So like having to visit the restroom, we are taught to excuse ourselves politely when we feel the urge. Either you contend with letting the person finish their sentence before you interject or you run if it’s ’knocking on your door’. The peace you have (even if you don’t know where the restroom is, or that there’s a line) is that there will be toilet paper. You don’t have to carry it with you. Usually most public and private restrooms will supply this.
I had a moment where I entered a lovely restroom and saw free sanitary pads and tampons. I was wonderfully taken a back. The building’s maintenance illustrated that they saw and recognized the public responsibility to provide such items to half the population. For something in society we are taught to whisper about, or not speak about in front of men, it was a wonderful surprise to see tampons there for FREEEE, just like toilet paper.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to not be able to afford sanitary pads, but I do know what it’s like to freak out thinking you might have forgotten to carry some. For those that can’t afford sanitary pads, this impedes in everyday critical activities such as school attendance and this is unjust. I know what it’s like to dig for coins to purchase sanitary pads or to have to ask a friend, a college or a strange woman for one. It’s annoying and embarrassing.
I was shopping and a woman in the ladies was struggling to buy a tampon in the restroom. I had some on me, as I was told to always travel (also $20 in case you get stranded). So I awkwardly walked to the stranger and offered her mine. She felt relieved but embarrassed. I left the restroom and when I saw her again…we tried to avoid eye contact.
I had just helped her out and yet we both felt awkward about making eye contact. It got me thinking why do we live in a world where it’s embarrassing to deal with tampons to the point that people make them smaller God forbid It would be seen. It seems there is more accessibility to condoms, and there’s less of a stigma carrying condoms. Society provides supplies for the excretion of urine and faeces but not menstruation but have you asked why it shouldn’t be supplied? Why should I text a friend to come to the bathroom to give me one? Why do we live in fear of leaking?
It’s like we invite this unneeded stress…there must be a way we can free ourselves of this…free sanitary pads would be a start!
Here are a few great articles on the topic if interested: