A Bloody Mess

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toallas-sanitarias-reusablesOn May 28th Venezuela celebrated the International Menstrual Hygiene Day.  On that day, we embraced:

…the opportunity to create awareness of the right of women and girls to hygienically manage their menstruation – in privacy, safety and with dignity –

Because,

good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) plays a key role in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential.

Access to sanitary napkins, tampons, menstrual sponges or other means to manage our periods is vital.

How vital? Well it’s considered a form of domestic abuse when your partners limits, hinders or controls the way you manage your menstruation.

Think about it. How would you, as a woman, manage if you didn’t have access to any form of menstrual hygiene product, and wouldn’t have access to it in the near future? Would you go to work tomorrow? Or to school? Probably not.

Venezuelan women have enjoyed their right to hygienically manage their menstruation for many years. Now, things are changing.

Two weeks ago, new controlled prices for some toiletries items was published.  A pack of 8 tampons will run you about 1.300 Bs.. Your garden variety menstrual pads will cost you about 350 Bs. per 8 pads.

Lets do the math: you change your pad/tampon every 6 hours, so you use 4 a day. The average period will last about 4 days, that means that you, a la chiquita, need two packs a month. If you are a pad user, you just spend about 700 Bs. on your menstruation. That’s about 10% of your minimum wage salary.

If you are a tampon user, that’s 2.600Bs. More than a third of minimum wage. Ouch.

Oh, you say, just switch to pads then, they’re cheaper. But here’s the catch,

  1. NO, I should be able to choose the menstrual hygiene product that I feel comfortable with and
  2. You can’t find the regular sanitary napkins. Actually, you can only find postpartum sanitary pads that cost a whopping 1.389.23 Bs. for a pack of 6, S-I-X-. So you would need at least 3 packs during your period. That’s 4167.69 Bs. More than half of the minimum wage.

And if that isn’t bad enough, the complete breakdown of the production system, means that you will find just one brand, just one type. And this is not, “Oh well I couldn’t find Fama de America, so I’ll drink Santo Domingo”. No, sanitary napkins are a deeply personal choice, and the one that fits me like a glove might give you a horrid rash. I have two sisters and we all used different brands and kinds of menstrual pads.

To counteract the problem (?), some revolutionary women have been marketing the “Revolutionary Menstrual Pads” and the backlash has been appalling.

People calling women dirty, sick and crazy for choosing reusable menstrual pads, men saying that they would never sleep with women who used them, women being insulted at the idea that they should have to retouch something stained with their menstrual blood,  because, you know, our periods are dirty dirty things and we should hide it or just leave the village until that blood stops flowing. Shame on you.

Now,  I don’t find reusable sanitary napkins a bad idea, the amount of waste we generate during our menstruation is alarming, and I’m one to think that anything we can do to not only decrease the amount of waste we produce but also to “improve” the quality of that waste is a good thing. This is actually a movement that is gaining traction in the developed world.

When I first saw the story, I had my reservations about reusable sanitary napkins, mainly over the matter of possible bacteria and yeast growth on the fabric and the apparent danger to my reproductive system,  but after much research I learned that they were safe if cleaned correctly.

But in Venezuela, it’s just not practical for all – many Venezuelan women live in places with  a precarious water system and have a hard time finding soap or detergent. For me, this would makes using reusable sanitary napkins a nightmare.

What else exists?

If your are the lucky few that stills has your Cadivi dollars, or live in Caracas and can go to Aquamater, you can buy menstrual cups. Made of latex or silicone, they are small receptacles that go in your vagina, similar to a tampon. They come in a wide variety of shapes and colors (even pink!). They don’t absorb the blood, rather they collect it. Again, it takes water and soap, but not as much as laundering sanitary napkins, and they require less changes in the day.

Nonetheless, this is not for everyone. Not all have access to internet, cadivi, not everyone is comfortable with their menstruation, some women may experience discomfort, some women may  find it uncomfortable emptying the cup, and others may just not want to stick a piece of silicone up their vagina. It’s their choice.

Except, we really don’t have many choices these days.

As the revolution chugs on, women are remain – as always – disproportionately affected. So here’s another tip for our clueless, sexist opposition leadership: take up the issue of feminine hygiene, one that really affects Venezuelan women, one that is entirely the government’s fault.

Do it for your mothers, your wives, and your daughters. Hell, do it for your mistresses. Just put it out there.

1 COMMENT

  1. what a depressing topic; I applaud your bravery, Audrey. But I have questions.
    why aren’t menstrual cups out of some bio-degradable material, other than silicone or latex?
    why aren’t the marketers of the revolutionary pad doing something about the collection of a substance that could feed the plants in their gallineros verticales?
    I mean, there’s some vital, rich fertilizer that women produce that should be better harvested.

    (and part of me is not kidding)

  2. Now HERE is an example of someone going beyond changing her Facebook icon to a rainbow. Great work confronting a real problem in real time.

    Syd, you need to look up these cups. They aren’t disposable, they are more like clothing or an appliance. They are expensive once (about $40 here in Canada) and then they can last for about a year. They fill up, get dumped & cleaned, and used again. Here http://divacup.com/how-it-works/your-first-questions/ You’re welcome

    • Only one testimonial in the English-language section, from a ‘Becky’ in B.C., no reviews from any others, and zero reviews among German, Spanish and French speakers.

      I’m gonna pass.

      • I’ll give you a review Syd since I’ve been using it for three months now. It’s great, it isn’t as messy as it sounds, instead a find it way more hygienic than pads and tampons. In my case because I live in Australia, its not saving me more than 5$ a month, BUT for someone living in Venezuela it’ll be much more than that. You don’t even have to spend more in soap since it doesn’t have to be washed with soap every time you change but once a day. And as an extra plus it is very convenient if you play sports/ exercise regularly.
        If I find a cheap way to send some to Venezuela to my family I’d do it.

      • Oh, I use them too. Found it hard to get used to during the first cycle but now I find it very comfortable and practical. If my calculations are correct, I’ll be saving about 30$ this year. For me, the best thing is the amount of trash you avoid while using these options.

  3. It isn’t just females menstruating, but, to a lesser extent, oldsters with leaky bladders, men who’ve had prostatectomies, etc. The issue clearly needs to be addressed, perhaps electorally, since disposable sanitary napkins/tampons have been non-existent in Venezuela for some time–which begs the question-what DO Venezuelan women in general do to solve the problem, since the Revolutionary reuseable product is in short supply, if at all?

    • But you can’t politicize the issue! Because then it’ll become invalid as a part of a hate campaign against the country, the children, the elderly and the women of the pueblo! D:

      I mean, what could be more important than women having the right to use and choose sanitary pads? The PATRIA, of course! NOTHING else matters! You can’t go betraying Venezuela complaining about something as shallow and capitalist as sanitary pads! No sire! D:<

  4. Something else:

    Why are the military so over-represented among our deputies? Should the CNE not force the parties to have less than 5% of candidates who are military?
    What about representation for age? Now Chavismo wants to have an over-representation of those under 35 years old even if the average voters’ age is 42-43.

    • The actual percentage of military in political affairs according to constitution must be zero.
      Maybe the next step would flat out say that the quota for candidates has to be that 100% of them have to be chavistas.

  5. Excellent campaign idea for Maria Corina, Lilian, Patricia, Lady Ledezma, and the rest of the MUD’s leadership.

    This could certainly be addressed tomorrow at the ONU, except these delicate Chavista flowers here will be representing Venezuela:

    “El Estado venezolano deberá presentar mañana un informe ante el Comité Derechos Humanos Civiles y Políticos de la Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU), que lo interpelará en la ciudad de Ginebra, Suiza. Delcy Rodríguez, canciller de la República, se reunió con Luisa Ortega, fiscal general de la República, y Sandra Oblitas, rectora principal del Consejo Nacional Electoral, para evaluar el texto que será presentado, publica La Verdad.”

  6. And women’s menstruation is just one “feminine” item, albeit obviously an important one, as many of us gents just learned reading this post, just the tip of the iceberg.

    Other “problematicas” for Women: (as our putrid politicians like to say, inventing words as they go along..)

    Certainly diapers, pampers for vulnerable babies, formula, bad, expensive or missing doctors….

    http://elcomercio.pe/mundo/actualidad/sos-panales-agridulce-espera-madre-venezuela-noticia-1791280

    But we already know who is to blame for all this: The relentless Economic War from the Ultra-Derecha Impire and the Bogota-Miami-Madrid axis of Evil..

    Or perhaps the Galactic lack of education of Millions of men and women who still believe that.

