Two days ago, a screenshot accidentally sent out by a netizen on Weibo received 70000 comments and more than 2 million likes, and the topic was quickly searched.
The screenshot is an e-commerce platform bulk sanitary napkin purchase page.
I searched the e-commerce platform and found that the large bags of sanitary napkins like the one in the picture cost no more than 30 pieces and are packed in transparent thin plastic bags.
The display charts of e-commerce platforms are so rudimentary that I cant imagine what it really looks like, let alone how it will be used.
However, bulk sanitary napkins are not the core of the problem. According to the investigation of news media, some of these loose sanitary napkins are produced by regular manufacturers. In other words, they are qualified goods.
What triggered the discussion was the second screenshot:
Some people kindly remind on the page of these loose sanitary napkins: how dare you use such cheap Sanwu products?
Even if its as cheap as 20 cents a piece, there are still women who reply, there are difficulties in life.
The person asking the question may be out of concern, but the person replying is full of heartache.
In places beyond our reach, there are still many people who are experiencing unimaginable poverty and hardship.
However, as always, why not eat minced meat appeared on the Internet: now who doesnt have 40 yuan a month? If you drink a cup of milk tea every month, why do you save this money?;
Sanitary napkins are consumer goods that need to be taxed, so the prices are on the high side. When women called for tax-free sanitary napkins, some people said, since sanitary napkins can be tax-free, why cant we tax-free sneakers?? Others said, sanitary napkins are luxury goods. The old generation of proletarian revolutionaries used straw paper. Why cant you?
The former group who thinks how cant afford it can be said to be limited by experience, and the latter is purely self righteous preaching by men.
I even want to save the energy of scolding, but I feel disappointed. I change Lu Xuns words to say: the joys and sorrows of men and women are not clear. I just think they are noisy.
However, what I would like to discuss is: how do we, as well as our children, understand these difficulties beyond life experience and these women who have difficulties?
Why do we all need to know menstrual poverty
When I was a child, I lived in rural Zhejiang. My mother was both a textile worker and a farmer. Because of the economic constraints, I had to help my mother wash clothes when I was very young.
When it comes to busy farming, how can you rest because of your menstruation? The coarse large toilet paper is folded into a long strip and inserted into the menstrual belt. When it is too late to change, the trousers will be dirty.
In those days, my mother spent nearly 20 years, until the second half of the 1990s, when the economic conditions improved, she began to use independent sheet sanitary napkins.
My mothers generation has some problems with reproductive tract infection. Although it cant be completely attributed to such conditions, it cant be denied that it has something to do with it.
I thought it was 20 years ago, but I didnt expect that using toilet paper, rags, socks and even straw ash to solve the problem of menstruation is still happening.
Our social networks are full of rich people, but its often hard to imagine how poor people, especially women, survive.
This reminds me of the discussion that Japan is China in the future when the book female poverty was published in China in 2017.
As a text version of a documentary produced by NHK TV station, the book reveals the life of poor women in Japan that has not been paid attention to by mainstream media
Some of them gave birth to children early, but their father disappeared. Before they had a foothold in society, they needed to bear another child. Because most of them are from poor families, and no one can help them take care of their children, these young women can only choose to do temporary work without any security, and some of them eventually go to romantic places.
The most terrible thing is that poverty can not be alleviated, even to the next generation.
This is only one of the reasons for womens poverty. The low status of women in Japanese society, the serious discrimination in the workplace, the large proportion of informal employees, and the overall lack of social security make it difficult to break the vicious circle of female poverty.
In the face of these causes of poverty, menstrual poverty seems obscure and insignificant.
But in fact, it is also one of the causes of female poverty.
Whats more, its something that only women encounter.
Menstrual poverty refers to the fact that some women are unable to obtain basic materials for menstrual health management due to the influence of backward concepts and economic factors.
This leads to the following situations: because there is not enough sanitary supplies, you have to stay at home during menstruation; because you cant go to school normally, you cant keep up with your studies; because you dont go to school, youre unemployed, youre poor, youre forced to get married and have children
In African countries like Kenya, women even sell their bodies in exchange for sanitary napkins. In India and Nepal, menstruation is considered ominous, and women are killed when they are driven to little black houses far from their houses.
If it had not been for this discussion, we would have known only menstrual shame but not menstrual poverty.
But this matter is hidden in the buyers who reply life is difficult.
According to statistics, 40 million women worldwide are suffering from menstrual poverty.
A survey in the UK in 2017 showed that one in 10 young women aged 14 to 21 could not afford sanitary supplies, and half had been absent from school because of menstruation; in the United States, the proportion was one in five.
There are even British housewives in the supermarket struggling to buy a packet of sanitary napkins or the whole familys food for a day.
Its hard to imagine the event of unable to afford sanitary napkins in 2020, when we generally need 20 yuan for a take away meal.
On the one hand, there are girls who are so poor that they cant afford sanitary napkins. On the other hand, sanitary napkins, which are essential daily necessities for women, need to be taxed at the same rate as luxury goods.
In China, the VAT is 13%, in Germany is 19%, in Sweden is 25%, in Hungary is 27%, in Britain is 17.5%
If you, like me, think that the cost of buying sanitary napkins every month is very expensive, and you always wait until October 1 to stock up, you are right. It should be cheaper.
I have no answer.
According to the calculation of aixiaoya fund of China social welfare foundation, the number of girls aged 12-16 in physiological period accounts for about 10%, nearly 4 million people, and are mainly distributed in 169 deep poverty-stricken counties.
In fact, not only these 4 million girls need loose sanitary napkins, but I also saw a large number of maternal questions in the Q & A of bulk sanitary napkins.
Many people dont know that they need to use sanitary napkins when they just give birth to their children. The time for removing lochia is short for a few days, and it takes a month or two for a long time.
Now most of the pregnant women use comfortable and safe pull-up pants, but these cheap night use sanitary napkins in bulk are the best choice for those with poor economy.
From the first menstruation to college to having children, a woman has to go through 450 menstruations in her life. Sanitary napkins are actually very easy to calculate, but no one can use numbers to determine the shame, self denial and dilemma brought about by menstruation.
These are the real sources of poverty and inequality.
Try every means to help first, not to question
Among the tens of thousands of comments on loose sanitary napkins, I also saw some enlightening messages:
I remember a piece of news from the previous two days:
An old man was driven off the bus by the driver and the passenger because he didnt have a smart phone and a health code.
It was sad to see the old man in panic trying to resist the crowd.
Not everyone can keep up with the times. Whats more, 200 million elderly people in China have not been exposed to the Internet, so they dont deserve to enjoy public transportation?
In the process of searching for e-commerce platforms, I also saw that some people would leave messages in the shops of bulk sanitary napkins: would you please take care of yourself?
Its like someone points to your nose and says, God, why do you use this stuff??!
It is these prejudices and accusations from all sides that together form the wall of depriving women of self-confidence and constantly denying themselves.
Like menstrual poverty, most of the time we just stand on our own side and ask, why cant we afford it? But it ignores our own limited experience, not broad and rich perspectives.
Last year, momself once discussed a topic: if you are poor, dont have children. is that right? More than 500 people left messages backstage, and many replied, this is it. They are so poor. The children are born to suffer.
Opinion dispute is a good thing. Many times readers reply brings us more in-depth thinking, but what should be avoided is to question and criticize when our cognition is not enough.
What we need to do is, as the previous reader said, do everything possible to help.
After the fever of loose sanitary napkins was found out, her words kept circulating in my mind
Please dont use your efforts to win or lose on your own.
Please dont be arrogant, but admit your weakness and support each other to live on.
Yesterday, a post-90s boy who paid attention to our company name asked me, do you want to write about menstrual poverty??
I was very surprised.
As a father to be, I care about the rights and interests of every young mother, he said.
I became a little happy again, at least from him, I received the confidence that paying attention to women is never a womens one-sided thing.
There are some of my real experiences in the article
If youve had menstrual shame before
What I want to say now
Im looking forward to your story and your point of view