As of 1 January 2021, the tax on women’s sanitary products like pads and tampons has been removed in the UK, but it’s the protestations of a very angry man on the internet over the announcement of the landmark decision that has truly set tongues wagging this week.
British radio presenter, Adam Guthrie, copped the full scorn of Twitter users after he shared the Treasury’s post announcing the abolishment of the tax with a very specific, and some are claiming ‘misogynistic’, criticism.
“Good policy but is this obscene image really necessary?” he wondered of the graphic.
The graphic shows a cartoon image of an unused tampon along with he statement: “Tampon tax abolished from 1 January 2021”.
It seems the British commentator found the image of something related to ‘that part’ of the body ‘distasteful’.
“I don't care to look at images of anything related to that part of the body,” he wrote in response to somebody on the thread. “The lavatory shouldn't enter the sitting room.”
Twitter slams ‘sexist’ commentary
Needless to say, Twitter didn’t agree.
The post has been shared by over 6,000 people and attracted hundreds of comments pointing out the holes in the anti-tampon image argument.
“If you find a drawing of a tampon obscene but have no problem looking at photos of toilet paper your concern is not public decency, it’s misogyny,” one person pointed out.
Adam tell Yahoo Lifestyle his criticism is directed towards the government for promoting a good policy change in a ‘crass and unnecessary’ way.
“It seems clear to me that the government views its constituents with contempt because it would appear to assume that they cannot derive the meaning of a policy announcement without the aid of a crude and simplistic image of a lavatorial product that is neither exotic nor unusual - but one which is ultimately a private instrument,” he says.
He argues that just because he sees tampons as a private matter doesn’t mean he think they are shameful.
As some critics pointed out, however, the culture of silence Adam promotes is part of the reason it took until 2021 to repeal the VAT tax on the products and does not extend to other, similarly ‘personal’ images.
“So does this - and they are EVERYWHERE,” another user wrote, sharing the standard public toilet images.
“Do you have the same reaction to toilet roll?” another wondered.
Other didn’t know how to break the full life cycle of a tampon to the easily-scandalised Adam.
“Obscene. If you want obscene you wanna see my bathroom on day 1,” one woman wrote.
“Prepare to be horrified and sickened by this image then,” another joked, sharing a snap of a packet of tissues.
Others simply argued that calling a tampon cartoon ‘obscene’ was promoting the same body shame that saw the tampon tax remain in place until three days ago.
“Why is making people ashamed of their bodies necessary?” one woman asked. “It wasn't that long ago that we had sanitary protection in discreet packaging and brown paper bags so no one could see what we were buying. This shame of our bodies led to people not seeing their doctors when they had to.”
“What’s obscene about an illustration of an unused tampon?!” another queried. “What is obscene, however, is the number of women and girls who live in period poverty and can not afford them. We’re not talking third world here; it’s a real thing in the UK. Picture that.”
Adam Garrie has been contacted for comment.
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