  7. The problem with the product, as usual, is a result of the stupid price regulations and dollar monopoly from the regime, it’s a waste of air to discuss that because everybody knows.

    You claim people has “the right to choose their brand”, well, chavismo says that is capitalism and consumism.

    Also, this is quite old news, the so called “reusable pad”:

    Don’t be a sifrina, “bájale dos a la vida”

  8. At the risk of alienating half the human population and risking never again having sex…

    No, women do not have a “right” to whatever sanitary products you want. Disposable manufactured sanitary napkins didn’t even exist until the 1940’s. Before then, women still had many options, though not as many as now. The fact of the matter is that the currently preferred disposable products are very convenient, but they cost money to manufacture, and must be repurchased regularly. They are very common and popular amongst women in modern developed countries. Why? Because they can afford it. In poorer non-developed and developing countries, larger percentages of women use non-disposable options. Why? Because they can’t afford it! And they don’t claim that they have a “right” to them.

    Face it… Venezuela has been transformed into a poor country. For the majority of Venezuelans, all sorts of conveniences, products, and services are now beyond their purchasing power. The standard of living for Venezuelans of all classes has fallen, and will continue to deteriorate. Middle class Venezuelans used to feel they had a “right” to travel two, three, or more time per year. Obviously, that ship has sailed. Now, the falling standard of living is cutting into basic things such as personal hygiene. The standard of living is falling because productivity and GDP per capita is falling. In terms of raw economic numbers, Venezuela is now poorer than the majority of African nations. So, ladies… many of you can no longer afford the disposable sanitary product you are used to. I know that this is traumatic. You have never been forced to live without them. You will need to learn how to use the other options available. I don’t mean to imply that this is comparable, but men are using their disposable razors three or four times longer than would have before. We are all using our soap bars until the slivers are so small we can’t even grip them. We don’t get haircuts nearly as often.

    My point is that everyone in Venezuela is suffering and it will get much worse before it gets better. People are dying for lack of medicines. Malnutrition is rising and before this is over, we will see real hunger. So, stop whining about your “right” to things that you can no longer afford. It is not productive, and is not attractive.

    • Ah, the typical “kids are starving in Africa so you should eat the utterly disgusting vomit inducing-crap I’m serving” excuse, it never fails, man, never…

    • Las primarias del PSUV fueron ayer… Deberias estar durmiendo.

      Que coño haces escribiendo en una computadora? Antes de los 40 nadie tenia computadoras.. En Africa no hay computadoras.

      Este blog se ha llenado de progres HDP que justifican TODO, definitivamente.

      • Es que de pana, parece que hasta justificara el que alguien se muera por no conseguir una medicina para alivianar unos síntomas, conozco a más de uno que tiene esa mentalidad.

  9. “NO, I should be able to choose the menstrual hygiene product that I feel comfortable with”

    But you said it yourself, beggars can’t be choosers. If you can pay you can choose.

    So what is your proposed solution?

    My proposed solution would be to eliminate the price controls. They are the cause of the scarcity.

    • But if you eliminate the price controls, how are the boliplastas going to make a living from extorting prices 50 times higher? Have you got no heart? D:

  10. So Lucena wants 40 percent of the candidates to be female but Chavistadom limits access to basics for women to appear in public. Such a sad government. Maybe Maduro needs to experience a bloody period during the next election.

    • At her advanced age, TibiBitch seems way past any abundant revolutionary menstruations. Sadly, menopause affects even the Filthiest, Richest whores of Chavismo . She does enjoy the finest luxuries Capitalism has to offer, that’s for sure. Restaurants in Paris, London leaves in the park, free German grand pianos, endless marble floors and what have you, on her mansions in Country Club, and Lucifer Himself only knows what that innocent-looking demonia possesses throughout USA, and Europe.

      She doesn’t exactly sponsor Maxi-Pads Bolvarians, you see, she’s Chavez’s Smartmatic favorite pet. El Mago Rodriguez, Delcy and her Highness TibiBitch are constantly “pampered” by the fraudulent Venezuelan Olivetti lottery machines distributors, so while she exhibits all the gifts and gargantuan Tigritos left all over her disgraceful trail, she sadly forgets all about women and their periods. Shall we call her… Lady Tibismatic.

      http://www.maduradas.com/al-descubierto-riquezas-y-lujos-de-tibisay-lucena-tras-servir-por-anos-al-regimen-chavista/

    • Let me remind you that according to the new guidelines recently approved at the UN Office for Political Blogs Affairs, 20% of the posts in this kind of blog should contemplate masculine issues, 20% feminine issues, 20% transgender issues and 40% racial minorities’ issues.

