+
upworthy
Family

The 'tampon tax' is real: These are the 40 states taxing periods.

Maybe cramps are the uterus' way of eye-rolling?

When I think of luxury items, I think of video games, cars, maybe even Cheetos. Something I (and most people) would never put on that list? Tampons.

But apparently I should start.


Currently 40 states in the United States impose a tax — either a regular sales or gross receipts tax or a luxury tax — on tampons and other menstrual products.

Is your state one of them? Map via Fusion and this great article by Taryn Hillin, used with permission.

People with uteruses are paying a monthly toll, getting taxed extra for something they can't control: their periods.

Sanitary products in the varying states' tax laws sometimes fall under the "luxury tax," which applies to products or services deemed unnecessary or nonessential. To make things more uncomfortable, the tax is also sometimes referred to as the "sin tax."

In what world is dealing with a period nonessential and luxurious? Not ours.

As anyone who menstruates knows to be true, sanitary products are an essential and expected part of life. At work, at school, or pretty much anywhere, it's not an option to go without caring for your health and hygiene. And making sure you're covered every month really adds up: If tampons are your go-to, you could be spending almost $2,000 on those alone in your lifetime. Putting an extra tax on them only adds to that financial burden.

Taxes can be confusing, sure, especially since they're all state-level. But certain conditions do make you wonder. For example, most states don't tax on essential items like groceries, which often includes candy and sugary drinks.

No matter your sweet tooth, it's hard to argue that candy is essential. But you'd be hard pressed to find someone who could say that it's not essential to deal with a non-optional part of life every month.

One of them is taxed and the other sometimes isn't. Image via Brad Cerenzia/Flickr.

Activist Jennifer Weiss-Wolf and Cosmopolitan have teamed up to demand legislators in 40 states drop the tampon tax.

Their petition has already garnered over 30,000 signatures.

As the first to really shine a light on the tampon tax in the United States, they're hoping that states will follow the lead of the those that have said "no" to it: Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

The tampon tax is not just happening in the United States. Canada eliminated its tampon tax earlier this year.

A demonstration in Paris on Nov. 11, 2015. Photo by Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images

In the summer of 2015, a successful public campaign helped convince the Canadian Parliament to vote unanimously on eliminating the national tampon tax in Canada. A big victory!

Other campaigns can be found from Australia to parts of Europe, with women protesting the tampon tax on social media and even free-bleeding (which is exactly what you think it is) to make a point in public spaces. Women from all over are demanding that their governments eliminate this unnecessary tax.

If we want to live in a more equal world, this is a good start.

The menstruation taboo still stands strong today, whether a girl's period becomes the butt of a joke in a movie or it forces a girl to actually drop out of school in a developing country. This stigmatization especially affects disadvantaged communities, where resources and education aren't as readily available to start conversations and shift perceptions.

A topic like menstruation should be accessible everywhere. Image via Scott Forster/Flickr.

Access to sanitary products is a right, not a luxury.

When our periods are used against us, it sends a message that we are being punished just for existing. That's not the world we want to live in. As Canadians can attest, this tax can be defeated. We might as well try.

You can start by signing the petition here.

You can tax me for my Cheetos, but leave my already-expensive tampons alone, please. I'm trying to kick ass in this world and that's one more thing that unfairly gets in the way.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

Keep ReadingShow less

This innovative sustainable luggage will elevate your travel game

Horizn Studios uses cutting edge design, materials, and manufacturing to make high-end luggage, backpacks, and travel accessories that are good for the planet.

Who doesn’t love the thrill of packing their bags, the anticipation of new adventures, and the joy of exploring unseen corners of the world? There’s something magical about travel, about the stories we gather and the memories we create. Yet, in the midst of all this excitement, it’s easy to overlook the ecological footprint we leave behind on the very places we cherish.

As we traverse our beautiful planet, every choice we make matters—including the choices about how we carry our essentials. Luckily, we don’t have to compromise on the way we travel to protect the beauty of our planet. Because a brand called Horizn Studios is redefining what it means to travel with conscience and style.

The Problem With Most Luggage

Few things can elevate your travel game like beautifully designed luggage. Anyone who’s ever gone anywhere knows the right gear can make it easier to move around, catch flights, and navigate unfamiliar terrain. It also provides peace of mind because you know your stuff is safe, secure, and accessible. However, these days we can no longer afford to put style and comfort ahead of the planet.

Right now the world is producing almost 400 million metric tons of plastics per year, and over the last 50 years more than 130 million metric tons of plasticshave accumulated in our oceans, lakes, and rivers. And most travel gear on the market today is part of the problem for two very simple reasons: it’s not built to last, and it’s not made using sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.

But choosing eco-friendly travel gear doesn’t have to mean settling for less. Horizn Studios stands at the forefront of a revolution, crafting luggage, backpacks, and travel accessories that look good and do good.

Driven By Innovation

When it comes to eco-friendly travel gear, Horizn Studios is a revolution on 360° spinner wheels. This company is pushing boundaries with innovative materials and features. It started when they launched the world's first suitcases with removable chargers, which ensure your devices never die when you need them most. But Horizn didn't stop there. Their commitment to a greener future drove them to pioneer the use of recycled polycarbonate and plant-based materials, crafting luggage that's not only durable but also kind to the planet.

