Embarassed about your period? Don’t be.

By: Aleysha Haniff

Whenever the pads and tampons go on at the drugstore where I work, it’s almost inevitable that a crush of women will ask me to double bag their purchases.

One woman even asked me to triple bag her supplies and though I hated to do it, I used bag after bag until I needed X-ray vision to see what was inside.

But recently, the Toronto city council approved a five-cent plastic bag tax. Will women still be willing to get their “feminine paper” swaddled in multiple layers of plastic if they have to pay for it?

Honestly, I don’t even see the point to hiding pads and tampons. If you’re a woman, chances are that you get your period on some sort of schedule. There’s no point in trying to deny the fact, nor is it something to find embarrassing. I choose to look at menstruation as the female equivalent to burping – it may be a little messy, but it happens to everyone at some point. No big deal.

I don’t even care if someone sees a pad in my purse when I’m reaching in for my wallet. They’re just another past of the smart woman’s arsenal of tools.

But that’s just my opinion, of course. To get a more rounded idea, I decided to ask my boyfriend what he thought about it, because I can totally tell when he’s just telling me what I want to hear.

He thinks the double-bagging practice is pretty pointless. In fact, periods don’t scare him at all. At the same time though, he can see why women freak out about their pads and tampons.

“It’s projected onto them by male society,” he told me.

It makes a lot of sense. Some guys are still mystified by the whole menstruation thing, so it weirds them out. Some women pick up on that vibe, so menstruation becomes yet another thing polite people don’t talk about.

On top of that, some beliefs place certain restrictions on women if they’re menstruating. I’m not very religious, but it bugs me that I couldn’t touch a Quran if I was on my period. (To be clear, I know not every Muslim believes this – it’s just something I’ve been told, and an idea held by some.)

Seriously, there are a lot of things more disgusting than a bit of blood and some unneeded tissue. It’s time to grow up.


One thought on “Embarassed about your period? Don’t be.

  1. Most of the time, I don’t use bags. I typically pick up one or two necessities at a time unless I’m doing actual grocery shopping — which, as a college student with a meal plan, doesn’t happen often. When I’m buying feminine products, I make no exception. I walk right out of that damn store carrying the box of tampons in my hand. As a former cashier, though, I know most women aren’t comfortable with this… and it bugs the hell out of me. I’m tired of women feeling ashamed of themselves, their bodies, and the natural processes we all go through. If menstruation were a male thing, you can bet that buying tampons would be as simple as buying a roll of toilet paper: normal, natural, and nothing to be ashamed of.

    As a side note, I’m a big supporter of canvas bags when it comes to shopping — regardless of what people are buying and how they want to hide it, see if your store will enforce that! We don’t tax the plastic bags over here, but the grocery store I worked at gave a 5 cent discount on each canvas bag the customer used. It really cuts back on the use of our paper and plastic bags.

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