Woe be to any person trying to navigate an unfamiliar grocery or drugstore to find feminine hygiene products, because there oft is no rhyme or reason to their placement. What is tampon? How to sanitary napkin?? You'll find Ravenclaw's lost diadem before you find a simple period product, and nothing quite sums up the struggle as brilliantly as this mother and daughter text exchange about finding tampons. Belinda Hankins sent her 13-year-old daughter Isabelle on a tampon run, and the resulting conversation needs to be printed, framed, and hung up in a hall of "Moments The Patriarchy Was (At Least Temporarily) Smashed".
It's not exactly breaking news that periods are still incredibly taboo in 2016. Despite the massive percentage of the population enduring this natural biological phenomenon, people are uncomfortable talking about it and frequently period-shame women who are open about it; Instagram has infamously taken down photo series with period content in the past. While it might not seem like a big deal, it is a testament to a larger issue: the internalized idea that women should feel shame for and apologize for their bodies, held to a standard that men simply are not, and put in a position where they are often not able to or embarrassed to get the help and care that they need to thrive.
And yes, the impossibility of the simple task of finding a damn tampon has everything to do with that. Even when we need them out of sheer, impersonal necessity, it is hard to access tampons and pads — the lesser version of the difficulty to access birth control and other primarily female medical concerns. But Isabelle and Belinda at least have a glorious sense of humor about it, and shared the screenshot evidence on Facebook.
Here it is in all of its chronological glory:
First off, #bless this kid for her use of caps lock. I feel very connected to her on a spiritual level now because it is the exact syntactic feeling in my heart whenever I am trying to find the tampon aisle.
When the movie version of this comes out I hope the soundtrack is as harrowing as the real event.
This took a turn from Frustrating Shopping Trip to Awesome Amazing Feminist Parenting territory so fast and I am so here for it.
Important: What is the vaj mobile and how can I drive one??
BRB, getting a tattoo of that drawing all over my face and wearing it proudly until the end of damn time.
I'm glad that this epic tale of period heroism had a happy end, even if it will, unfortunately, repeat itself approximately 13,000 times per person who uses feminine hygiene products over the course of their lifetime. In the meantime, Belinda and Isabella: 1, Patriarchy: 0.