The other day I was trying to come up with a call to action so that the attendees of a function would know that they could donate feminine hygiene products as the price of admission.
I was having a conversation with my counterpart about how difficult it was to phrase my call to action without using wording that might be “off putting” to the general public (yes….I realize that is crazy talk…being caught up in this politically correct, hypersensitive, damned if we do and damned if we don’t world). We both laughed uncomfortably and said, “that would make a good subject for an article”.
Here we were, worrying about using words like “period”, “pads”, and “tampons” because….Heaven forbid we offend someone. It was like we were trying to make the request pretty and wrap it in a bow without conjuring images of blood or bleeding. It seemed like there was no middle ground: either have clouds and women riding horseback on a beach or a scene from Dexter.
As if we lived in a time and place where talking about periods would cause embarrassment…….
I like to think that I am evolved and comfortable with my body and the way it operates, but I also realize that when I was a child I recall that the local confectionery store (a small town 1970’s 7-11) wrapped Kotex boxes in brown paper to disguise the product. You could purchase your “product” without you or the clerk being embarrassed. It was like a drug transaction, “Psst…..you got any pads?”. Don’t even ask for tampons……HIPPIE FREAK!
Why? Why do we insist on couching the terminology or literally wrapping the packaging so that no one gets offended or embarrassed?
The fact of the matter is that women do get their period each and every month for many, many years. Those who are fortunate enough to afford to stock their cabinet with sanitary products take it for granted that they will have a pad or a tampon handy when they need one. Unfortunately, there are many, many women, young and old who simply cannot afford that “luxury”. Yes…..a necessity for many, becomes a luxury for others and that is not right….it is simply WRONG.
Can she go to school like that? Can she go to work like that?
I hate that this is happening and it took a conversation with someone from the Salvation Army Food Bank at Christmas to open my eyes to the need. Not only are tampons and pads necessary, but products like Poise and Depends are necessary as well (another so-called embarrassing subject).
I want to do something. I have to do something!
I have reached out to the folks who have organized something called Tampon Tuesday and am working on (hopefully) getting something like this happening in Dawson Creek and Fort St John.
Are you interested in getting on board with this? Please let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
When someone is struggling financially, the last thing they should be worrying about is when their next period will arrive and how they will cope.
I will keep you posted! I truly believe that we can make something like this happen in our community – stay tuned.