Dear Member of Parliament. This video is for you. Because the decision you made last week is a problem for us. It’s a big damn problem. During the night from the 14th to the 15th of October 2015, an amendment was rejected by the French Parliament. This amendment asked for a lower VAT rate on sanitary products, so: tampons, pads, menstrual cups, from 20% to 5.5%, 5.5% being the VAT rate applied on all essential goods. Doing that, our members of Parliament considered that pads, tampons and menstrual cups are not essential goods. It means that today, I’m on my period, if I don’t wear any protection and I walk around with a blood stain on my trousers, it won’t cause any problem? Can you promise that, mister MP? So as you considered that it wasn’t an important request, we, people having periods, we’re going to explain what we think. And also, not like you, we regularly bleed from our vagina. You? I’m doubting it. Dear Member of Parliament. Dear Member of Parliament, I send you this message from my toilets. Because a few days ago, you decided that sanitary products were not essential goods. So I decided, as you seem to know what I need better than me, to not wear any tampons, pads or menstrual cup. What happened is that on the first day, my blood flow was heavy, so it got everywhere and it was disgusting. I decided that I’ll stay on these toilets for the next three days. As the stereotype says that people on their periods eat chocolate, I got 500g of Schokobons. I also have a hot beverage, and, in case I really really really need to get out, I’m planning to fold 1000 layers of toilet paper in my panty. But as you’ll notice, I don’t have any either. I thing that if it was exactly the same thing, we’d know it. When you decided that tampons, pads and other sanitary products were not essential goods, I was on my period. And it was as if you came and told me: “Come on, you cut your arm off, you cut you belly open, you cut something out. But it’s ok, no need for a band-aid.” Having a blood stain on your trousers will never be fashionable, except maybe for a zombie walk. The fact that decisions who affect me and my fellow vagina owners are made by old cis men who have no idea of what we go through is highly irritating. You and your colleagues haven’t the slightest idea about how much these products are necessary. Don’t you understand that missing or having a wrong sanitary product can affect my health, and not only bring me judgmental looks and disgusted reactions? Do you know what it is to permanently bleed for a week every month? Do you know how many liters it amounts to per week? It amounts to 0.1L, 12 times 0.1L per year, which is 1.2L. It’s equivalent to a little under 2 small bottles of water plus one half full. You also know that I’m not alone and that many women bleed every month, so much that with years passing by, we could turn the blue planet into a red planet. By rejecting this request, you gave yourself the right to decide what was an essential good for me and all people having their periods. What you did is called oppression. Let me be clear, you, as a cisgender man, you’ve never had periods, whereas I am a woman and I’ve had periods for almost 9 years. And please know that I live with 3 other people who have also had them every month for years. You can’t even imagine how much your behavior frustrated and disappointed us, or how much money it can represent in a household. Dear Member of Parliament, today I am angry, not because I’m on my period, but one more time because of every day sexism. Dear Member of Parliament, let’s imagine together a world without tampons, a world in which women would be forced to be isolated from society for a week every month. A world without tampons is a world without discretion. If you think that a product isn’t essential because it doesn’t concern you while it concerns 50% of the people who elected you, then, sincerely, I don’t think you were made to be a member of Parliament. The lack of parity in your troops is regrettable, because I think a woman would have noticed that tampons are not like tickets to amusement parks, and actually are essential goods. Imagine, every month, being mocked for being born a woman. Every month, hearing: “you’re in a bad mood? You must be on your period!” Every month, because of this pressure, you have to go head down in the supermarket to buy at least a box of pads or a box of tampons. I don’t have a job, even if I’m looking for one. Every month, I manage to pay my rent, my food, my bills. And every month, I remember that I have to buy sanitary products. Every year, I spend at least 84€, only for that. With 84€, do you know what I could do, dear Member of Parliament? I could go to the movies, I could learn things, I could do one full round of food shopping. With what you did, you’re telling me that my periods are still not accepted. You’re telling me that it’s almost my fault if I have my periods, and it’s my problem that I don’t want to get blood stains. I have my period every month. Additionally, I’m among the unlucky ones who have extremely heavy and painful periods, almost abnormally so. So I have to use 5 different types of sanitary products to be protected and to avoid bleeding in public. For my whole life, it amounts to a cost between 3000 and 4000€. By voting this amendment, I could have spared 1/8 of this cost, so almost 500€. So you could make an effort and change you mind, my uterus and I would be forever grateful, and mostly my bank account, to be honest. Since I got a contraceptive implant placed, I have my period every day. Being on your period every day means using about 5 tampons per day. A box of tampons contains 20, so it means buying a box every 4 days. So I’ll let you do the math and calculate how much it is to be on your period and be able to go outside, go to class, sit on your couch or sleep in your bed, without staining your sheets, everywhere you go, chairs on which you sit. You have recently decided that my menstruation doesn’t concern the Parliament, which is too respectable to talk about it. My last period lasted 11 days, and for someone suffering from polycystic ovaries like I do, it’s about the average duration. I am both sad and angry to note that still nowadays, in 2015, we’re not able to recognize women as a valid topic in Parliament. I am angry, not for me, but for all the others, for all those who don’t have access to good quality sanitary products and those who can’t even get any because they are too expensive, because you men decided that sanitary products were accessories. I’m having troubles understanding your refusal to apply the minimum VAT rate on sanitary products. To try to understand better which products fall into that category, I looked at the list, and I realized that in there, there are things like movie theaters and works of art. Now I understand your rejection even less. Apparently, you think that it’s more important to go see a football game or to buy Coke than to buy sanitary products to avoid bleeding everywhere, because believe me, periods aren’t something that you can avoid. So I’ll just remind you that sanitary products aren’t luxury items, they aren’t beauty items, it won’t make us happier to have some. It will just save us from staining our trousers and to suffer public humiliations. I did some research online, and I found that in 2013, there were 66.3 millions of french people, so 33 million people who have, had or will have their periods. So I wondered what would happen if these 33 million people decided to stop wearing sanitary products. Everywhere they would have sat, so seats in subways, trains, planes buses, universities, schools, restaurants, movie theaters, waiting rooms, would be covered in old bloody vaginal secretions. Dear Member of Parliament, I’m wondering if you would like to sit in old bloody vaginal secretions coming from strangers. You who considers sanitary products as items that aren’t essential, did you think about what would happen if we didn’t wear them? We’re okay to try, but then you come and clean the public swimming pools, the streets and our clothes. Can you imagine taking a sports class without sanitary products and blood heavily flowing? It would be a disaster. We, people having periods, we don’t understand your choice. We will reasonably pay for something we didn’t ask for. Thank you… This video is very, very, very important, so please, can you share it? Whether it is on Twitter, or on Facebook, or even talk to your friends about it, it’s so important. I don’t think members of Parliament will actually ever see it, but if it can make other people react and if it can make people realize how absurd is the rejection of this amendment, it would be really really good. The amendment in question is in the description, and you can also find there the link to everybody who participated in the video, who I deeply thank. Without them it wouldn’t have been possible. The final message is, please share this video, as much as possible. Thank you! Take care of yourself and of your loved ones, smile to people in the street and see you soon!