      I don’t want to believe that a progressive blogger like Audrey is only concerned with matters affecting her own gender and ignoring other oppressed people’s problems. Yes, a post about prostate exams should definitely be next!

      After we get that, she can write a post about something which scarcity is affecting equally everyone! Suggestion: the lack of cotton buds!!!

      • How about a post about contraception, both genders: free condoms, free morning-after pills, even all forms of permanent sterilization for free, like gasoline, free, vasectomies, vaginal devices..

        Whatever it takes to stop poor, under-educated Venezuelans from multiplying faster than rabbits, Hundreds of thousands of teenage pregnant girls, promptly abandoned by their macho, under-employed, ignorant “parejas”, ..forced to “criar a toiiticos estos muchachos solita..”

        Women’s pads and hygiene, sure, but how about Broken families, Ranchito homes with no father and 7 kids, talk about a massive freaking problem in Kleptozuela..

  11. I have been thinking about this post, mixed feelings.

    I understand that losing such a convenience is annoying, and in this case it can ve VERY annoying, but I disagree that having brands of feminine products to chose from is a “right”. It’s no different than not having different options for baby diapers. Or adult diapers, for that matter, and I never heard that it’s the right of a baby or the right of an adult with incontinence to chose brands.

    In the case of baby diapers, I was one of those babies that used cloth diapers. My mom tells me that she paid for a “diaper washing service”, every couple of days. The funny thing is that there is a big, big movement to go back to cloth diapers because they are ecologically friendly and much more affordable, so they are, as far as I know, having a big come back.

    • I guess you skipped this paragraph in the article:

      “And if that isn’t bad enough, the complete breakdown of the production system, means that you will find just one brand, just one type. And this is not, “Oh well I couldn’t find Fama de America, so I’ll drink Santo Domingo”. No, sanitary napkins are a deeply personal choice, and THE ONE THAT FITS ME LIKE A GLOVE MIGHT GIVE YOU A HORRID RASH. I have two sisters and we all used different brands and kinds of menstrual pads.”

      I am no woman, but I think I have to agree with her on that account.

      About the cloth diapers being “more affordable”, think again, when was the last time you could buy cloth soap NOT in the black market? Months ago? Did it run out or is about to? Yeah, I thought so; and ok, let’s think that this “diaper washing service” you speak about nowadays still exists, or that the people doing it do it right (Because you won’t want to give your little knee-face a diaper that might contain traces of bad-washed poop), and, HOW MUCH ARE THEY CHARGING FOR IT NOW??

      Disposable cleaning stuff exists for a reason, and it’s not due to “exacerbated consumism to follow the brands or trends”

      • Sure Ralph, sure.

        Did you know that some people also can have rashes depending which laundry detergent they use? And that some other people can have allergic reactions to different type of clothing (and I haven’t seen disposable shirts or pants in the market to solve the issue, right?). Same thing goes to deodorant, shampoo, and many other products that are scarce in Venezuela, Including medicines and antibiotics, the lack of options is not exclusive to feminine products.

        I really feel that we tend to focus on those little things that bugs us, and forget entirely about the big picture, which is the failure of the economic model in the country.

        • You are reinforcing my point then by acknowledging that the issue of being able to choose from one brand to another is based in actual and valid reasons rather than a stupid consumist sifrino streak (Which is the meaning of “hey, you don’t have the right to complain about not being able to choose”)

          I never mentioned “disposable shirts and pants”, I said “disposable CLEANING PRODUCTS” which are a completely different stuff (Stop putting words in other people’s mouths), and yes, I consider diapers and pads as cleaning products, not as actual clothing.

          I was annoyed by the attitude in your comment because you basically said there “it doesn’t matter that people can’t buy diapers now, they should just go and use cloth diapers, it doesn’t matter that they have to pay thousands more to hire someone to wash them nor that they have to waste several hours and lots of soap washing the diapers by themselves”.

