Wednesday, January 23, 2008

...just eggs, a loaf of bread and a box of tampons...

“Honey, can you pick up a few things at the supermarket on your way home from work? We have enough milk. We just need eggs, a loaf of bread and a box of tampons.”

Interesting article, here, that barely touches its topic, "Changes should be for the better." Seven paragraphs that say a great deal about a society, the one here in The Sandbox, yet still, offers very, very little in the way of substance. Typical, rhetoric. Perhaps the author was given a word limit, I don’t know, but the article itself at first, second and even third read makes minimal sense in its discombobulated format. What is most interesting, though, is the choice of “changes” the author chose to illustrate, particularly in this paragraph:
“Women nowadays wear items that used to be taboo. Traditionally, a husband would hesitate to buy female pads for his wife in an isle of a supermarket. He would be embarrassed if someone he knew would pass by and see him check a wide selection of female pads. Now, I see people walk freely in those isles, choose the brand of the pad they like, check the size and take them to the casher [sic] for the payment without any signs of reluctance.”
Yep. That’s what it says. “Women nowadays wear items that used to be taboo.” Surely, I thought, the next sentence was going to read like this: They are wearing halter tops, mini skirts, fishnet stockings and platform boots.” Nope. Instead, apparently, wearing “female pads” used to be taboo. Shocking! Who’d of guessed that pads used to be taboo?!? So, then, if wearing “female pads” used to be taboo, what, pray tell, did these poor women wear – “once a month?” We know they didn’t wear tampons, because finding them in The Sandbox is nothing short of a miracle, as I stated in my comment on this post at blonde sagacity. And, oh, by the way, what supermarket can the author possibly be referring to? I have yet to see a “wide selection” of feminine products at any of the supermarkets we have in the Eastern Province, a limited selection, yes, but not a “wide selection.” The biggest isles they have in supermarkets here are candy isles – not complete isles of “feminine products.”

Apparently, that a husband now walks “freely in those isles,” those isles that at one time must have been “verboten,” a change in this society has been made, and it is not for the better? News flash: Women have been menstruating since the beginning of time and just because in this Country where there is an overwhelming majority of women who belong to a religion where female circumcision [also know as
female genital mutilation] is an acceptable practice, doesn’t mean that monthly menses stop. And, it is not just here, in The Sandbox, that a husband might be embarrassed “if someone he knew would pass by and see him.” I suspect if you did a world-wide census you’d find that a majority of men are not particularly comfortable shopping for their wives “feminine products” even though I think most husbands would do so if asked because really, a normal bodily function is nothing to be ashamed of. You buy toilet paper, don’t you? [Okay. So, that’s the wrong argument to use in this Country.] You do buy diapers for your baby, though, don’t you? What, then, is the big difference?

It is, however, just here, in The Sandbox, where women are not allowed to get in their car and drive to the supermarket on their own to shop – because women are NOT allowed to drive! That men are in this isle where “female pads” are sold can hardly be used as an argument to show that a change has been made in a society where “change should be for the better.” Let us drive to the store on our own. Now that would definitely be an example of change! Unfortunately, though, a change that likely won’t be for the better…

1 comment:

  1. LOL on the tampon comment...I was 7months pregnant on my last trip to the States and stocking up on several cartons of tampons to bring back here with me. Must've been a strange sight.

    I wanted to dance a little jig under my abaya the last time I found tampax on a trip to Dammam instead of those nasty get-to-know-your-anatomy-way-to-well O.B. tampons. I usually wear the big, off-the-head abayas so I could've gotten away with it too.
    I DID dance a jig when I found natural, unbleached ORGANIC tampons at a healthfood store here. Hubby wasn't too happy about shelling out +SR30 for them though...too bad!

    Everyone from my husband to my teen-aged brothers-in-law have bought pads for me and the rest of the females in the family. And this is a pretty conservative town but there doesn't seem to be any taboo about it. Last time I sent hubby into one of those small corner shops to grab me some pads and he leans out the door holding up two different packages of Always shouting, "which one, the blue or the yellow". Him, shy? Naw!

    Just an FYI on the female circumcision info you gave...
    it's NOT a part of Islam and the only place that I know of that does it on the entire peninsula is in Jizaan and a part of Yemen, due to its proximity to the east coast of Africa. In fact, most Saudis from all areas that I've met are disgusted with the idea and from conversations on the topic, no one we know that is of Saudi birth, not Egyptian or African, has had it done. It's something that is indigenous to the culture in the horn of Africa, from Egypt down the east coast, and Christians, Muslims, and animists all participate in it although it's not advocated in any of those religions.

    DaisySSW, Al-Hassa (Hofuf)


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