Is It Right To Pay Period Tax? What ChatGPT Says

Period Tax
ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool which has taken over headlines since it was released in November 2022. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology, the chatbot can answer a user’s questions and hold a conversation. ChatGPT can also assist users with composing emails, essays, and code.

Research revealed that it is possible for AIs to be biased and prejudiced as they attempt to mimic the human thought process. Biases can be introduced in the AI if the data used to train the bots aren’t diverse and representative. If the AI is fed data which reflects inherent biases, then it will continue to exhibit the same ideals.

Thus, we decided to test whether ChatGPT is a feminist and asked about its perspective on the period tax.

Suggested Reading: Is ChatGPT Feminist: AI Decodes How Can Men Be Allies In #MeToo Movement

ChatGPT On Period Tax

ChatGPT described the period tax as a “tax on menstrual products such as sanitary pads and tampons”. In some countries, menstrual products are taxed as luxury goods and are subject to higher sales taxes than other essentials.

According to ChatGPT, menstrual products were classified as “luxury” or “non-essential” goods based on the assumption that these products are not necessary for everyday life and can be considered luxury items.

In India, sanitary pads were taxed at 12 percent under India’s Goods and Servies Tax (GST) which was launched in 2017. The controversial tax was scrapped a year later in 2018 after protesters questioned why sanitary pads were taxed as luxury items rather than essential items, which are exempt from tax.

The government announced that sanitary pads would be exempt from GST, making them tax-free and more accessible for women in India.

When ChatGPT was asked, “Is it right to pay period tax?”  the chatbot responded that the issue of the taxation of menstrual products is “a matter of debate and opinions on whether it is right or wrong to pay such a tax can vary”.

The AI displayed both sides of the argument and said that some argued that menstrual products are a necessity for half the population and should not be taxed as luxury items. A tax on menstrual products can create a financial burden, especially for those from low-income families.

If the tax rate on menstrual products is reduced or removed completely, sanitary pads and tampons became more affordable and accessible for women.

Meanwhile, others believe tax revenue from menstrual products can help fund important public services.

ChatGPT added, “Ultimately, the decision on whether the period tax should be removed is a political and societal one that depends on a country’s tax policies, priorities, and values.”

When further asked about the benefits of removing the period tax, ChatGPT listed that removing the tax could have the following benefits:

  1. Increased affordability
  2. Improved menstrual health
  3. Gender equality
  4. Reduced stigma

ChatGPT concluded that removing the period tax could have “positive effects on public health, affordability, and gender equality.”

When asked about the negative effects of the same, ChatGTP mentioned the loss of revenue, increased burden on other taxes, and difficulty in enforcement. Then, it concluded that overall, removing the tax could have both positive and negative effects.

Is ChatGPT A Feminist?

ChatGPT maintained a neutral tone throughout the several questions that were asked and bought up different sides in the debate regarding period tax. It mentioned how in certain countries menstrual products were taxed as a luxury item and informed users about why the tax is considered controversial.

The chatbot also mentioned that the period tax could create a financial burden for women, especially those from low-income families.

The AI concluded that “the question of whether it is right to pay a period tax is a political and societal decision” that depends on the country.

While we cannot call the AI a feminist, it did attempt to provide users with multiple sides of the argument and mentioned why there was a movement to remove the period tax.