          It was just like some years ago a woman once told me in a supermarket that “she didn’t understand why the people was angry at not being able to buy corn flour, because they were in love with Polar’s brand, that they just could go and replace it with arepas made from milled corn, or from yuca flour they could make themselves”, my answer to that woman was “Sure, lady, let’s leave the ‘brand love’ aside for a second (Because there is NOT A SINGLE BRAND of corn flour AT ALL), but you are going to stop sleeping then for sure, because have you considered that to make milled corn arepas you need to spend at least like 4 to 5 hours? Or did you know you need even more time to process yuca? Corn flour exists as a means to save time and work preparing a food, not because it’s a trend.”

          I don’t need to say that the woman kept shut like a coffin, because she just realized how silly her conformist comment sounded.

          • I didn’t say that. Let me try to rephrase my thoughts:

            1) The problem in Venezuela is much, much bigger than being able to find feminine products, or different options”.

            2) While we look for a way out of this economic mess, we have to be able to look for options to deal with the scarcity. Crying over not finding the brand of pads I like – or work for me – seems to be a little childish, at least for me. Most specially when there is a big portion of poor women in the country that simply can’t afford to buy any of the expensive brands.

            3) Almost everybody in Venezuela is making a sacrifice of some sort just to deal with this mess and how it’s affecting their personal interests. Some people are even left to die because they can find the right treatment.

            4) The alternatives to feminine products are there, even if we don’t like them. Even Audrey taked about not being opposed to washable pads. Just like using jabon azul rallado instead of powder detergent, or concha de platano rallada en vez de carne mechada, por mencionar

            En fin, que hacemos? Resolvemos o nos sentamos a llorar esperando a que alguien mas nos solucione nuestro rollo?

          • Well, you don’t get the point, I see.

            Also, you posted your suggestion incomplete, you should have said “Resolvemos y escondemos este peo debajo de la alfombra porque mi síndrome de Estocolmo me impide ver que es otra metida de pata más de un gobierno que no sirve para un carajo y que ha hecho caer mi calidad de vida nuevamente.”

          • Carolina,

            You comments are perfectly clear. Some folks just don’t want to understand. We have the adults like yourself who can accept and face up to the facts. And then we have the children who want to whine until mommy and daddy come fix their problems.

          • You forgot the cynical folks who prefer to completely ignore the problems and call everybody else a whiner.

  12. Chronicles is losing the plot in its entirety.

    Yet another article on “Government seriously fucked us today, but make no mistake, it is for our own good and i will show why!”

    Why not Stockholm Chronicles?

  13. Ahh, but Audrey, your gasoline is the cheapest in the world!

    If you were given your share of the petrodollars, and a free market decided prices, then YOU would be able to budget YOUR petrodollars to, maybe, buy less gasoline and more and better sanitary products.

    But that is not the way of 21st Century Socialism. Government will set prices and use YOUR petrodollars to subsidize products in a way that they, in their infinite wisdom, see fit. Lots of cheap gasoline. Expensive, scarce feminine hygiene products. Government knows best!

    Everyone who reads (and writes for) CC knows this. Just thought it needed to be restated.

  14. Dear Audrey, thanks for addressing such an important (and ignored topic). For the past couple of weeks I’ve been looking into the purchase and shipment of menstrual cups to my sisters and some friends, because what they are paying for hygiene products (when and if they find them) is insane, as you rightly point out in your article.

    Some of the comments are just appalling though (e.g. @Roy). Women’s rights are human rights. I’ll just leave this here for the perusal of those interested in the subject:

    “The taboo of menstruation helps to inflict indignity upon millions of women and girls, but it also does worse: The grave lack of facilities and appropriate sanitary products can push menstruating girls out of school, temporarily and sometimes permanently (see also water sanitation and gender).

    Stigma around menstruation and menstrual hygiene is a violation of several human rights, most importantly of the right to human dignity, but also the right to non-discrimination, equality, bodily integrity, health, privacy and the right to freedom from inhumane and degrading treatment from abuse and violence (WSSCC 2013).”
    http://www.sswm.info/content/menstrual-hygiene-management

  15. Ok guys. If we are going to take this issue to the human rights level, lets then include adult diapers in the mix, shall we?

    My mother in law is 79, and she is early stage of dementia. Her family cannot find adult diapers in San Cristobal. It’s not even a matter of choosing a brand, it’s that there is none. The only option her caretakers have at times is to wash her.

    Another one: my father. He passed away two years ago in a nursing home in Caracas. He also suffered from dementia and needed diapers. Back then the home required a certain brand of diapers because “the generic ones leaked”. They requested around 12 diapers a day, plus bed centers (also difficult to find), plus a whole bunch of other toiletries. The cost of the home was back then around Bs5800 a month, plus another Bs1400 for the toiletries, not included in the monthly payment. I don’t even want to think about how we would be doing today.

