US4HER | #FormNiGiftYaChange | No Wraps.
Blog by Asha
The other day at the supermarket I met a young man trying to figure out what sanitary products he should get. Since I was also picking up one he asked me what pads I think he should get. Out of curiosity, I asked, “for your sister?”
He said, “no, my girlfriends days are just about, so I’m trying to get her the products she will need.”
I envied his girlfriend and proceeded to ask what brand he has seen her use before. I gave him my own preferences and we ended up making the decision for her and he proceeded to get ice cream and a bag of crisps.
I went on with my shopping eventually passing by a group of some ladies talking about the same guy, all wishing their boyfriends would do the same for them.
The entire scenario surprised me just as much as it made me happy. I called my favourite people, my us4her foundation team while still in my state of awe just to tell them about this mysterious human.
Meeting this man got me thinking of how we have been so ashamed of our periods. How many times has the shopkeeper wrapped your sanitary towel in a “gazeti” (newspaper) so that you can carry it to wherever you are going?
Periods are normal and every woman experiences them at least once a month.
Why do we make it so foreign?
Why is it viewed as disgusting?
The hormonal changes a woman goes through during this 4–7 day period every month is a trying time and for society to add shame and disgust to it is just as good as adding insult to injury. It is time we changed the myths surrounding the menstruation agenda.
In our opinion, the first step is to stop excluding boys and men in the conversations about sexual reproductive and menstruation health.
We all remember back in primary school when random groups would come to talk about menstruation and would separate the girls from the boys. The effect of this was that the male children became curious, as was their prerogative and would create all sorts of stories to try and fill in the gaps for themselves.
The girls, having been separated from the boys also ended up thinking that this was the normal way to do things and would not be comfortable sharing their experiences with them.
To change these notions we need to do it from the ground up. This means that conversations about menstrual and reproductive health should include the boys right from their formative years.
subsequently, Valentine’s is coming, can we include sanitary products in our gift bag. The whole flowers and the chocolate thing is great, however, can we add more functional gifts to the list. Talk to your woman and understand her cycle and what she uses and needs during that period of time
Last but not least, let us as a society put in the effort to learn and understand what menstruation is, how long the cycle is, how to be available for your woman. And women, let’s stop using men’s lack of knowledge in this topic to manipulate and weaponize sex. It’s a challenge for you to educate yourself
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