12.3.14

Sanitary Napkins


Have you ever been embarrassed when you picked a packet of sanitary napkins in a shop? I know, this could be a topic that most girls wouldn't want to talk about but let's talk about this...shall we? I remember when I was a teenager, I went to the shop with my mom and they would wrap up the box or packet of sanitary napkins in a newspaper so that people wouldn't know that we are taking home sanitary napkins! But I have a feeling everyone would have known! 

Every woman would get their monthly periods and what is there to be ashamed of? Seriously? And why do boys and men snigger, laugh and make fun of the females when they see us buying sanitary napkins! I'm sure their mothers, wives, sisters and even their daughters would be needing them on a regular basis!

Okay! Hold it! I'm not saying that women should let the entire community know that they've gotten their period! It's personal and no body has to know. However, it's not something we have to be ashamed of! Really! We are biologically programmed like this! It's not because we have a disease or something! 

I remember when I was a teen I went to the shop to buy sanitary napkins. Back then this teasing thing was even worse than now! When we got our periods we were extra cautious because if a guy knew about it, they would laugh and make fun of us! My mom was busy cooking so I went to the shop near our house. This shop is run by two women who are close friends of my mum. When I entered the little shop, there wasn't anyone else in the shop, so I quickly told the woman that I wanted sanitary napkins and please pack it in newspaper! I wanted to get out before anyone else walked in, so I asked her to hurry too!

Just as I finished my sentence, a guy walked into the shop followed by another neighbour who happened to be my mom's friend. You wouldn't believe what the shopkeeper and her mother did! They told the guy that I was there to buy sanitary napkins and I've asked them to pack it so that no one would know! I wanted to vanish into thin air or hoped the ground would swallow me. I was so embarrassed and wanted to cry. But I didn't want these women to know that they've hurt my feelings and I was embarrassed. So I informed them that I didn't want to buy sanitary napkins from their shop and walked out.

Yes, I did cry a river when I got home. I never thought a woman would humiliate me like that and if I were the third woman who entered the shop with that guy, I would have said something because I can't tolerate such behaviour from grown up women. I would have given them a piece of my mind instead of watching a thirteen year old girl get humiliated for buying sanitary napkins.Then again, people are different isn't it?

The next day, this woman asked my mum to fix her dress! And she had the nerve to smile at me as she entered our house!!!

After this incident I thought about what happened and I realized that there was nothing to be ashamed of. So I just looked straight and walked home with sanitary napkins in my hand. Sometimes I ask the shopkeeper to keep the polythene bag and just walk out! If anyone tries to ridicule me, I just raise my eyebrows or simply ask them what was the matter. Yup, this made them uncomfortable and they would look away!

Several years later I went to a shop with my friend and I took a packet sanitary napkins because it was new brand I just wanted to check it out. My friend also took a packet to check it out. Once we came out of the shop, my friend confessed that she would never have touched a pack of sanitary napkins if she were alone! I was really curios and asked her what she did when she got her monthlys' and she said that her maid would get them for her. She is married and she is an adult but still she felt uneasy to even touch a box of sanitary napkins in shopping marts!

Last year during Ramadan my younger sister was standing in queue to pay for a pack of sanitary napkins. A middle aged bald man was standing behind her and he was sniggering like a moron. When she turned, he smiled at her slyly and she said that the shop assistant who happened to be a very young girl looked uncomfortable. When she turned back, she heard him giggle like a girl and this annoyed her. So she turned around and pointed at the pack she was holding asked him, "Haven't you seen this before?" The shop assistant laughed out loudly and the middle aged man's eyes remained glued to the floor after that. Serves him right!

I think people are not so ignorant anymore and most girls would just walk into the shops and come out with their arms full of sanitary napkins without feeling shy if they wanted to! I would and you all should because there is nothing wrong about buying them and let the baboons laugh if they want to! 

7 comments :

  1. Roshni said...

    Bravo!!! I really love this post!! We too faced all kinds of embarrassing incidents like this in India and so I can well relate! It's wonderful that you took the bull by the horns and made other people realize how ridiculous they were being!
    Visiting you via Jhanis' blog!

  2. Dr. Gauri Kekre said...

    It used to be like this in Mumbai as well, but a long time ago. Now it isn't that big a deal here anymore. I see women proudly standing in front of different brands of sanitary napkins, and reading the literature carefully before they select. Hell, I used to be ashamed of buying tampons too, now it is just matter-of-fact. Kudos to you for being the awesome person that you are!!!

  3. Aishaz said...

    Thank you Roshni and Dr Gauri Kekre. Yes, its much much better nowadays :D Will visit your blogs too. Thanks for stopping by

  4. Ghata said...

    Lovely post. People who snigger/mock others should definitely get a taste of their own medicine!

  5. Aishaz said...

    Thank you Ghata :D You are so right and I am with you a 100% on this! Thanks for stopping by and I'll visit your blog soon.

  6. Green Lizard said...

    This post made me sad. Buying these products should not be embarrassing. Ming you there are also other products now like the moon cup. Which save money and mean I haven't bought sanitary napkins for years.

  7. Anonymous said...

    oh Great article, no need to be embarrassed (a reminder to myself first :D) whom i used to send my little brother to buy it otherwise if i went, i would prefer to cover the packet wid plastic!. TQ