Some women in the U.K. and Australia are furious there's a tax on tampons and sanitary pads when other essential goods are exempt. Change.org petitions have circulated to that end -- an Australian version lays out its demands with a tirade of bad puns, including "This tax is really cramping my style" and "Let's pull the plug on the Tampon Tax."
But a couple of parody music videos make the case best.
UK comedians Cariad Lloyd and Jenny Bede star in a spoof of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" featuring Kendrick Lamar.
It's got some pretty arresting imagery: One woman sticks a wrapped tampon in her mouth like a cigar, and another tries to staunch her flow with a Union Jack.
The video suggests low-budget items that can be used instead of sanitary products. "Why not try using a dishcloth? Or cut a bit of a big rug?"
Another spoof, from Australia, plays with Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot," featuring Pharrell. This version is called "Drop It Coz It's Rot" and has lyrics like: "The vagina, half the people got them / Yet there's a tax if you're born with one of 'em." And also: "Chicks bleed but y'all knew that/It ain't a luxury, we just gotta do that." This one is by actor-director Mia Lethbridge and features a cameo by City of Sydney Councillor Christine Forster, who is the sister of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
It also breaks a taboo of imagery about sanitary products. The video is mostly in black and white except for a shot of a tampon covered in red stuff -- paint, maybe? It's the first time we've seen anything that real. It's a reminder that while brands like Always and HelloFlo are breaking away from the old-school style commercials featuring a mysterious blue fluid in a beaker, they're still far from showing anything close to an actual period.