by Fatima Allahnanan
“You shouldn’t have given it to him!”
That was the reply I got when I sent the gateman to buy me sanitary pad.
Why is my period a taboo?
My sister wasn’t too messy for me to notice her period before I saw mine. But I saw the sanitary pads and they gave me some anxiety.
This isn’t the first time I am told to hide my bloodstains like they would make the world polluted for some minutes.
In high school, when some female hygiene group would come to educate us on puberty and hygiene, they always gave us free sanitary pads. The bizarre part has always been going back to the hostel with the pad. Senior students would tell us to hide our sanitary pads to prevent the guys from seeing it.
Imagine hiding my sanitary pad from Aneke, who helped me in drawing and labelling the female sex organ and ovaries and testicles in biology class. It was too hypocritical for my existence at that time.
Imagine the gross look on the face of the gateman when you send him to help buy sanitary pad. The disgust on the driver’s face with 3 female children.
Every day, not 1 or 2 but more than 7 females go through puberty feeling like they are deprived of a part of them. There is a feeling of shame society tries to put into them because of a monthly package that is universally known.
It is okay to tell your brother, dad, husband, colleague, gateman, driver, nephew, uncle to get a sanitary pad for you. It is okay to be stained publicly because sanitary pads shift and there are substandard pads in Nigeria which the government does not give a hoot about and you cannot control the flow of blood down there.
It is okay to talk about periods.
*Fatima Allahnanan is a lifestyle blogger by day, and a 1000-year-old-wise-woman 24/7, 365 :). Her blog covers a wide range of subjects and has interviewed a rich variety of people.
Joy, Inc. is a teaching and media company mainstreaming the research and evidence on human flourishing and positive emotions to transform the culture and build a new generation of Africans focused on the greatest happiness for the greatest many.