    Is it aging with dignity a human right?

    Again, is it finding the right brand of a pad a “right”?

      • Ralph,

        And who is going to pay for your “rights”? Are you going to violate the rights of others to provide the “rights” that you think are priorities? Isn’t that how Venezuela got into this mess in the first place? Carolina is totally correct to question if “rights” is the correct way to look at this.

        • I am not saying that because they are rights, they have to be free or at the expense of others, way to aim outside the pot, dude.

          It’s a right that a woman can find a brand of pad that suits her needs, so is as well that the same woman can find diapers for her eldery relative whose prices don’t skyrocket due to the ridiculous monopoly of dollars imposed by a tyranny that literally destroyed the value of the people’s savings.

          It’s the easy way to just shrug and say “well, can’t do anything ’bout it, let’s wait ’till some miracle happens, maybe they’ll get cancer and die, some day, and in the meantime, I’ll wipe my blood with vea pages.”

          Oh, I forgot your point, who’s gonna “pay” for the right of not having your savings value destroyed? THE ASSHOLE CRIMINALS WHO SHOULD NEVER HAVE STOLEN THE WHOLE RESERVES OF CURRENCY IN THE FIRST PLACE. Because, if they didn’t stole the dollars, maybe, just maybe, the dollars wouldn’t be valuable as frikin’ gold with diamonds these days.

          But I see your point, you claim that bullshit of “it’s everybody’s fault, except it’s not the fault of anybody with a name” that chavistas enjoy so much to excuse their idiocy.

          Right now, YOU, ME, and EVERY VENEZUELAN from EL PERRAJE is PAYING for the so called “rights” of a bunch of fucktards: Right to drink overage wine, right to have bulletproof Hummers, the right to have millions of dollars in properties in USA, in short, their self proclaimed right to live as fucking emperors while we all eat a wire.

          • Well, I certainly agree with most of that. The only thing that I get bent out of shape over is when people abuse the concept of “rights” and claim that everything that is generally desirable should be a right.

          • What you are invoking is your right to complain about the mismanagement by this government.

            The argument others are making and that you seem to dislike so much is that the word “right” should not be trivialized. That in no way means that one is accepting the situation and taking it sitting down and doing nothing about it. It is an outrage that people have to endure all those hardships and people should get mad because they can’t get their preferred sanitary option. But lets not confuse that with rights:

            from Wikipedia:

            “Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory…

            Rights are often considered fundamental to civilization, being regarded as established pillars of society and culture,[2] and the history of social conflicts can be found in the history of each right and its development. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “rights structure the form of governments, the content of laws, and the shape of morality as it is currently perceived.”[1]”

          • Roy: Ok, if it irks you so much, then exchange “sanitary pads” with any other product that could be considered important, then you’ll see it’s not about trivializing the rights as it seems.

            Amieres: So, according to your logic, being able to choose the version of a product that suits your needs in the best and most satisfying way possible according of your possibilities, is not a right.

            Sure, pal, sure, you an go and stick newspaper pages in your underwear then if you want, just try to get this tiny thingie in your head: You can do that if you want, but you can’t obligate everybody else to do the same, which is exactly what the chavistas have been doing during these last 16 years.

          • “being able to choose the version of a product that suits your needs in the best and most satisfying way possible according of your possibilities, is not a right.”

            Of course that is a right, the key part being “according to your possibilities”. What is not a right is to be able to afford all the options. Human rights are fundamental principles (life, education, health, freedom, freedom of expression, justice, vote) and being able to afford non essentials is not a right.

          • “…non essentials…”

            So, for you, cleaning products are “non essentials”, I guess you won’t ever get the point.

  16. If we started counting, and then ranking Human Rights chronologically, from conception, through life with dignity till death, for both genders, how high on the long list of priorities would preferred-brand pads be?

    • Sorry, dude, trying to give a priority or order to human rights in order to decide which one should be forsaken is simply not logical.

      They are all human rights, their priority is the same, obligatory, period.

      • That is not a tenable position because resources are limited and it gets to the point where you need to decide which “rights” to sacrifice to sustain more important “rights”.

