An ode to the men who buy sanitary napkins for the women in their lives
Why are they shy when there's 'men' in 'menstruation'?
Not so long ago, I was asked to fill in the 'what are you looking for in a partner' column of a matrimonial agency's enrollment form forcefully by my parents.
Almost ignorantly, I listed my requirements as follows:
'Tall, well-spoken, confident, honest, caring, well-educated, handsome, blah, blah, blah'
But my recent experience of watching a man struggling to utter those two words 'sanitary napkin' in front of the chemist made me realize that I had completely missed out on one very rare but super important quality that every man must possess.
No I'm not talking about loyalty here. I am talking about the ability of a man to walk up to the chemist and ask for pads or tampons without an iota of shame or embarrassment on his face, or that stupid black polythene to cover up the neon green packet.
Is It Too Much To Ask?
Adding this quality in my form might not go down too well with the mediator, the boy's parents, or with the boy himself. However, you can't blame your own lack of confidence in buying something as natural and normal as a sanitary napkin on a girl's mindset, right?
So, call me 'demanding', 'too forward', and 'unsanskari' all you want, dear members of our patriarchal society/future saasu maa--but I would be more embarrassed to walk next to your narrow-minded son than he would ever be while buying a pack of sanitary for me.
Why Are They Shy When There's 'Men' in 'Menstruation'?
Ever noticed how most of our problems have men involved? MENtal illness, MENtal breakdown, MENopause, GUYnecologist, and well--MENstruation? While these may/may not have men involved directly, what's the harm in them taking some responsibility, going up to the chemist and buying a goddamn 'feminine napkin'? After all, this word too has the letters 'M', 'A', and 'N', right?
On a more serious note, these period essentials that men shy away from were actually initially made for men. Not because they bled down there at one point (though I really wish they did to understand what we women go through), but because during war time, absorbent cotton pads were used to cover their wounds.
Which is where Kotex got the idea from and started manufacturing sanitary napkins for women. So, I don't get why men simply stopped at giving the life-saving idea. What's wrong in helping with the execution now?
Hey You, Pad Man, You're My Super Man
While watching a stranger go like, "www....wwh....whhhiii....whiiiisssss.....whissssp...whisper dena" at the chemist made me cringe, seeing this guy friend of mine rushing to buy me a pack of pads when I was unable to move and returning unabashedly with the uncovered neon packet amidst stares minus any awkwardness almost turned me on.
Not literally, but you get the point, right?
So, men like him do exist. And we need more of them for sure. No, I am not glorifying his deed because he did the most normal thing in the world, but it really was a pleasant change to witness.