Yes, the tampon lobby has been pushing bloody hard to have the tax dropped. Do they really think that women will use more of the now-cheaper tampons? (“Oooh, now I can afford to wear one every day, just because I’m worth it!”)

  • Rich fathers of teenage daughters?

Some of those guys might be trying to scrape up a few more dollars to top up their tax free saving accounts, but really…

  • His publicists and image makers?

Maybe they think this action will make him seem softer—like the wonderful blue sweater and the kitten fiasco. Nowhere big enough: To kick start a new image, the starting point would have to be: Free tampons for all women, everywhere!

  •  Mothers?

Is he throwing Moms a bone—no new money for day care, but a dollar or so a month to spend on scratch-and-win tickets so they can dream big dreams?

  • Straight single men?

Will they now expect their dates to buy their own condoms with the money they save on menstrual products? Under the Harper regime, Canada has refused to allow aid money for developing nations to support birth control measures. Is this a back door to Conservatives paying for birth control here at home? (And anyway, smart women already buy their own condoms. Quality control.)

We admit we’re stumped, not something that happens often at Humans vs Harper. Maybe he’s planning an attack ad: “Tampon Trudeau”? “Menses Mulcair”? Or, maybe Conservatives just love talking about tampons in their storied back rooms?

We’re looking for answers. If you have looked deep into the mind of our Prime Minister and survived, let us know in the Comments section below. What was he thinking of?

8 thoughts on “Who Wins the Tampon Tax Sweepstakes?

  1. My father, with three wives (not at one time…) and four daughters, used to say that when he walked down the Feminine Products aisle, the boxes used to bow down to him…he would have appreciated this lowering of taxes, but in our haste to paste Steve, let us not forget that it was moved by the NDP….


    • Moved by the NDP… that explains how the idea got into his head. But of all the ideas the NDP has suggested to him, why is that the one he acted on? I’d gladly accept a tax on tampons if he would take instructions from the NDP on Bill C-51! (Your father’s needs notwithstanding 😉 )

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