        You say rights are obligatory and all the same, well, exactly whose obligations is it to provide ample variety of feminine sanitary options? And whose obligation is it to ensure that dialysis patients have access to medicine and equipment to survive?
        If it was your responsibility which would you tackle first?

        • Both, because that’s where you as a government create clear rules of commerce game, so the merchants that sell the sanitary products can carry a steady work, and also with the taxes you collect from every person in the country, you invest those into building a health system where people can have access to critical assets to survive as the ones you mentioned.

          Why everybody should pay for a health system that works (In reference for the guy that asked “who’s gonna pay for a right” question)? Do I really have to explain that?

          Goddessdamnit, is that such an eldritch notion that so many people seem to find it so hard to wrap their heads around?

          • Really? you are just avoiding the question. I’ll try again.

            You stated that rights cannot be prioritized. You said that is illogical to try to do so, their priority is the same.

            So I ask:
            Do you think that the “right” to have access to many feminine hygiene options is as important as the right to have access to dialysis to survive?

          • You asked the question, and I answered it, then you ask the same question again, thinking that somehow it’ll change the answer I’ll give to you.

            This is the bloody bald rooster tale all over again…

          • People like Ralph…

            They want what they want and think that makes it a natural law of the Universe. They seem to be unable to see that something given away to someone on one side must be taken away from someone else on the other side. Perhaps they failed to grasp basic algebra and do not get that the equations must balance. It is people like this, who think that governments are capable of granting all their wishes, who are the most vulnerable to populist demagogues.

          • And yet amieres and you are the ones who show the most chavista streak here.

            While amieres goes into full “gallo pelón” mode, wanting to hear from me what she (or he, don’t know the gender just from the nickname) wants to hear, and when she doesn’t get the answer she wants, she blatantly ignores it and asks the same question again. Not counting the idiocy of “sweep the problem under the rug, maybe it’ll dissappear that way” (Sticking your head in the ground for not using the other metaphor, a very chavista behavior, excusing every problem because “problems that don’t directly affect me are nto problems” and going “gallo pelón” when they hear or read something they don’t like)

            And you, well, just have to take a look at what you said in this thread to see how much you care about something as basic as the people’s right to have access to a trivial cleaning product, or about the definition of “what is a right” in general, claiming once and again that the issue is a zero-sum game, where no one’ll produce anything and thus everything has to be pried off the hands of one to be given to another one. (Chavista train of thought again, where you can’t conceive that the riches can be produced and put to work to multiply so people won’t have to be a leech their entire lives.)

      • Of course not. We barely have the Right to have children, without medicine and proper care ar the rotting hospitals, they die, Not to mention 100 other horrible things thank rank higher in importance than the preferred brands of grown women’s menstrual pads.

        Isn’t 25000 Dead from violence every year a bit more important, the HR to Live and not get killed with complete impunity? Or you want to spend time talking about the right to air conditioning on public buses too?

  17. Yes, I believe aging with dignity should be regarded as a right.. I’m sorry to learn about your dad. Scarcity in general is a big pain in the ····

    My mom got bit by a dog last month. That’s about the time we learned the hard way that anti-rabies vaccines are VERY hard to come by nowadays. Fortunately the dog was fine and so is she. We got lucky this time.

    @ Palate: Also, I’m used to people getting aggressive/dismissive whenever women’s rights are discussed. As if women were somehow a whining minority.

    Obviously there are worse problems than not having access to proper higiene products. Does it mean that we only get to discuss the issues that make it to the top three of your list? or that those are the only problems that need to be addressed?

    Hopefully not!

    • Of course not. And of course female hygiene, or aging with dignity is important.

      But when you have 50 problems in front of you in the morning, when you start your day, what do you do?

      Hopefully, you look at the big picture, prioritize, and get to work. Hopefully you’ll have time and the opportunity to solve ALL your problems, great, but probably not. So you start by having breakfast, if you can find the food. Then brush your teeth.. Then try to make it to work in one piece without getting killed. etc.. Time for Pads? Great, go for it!!

      • Excellent idea! From now on I’ll schedule my periods to get them only when I have time for pads. I wonder how I never thought of that.

        • Awesome. Please do take care of that before you speak at the UN.

          Thankfully, meanwhile, women like MCM, Lilian or Patricia prefer to utilize their time working on slightly more important matters that their preferred menstruation-control methods. Like 25000 dead every year, freedom of speech, political prisoners, Chavista dictatorship tactics, and so on.

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