I explained tampons – and it was a moment.

A happy tampon.

June 28, 2016
A Hotel Deck

Dear Kate,

Since turning 40 my never all that well organized life/in-box/to do list seems to have reached a new level of chaos – hence the unintended mini sabbatical on letters….oddly I regularly think letters to you that I don’t end up writing.

Lots going on -but what comes to mind today is that I had one of those rare parenting moments: when good intention meets the realization that actually in midst of the all demands it creates, parenting is also an incredible social impact opportunity.

It’s something mainstream culture actually needs to talk about more – because it would help us re-frame and value care so much more than we currently do.

All of this from a tampon commercial.

My eldest aka (“Boy 1″) and I were watching dog videos on You Tube (have I mentioned project get a dog which is currently underway?) and a tampon commercial came on at the start of the clip.

He of course asked what a tampon was –

Conversationally and casually I explained what thy are for; that women including myself use them  and that even though people are often silly about them, really it is like a toilet paper.

We then had an awesome conversation about how in parts of the world like rural India (which my kids have been to) girls have to miss school because they don’t have tampons or pads and that men like Donald Trump use women having their period as an attempted insult because they want to make them feel bad about what is a normal and natural process.

And Kate – it seemed to click.

He asked me whether animals get their periods too and this led to lots of complicated googling because I had no idea – thank you BBC.

In that post glow of a good parenting moment – my to do lists, frustration at project not moving fast enough and general standard stresses paused.

I grew up intrinsically linking shame to getting my period and instead of resenting the mainstream and South Asian cultural norms, adults and comments that made me feel like that, I just hated/resented getting a period.

Tampons were always supposed to be hidden in the bathroom away from sight, tucked up a sleeve if you needed to walk somewhere with one and periods should never be spoken about.

Except of course when asshole adolescent guys would accuse you of “being on the rag” because you disagreed with something  they said or wanted.  I would be angry but also ashamed.

Which is why I love how millennial women are completely and positively reframing this topic (along with so many others) – I find that they are body positive in a way that our generation just wasn’t – or still isn’t. Progress!

And my 20 minutes conversation felt like it was a step in helping set up a better frame on women’s bodies.  It’s my parenting win for the week possibly the month.

But enough on kids.

Tell me, what’s your summer plan? Reading suggestions? Travels?

My hope is to slow down time this summer, and try and wallow in the days a bit more….

Fill me in on life – but only when you have a moment.

xo. Reva

Read Kate’s last letter here
Catch up on past letters here

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