'Drop it cause its rot'
A GST parody video takes the view that if the government is going to classify tampons and pads as non-essential items, then surely it's not essential for women to use them.PT3M2S 620 349
As potential changes to the GST are being ever-so-gingerly raised by politicians around the country, it looks like one particularly sticky tax issue is coming back to haunt Tony Abbott.
A new parody rap video has just dropped, demanding the government drop the tax on pads and tampons once and for all - and it features a cameo from non other than the PM's sister.
Drop It 'Cause It's Rot is a decidedly feminist take on the tongue-clicking Snoop Dogg classic Drop It Like It's Hot.
Christine Forster tracksuits-up for her first foray into rap with this Snoop Dogg parody video. Photo: Vimeo/Space Gorilla
It was dreamt up by Sydney-based actor and director Mia Corsini Lethbridge, who "wanted to create something that said 'I bleed and I'm proud and I shouldn't be taxed for it'," she said.
Joining the 'rappers' – Sydney actors Nancy Denis and Rachel Kim Cross – Forster was happy to don a tracksuit and skulk around for the occasion (although unfortunately we don't get to hear her rapping skills).
Despite being a fellow Liberal Party politician at Sydney City Council, Forster has never been shy to speak out about issues she disagrees with her brother on. Until now, that's mostly been confined to the issue of marriage equality. But Corsini Lethbridge says the otherwise-pro-GST Forster "doesn't see the fairness in taxing some items and not others - especially when those items are as important as our tampons".
"I read in the 2000 GST debate it was argued that if tampons were free, men's razors should be free," she said. "Yet men can choose not to shave and just be hairy. We cannot choose to stop bleeding, and keeping in line with the current societal norms, we cannot choose not to use sanitary products."
The pair got to know each other two years ago when Corsini Lethbridge impersonated Forster as part of a verbatim theatre production. When she approached Forster for this project, the politician was "really enthusiastic" about it – even with the line "and if Abbott gives you attitude, GST is shot" making it into the song. And this enthusiasm really shines through in the video: Forster puts on an utterly deadpan performance. Did this city councillor miss her true calling?
A rap parody might seem like a strange choice for making this sort of statement, but Corsini Lethbridge says she also wanted to play with how women are sexualised in commercial music videos – and where menstruating fits into the objectified ideal.
"The girl that dances solo in slow motion represents this. I wanted to lure in the viewer with her sexualised dance moves, before having the reveal of her blood stained crotch when she turns around. She wears her blood proudly as if to say 'this is what you think is sexy, and this is who I am'."
It's only a couple of months since the tampon tax issue last embarrassed the government – could this piece of activism be the tipping point?