Horizn’s quest to innovate also led to cool collaborations with iconic brands like BMW, Beats By Dre, and Soho House, not to mention some of the world’s most acclaimed artists. These partnerships infuse Horizn products with unparalleled ingenuity and style, ensuring that every product, from backpacks to travel accessories, stands at the intersection of high-end functionality and sustainability.

World's Most Sustainable High-End Luggage

At the heart of Horizn Studios' ethos is a deep-rooted commitment to sustainability, a principle that guides every step of their design and manufacturing process. For example, their Circle One collection boasts the world’s first 100% plant-based hard shell. Meanwhile, their RE Series utilizes an impressive 97% recycled polycarbonate.

Horizn’s commitment to sustainability also extends every step of their products’ lifecycle. For example, Horizn’s Stop, Drop & Roll recycling program allows travelers to bring in old luggage (of any make) for proper recycling, offering Horizn store credit in return. For Horizn Studios sustainability isn't just a buzzword. This holistic approach to sustainable travel, from the use of recycled and vegan materials to end-of-life product management, solidifies Horizn as a true leader in the movement toward a more sustainable and mindful way of exploring the world.

Style Meets Functionality

Beyond their commitment to sustainability, what also sets Horizn Studios apart from other brands is their attention to high-end style and innovative functionality. All of their products combine sleek design and high performance durability, so that practicality and style exist in perfect harmony.

When you buy luggage from Horizn Studios you get tons of innovative features. These include things like integrated removable chargers, TSA-approved locks, smart compartments for laptops and other essentials, durable water-resistant fabrics, and ultra-light materials—in other words, the sorts of things that refine and enhance your travel experience.

Travel Products for the Next Generation

Products designed to last five years are manufactured in the cheapest way possible. That’s why they don’t cost very much. If you want quality and sustainability, you have to invest a little more. With Horizn, when you make an investment to enhance travel experience, you know you are getting the best of the best—smart, beautiful luggage that is ethically designed and manufactured from start to finish. And best of all, every piece comes with a lifetime warranty and a risk-free 100-day trial, so you can test the waters with complete confidence.


Are you ready to experience the magic of traveling with luggage that's built to last, designed to impress, and crafted with the future in mind? Take Horizn Studios sustainable luggage on your next adventure.

Howie Hua shares helpful math tips and tricks on social media.

Math is weird.

On the one hand, it's consistent—the solutions to basic math problems are the same in every country in the world. On the other hand, there are multiple strategies to get to those solutions, and it seems like people are still coming up with new ones (much to the chagrin of parents whose kids need help with homework using methods they've never learned).

Math professor Howie Hua shares math strategies that make math easier on social media, and his videos are fascinating. Hua, who teaches math to future elementary school teachers at Fresno State, demonstrates all kinds of mental math tricks that feel like magic when you try them.

Keep ReadingShow less

Kevin Bacon's farm songs have become a social media favorite.

When Beyoncé dropped two songs from her upcoming album of country tunes, Renaissance: Act II, she may not have expected to make history, but that's exactly what happened. Her first single from the album, "Texas Hold 'Em," shot to the No.1 spot on the Billboard country music charts, making her the first Black female artist to hit that top spot. The catchy tune also topped the Billboard Hot 100 the last week in February 2024, a week after it debuted at No. 2.

Presumbaly, Queen Bey didn't expect her song to become an Irish stepdance hit, though that's also exactly what happened. And surely she didn't expect it to be sung by Kevin Bacon to a bunch of farm animals, yet that also has happened.

Perhaps we should all have expected that, though. There's a precedent here, after all.

Keep ReadingShow less

Teen with size 23 feet receives new shoes from Shaq

Any adult responsible for raising a teen will tell you that not only do teens eat a lot and sleep nearly as much as they did as infants, they also grow quickly. Sometimes it feels like their growth spurts are literally happening overnight. You go to sleep with a squeaky voiced teenager that's still shorter than you only to wake up to what appears to be a fully grown man wearing your child's clothes.

It's no wonder that parents can have a hard time keeping up with the ever changing clothes and shoe sizes that come with a growing teen. But Tamika Neal's son has surpassed what would be considered the average height and weight of a 16-year-old, which means he's also outgrown sizes carried in the stores.

According to Cincinnati Children's Hospital, boys aged 16 are typically between 5-foot-3 and 6-foot, weighing between 104 to 180 pounds. Jor'el Bolden is a towering 6-foot-5 and 380 pounds with a size 23 shoe.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Erin Bailey Law (used with permission) and Monstera Production/Pexels

Erin Bailey has taken a hard stand on sleepovers.

A mother who’s a criminal defense attorney is going viral on TikTok for a hard stance she has taken on her children going to sleepovers. For Erin Bailey of South Carolina, the answer is a big no. The reason? There are too many variables that could make her children vulnerable to sexual assault.

Bailey has a practice in Georgetown and is ranked among the Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers in South Carolina by the National Trial Lawyers.

"I don’t allow my children to go to sleepovers. I’m a criminal attorney and here’s why,” she opens the video. “First and primary is the S.A. [sexual assault] risk. While you may feel like you know the parents who are hosting the sleepover really well, and you know and love and trust them, that's exactly who's committing S.A.”

Keep ReadingShow less