See, here’s the thing: we’ve had a long, long time to figure out how to deal with our periods and adjust accordingly. Maybe if it’s a particularly crampy month, we pick up an extra bottle of Advil and continue on with our daily lives. It’s when you men do something completely illogical—like buy a boat or motorcycle when we’re making homemade laundry detergent from slivers of used soap in an effort to save a few bucks, for chrissake—that we go all head-spinning-Linda-Blair on you. It has nothing to do with our monthly cycles and everything to do with you.
But I digress. Because the whole point of my blog this week is this: I just discovered my current employer now provides sanitary supplies in the ladies’ room—for free. And this one simple decency has completely revolutionized the workplace.
That’s right, ladies: my company springs for tampons. I want you to take that in for a moment. Yes, jealousy is an appropriate reaction. I’m still pinching myself to see if I’ll wake up.
For those of you out there with a Y chromosome, let me explain: we women will spend more in six months on sanitary supplies than most of you will spend on condoms in your lifetime. We’ve ruined countless panties, white shorts, cute dresses, and bedsheets, because Mother Nature is not as regular as you might think, and she likes to surprise us from time to time to keep us on our toes. Women have an elaborate system we put into place as soon as we start a new job: we seek out women close to our own age, and quickly learn if they prefer tampons or pads. This will be our emergency support when accidents happen (and they do). In turn, we try to make sure we have a few extra Tampax tucked away to help out our sisters in kind. And there’s no bonding experience quite like discovering you’ve now grown so close to your female friend, you two are now on the same cycle. But it ain’t easy. And it gets expensive.
Of course, this new benefit wasn’t announced in a memo or anything at work—after all, we’re not allowed to speak of such things, are we? But the whispering last week among the women (one lady was spotted using a panty liner to dab away the tears) was enough to signal bold new advancements were happening in the workplace. Women were smiling. One was even singing. The men looked puzzled. Honestly, I’ve never been so excited about feminine products in my life. And I was feeling something else: enormous pride in the company I work for.
My only hope is that other organizations out there will get on board and start offering complementary sanitary supplies (and no, those stupid overpriced vending machines in the ladies’ rooms that charge a buck a tampon do not count). This one simple benefit turned me from a semi-engaged employee to the company’s biggest cheerleader.
It’s a whole new world, people, though I don’t understand why companies haven’t been doing this all along. After all, prejudice against menstruation should never be tolerated—period.