New York pharmacy's 'man tax' to highlight tampon costs prompts backlash | Reuters

By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A New York City pharmacy that imposed a tax only on male customers has received some 3,000 hate messages, its co-owner said on Friday, amid a national debate over taxes on feminine hygiene products.Independent pharmacy Thompson Chemists this week announced it was imposing a one-day 7 percent 'man tax' on its male customers after a 2015 study found that women's products cost 7 percent more than products for men in the city.Jolie Alony, the pharmacy's co-owner, said hate messages started pouring in by email, in phone messages and on social media after the owners placed signs outside the store announcing the tax on Monday, in an effort to draw attention to the issue.

Reuters October 15, 2016 00:16:51 IST
New York pharmacy's 'man tax' to highlight tampon costs prompts backlash
| Reuters

New York pharmacys man tax to highlight tampon costs prompts backlash
 Reuters

By Sebastien Malo

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A New York City pharmacy that imposed a tax only on male customers has received some 3,000 hate messages, its co-owner said on Friday, amid a national debate over taxes on feminine hygiene products.Independent pharmacy Thompson Chemists this week announced it was imposing a one-day 7 percent "man tax" on its male customers after a 2015 study found that women's products cost 7 percent more than products for men in the city.Jolie Alony, the pharmacy's co-owner, said hate messages started pouring in by email, in phone messages and on social media after the owners placed signs outside the store announcing the tax on Monday, in an effort to draw attention to the issue. "We got 3,000 crazy emails ... it was just to show awareness and it went overboard," Alony said."'You should burn in hell, you should die, you sexist pig'," said some of the messages the pharmacy received, Alony told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a telephone interview.

Though described as a tax, the surcharge was in fact a discount to female customers who were waived most of New York's sales taxes.The episode comes amid a nationwide debate over the unfair financial burden for women of taxing tampons and other menstrual products. Menstrual products can cost women some $100 a year, said Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, who has spearheaded a nationwide campaign to scrap taxes on feminine hygiene products through her advocacy group Period Equity.

In 2016, three U.S. states - New York, Illinois and Connecticut - eliminated sales taxes on menstrual products - joining 10 others that do not tax them, she said.At Thompson Chemists in Soho, Alony said that she hoped her initiative had raised awareness of gender inequality when it came to purchasing personal health products."People don't think about it and women do spend so much more money throughout their lives," she said. "We just wanted to show people what the difference was so that they would be like 'wow'."

Despite the cascade of hate mail, most of the pharmacy's customers were supportive of the initiative, Alony said."Most New Yorkers are (saying) 'More power to you', 'Thank you for doing this'," she said.Income inequality remains persistent in the United States, where women working full-time earn yearly 80 percent of what men earn doing the same work, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research based in Washington D.C. (Reporting by Sebastien Malo, Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

also read

Trump to hold series of meetings as he assembles new administration
| Reuters
World

Trump to hold series of meetings as he assembles new administration | Reuters

WASHINGTON President-elect Donald Trump will hold a series of meetings on Sunday in New Jersey as he continues to put together a team for his incoming administration, Trump spokesmen said.They said Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will meet with: talent agent Ari Emanuel; civil rights attorney Peter Kirsanow; Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach; Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson; Bridgewater Associates President David McCormick; and retired Marine Corps General John Kelly.Trump and Pence will also meet with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers; Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives T.W. Shannon; American investor Wilbur Ross; and Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone Group, they added during a call with reporters

Italy's Renzi gets backing in referendum from singers, athletes, chef
| Reuters
World

Italy's Renzi gets backing in referendum from singers, athletes, chef | Reuters

ROME Italy's most famous chef and more than 80 actors, singers, directors and athletes on Sunday backed a constitutional change to be voted on in two weeks, giving Prime Minister Matteo Renzi desperately needed support.Italians will vote in a Dec. 4 referendum over whether to accept Renzi's flagship reform, which would drastically reduce the role of the Senate (upper house of parliament) and take powers back from regional governments. While poll results cannot be published during the final 15 days ahead of the vote, surveys released before the Friday cutoff showed the "No" vote firmly ahead.To try to turn the trend around, the 41-year-old Renzi continued his furious campaigning for a "Yes" vote on Sunday, repeating on a talk show that he does not intend to "scrape by" as prime minister if he loses.Italian banking stocks fell to their lowest level in six weeks on Friday and bond yields rose for a fourth week on the prospect that a "No" vote may topple Renzi's government and usher in a period of political instability

WHO declares end of Zika emergency, but still urges action
| Reuters
World

WHO declares end of Zika emergency, but still urges action | Reuters

By Stephanie Nebehay | GENEVA GENEVA The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Friday that the Zika virus no longer constitutes an international emergency, but it stressed a need for a long-term effort to address Zika, which has been linked to birth defects and neurological complications.The WHO's Emergency Committee, which declared a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) in February, said the virus is still a long-term problem."The Zika virus and associated consequences remain a significant enduring public health challenge requiring intense action but no longer represent a PHEIC," the WHO panel composed of independent experts said in a statement after meeting.Carried by mosquitoes, the Zika virus can cause the rare birth defect microcephaly and other neurological disorders in infants and adults.