Walking past this advertisement a few days ago, I smiled. I looked around to see if the women passing by were thinking the same thing I had in my head. There were about a dozen posters with similar message.
All about periods.
I thought to myself, ‘isn’t this wonderful that it’s no longer a shameful thing to have posters talking about stuff that was once a taboo?’
Oh, well period is still a taboo in many countries of the world.
And in my dear ol’ Nigeria, it is not a taboo perse, not from where I am from. However, there are still so many myths around sanitary towel/pad disposal.
This reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend few weeks a go. We were chatting about her new business idea which will include dealing with hundreds of young adults monthly.
Because sometimes, dreams do come true so we dreamt on. So I reminded her that it is important to include toilet in the building plan from the onset. And the need to have a borehole as she will need uninterrupted water supply.
‘And please separate toilet by gender so you can provide bucket for ladies for their used sanitary pad disposal as need will arise.
This is where she had a fit of laughter on me.
“No way will I supply any sanitary disposal bucket” “The whole town will probably lay a siege on me!”
“They’d say I am collecting their periods for ritual”
“Have you forgotten…?”
She continues to remind me of many stories that our people tell about periods and rituals. Most people are aware that was not true that anyone uses used sanitary pads for rituals but we repeat the same story anyways so younger generation are paranoid and go extreme length to make sure their used pads aren’t used for ritual.
My understanding of the myth surrounding period was that period is seen as unhygienic bodily fluid that women need to be ashamed of, therefore we must keep it secret and not talk about it.
As nature would have it, this is one thing that we don’t have total control over, most healthy women will go through the same process, every month – finding better, cleaner and dignified ways of dealing with that time of the month is welcome in my book.
Below is the comment from nairaland on sanitary pad disposal:
“For me i find it safe to burn sanitary pads, people do scavenge for used pads in refuse dumps for ritual purposes, its either u flush the tissue part of the pad or u burn it,.. Better safe than sorry!”
Not too surprising that a few people burn their sanitary pad every month. This particular lady prefers to be ‘safe than sorry’ One wonders – safe from what or whom?
Another lady from the same thread says she rinses her disposable sanitary pad before she disposed of it – this is all to make sure that juju man would not squeeze the period out for his next potion.
I am grateful for the enlightenment. It is interesting to read some of the comments and to learn that people are terrified of what they can not point their finger to.
Knowing how myths of the unknown can lay heavily in minds, for those who are terrified of the ritual man/woman getting hold of their used sanitary pads, why not try menstrual cup, it will need getting used to but by far the most appropriate for our clime.
Alternatively, thinx or similar products.
Voila! no more monthly anxiety of the ritual man.