This weekend, it was a rare moment that I had a conversation with one of my guy-friends about a period-related matter or more precisely, tampons. I’m sure those who follow my site closely (or not) pretty much sees the dead giveaway that I’m a pad-lover, much more so than tampons. Hell, I don’t need to use them, so I guess it doesn’t really matter what I like more 😆 but suffice to say, I don’t hate tampons. Anyways, back to the story… my guy-friend, let’s call him “G” complained that with the summer creeping upon us, that he’s getting frustrated his girlfriend doesn’t go swimming with him whenever she’s on her period because she doesn’t use tampons. One of the remarks he made which made me think about writing this entry was, “[His girlfriend’s name] is being such a little girl. Why can’t she grow up and use tampons?”
You can imagine thereafter I gave him a 25-minute lecture on the subject of tampons and that tampons is not some kind of status symbol or a way of differentiating girl from woman because that is just absurd. However, this notion was not only by him, but even some arrogant-tampon-using-girls say the same thing, they believe tampons are a sign of “being a big girl” when in fact, I can’t see how the choice of feminine hygiene products is a way of defining “being a big girl.” Perhaps my views are a bit different, only having 2 of my (ex) girlfriends who use tampons, one actively and one who tried upon my recommendation. Reading a lot of chats or forums, I have found many girls will chastise fellow-females who do not use tampons – it’s amazing rather than encouraging and being supportive, they ridicule pad-users. It is as if for guys, buying one type of condom makes you a better/lesser of a man!
Let me reiterate to guys if you’re not clear (and I suppose those arrogant girls too) on the matter, but whether your girlfriend/wife/significant other uses pads, tampons, menstrual cups, sea sponges or even rags does not define her womanhood. As much as I hate to use wikipedia as a “good source” of information, I should note that…
Womanhood is the period in a female’s life after she has transitioned from girlhood, at least physically, having passed the age of menarche.
As you can see, at no point is being a woman, grown-up or brave being attributed to the use of tampons or other forms of internal protection. As far as I understand, the use of feminine hygiene products is a matter of personal preference, although there are some women who are against/cannot use/afraid of tampons, it doesn’t make them any less of a person. I happen to think all my pad-using (ex)girlfriends are perfectly fine women, in fact, I’d be more likely to be strict pad-users as opposed to strict tampons users… although using both is a total winner 😆
I think it must be very tough for a girl to have to deal with menstruation and also having to deal with friends/classmates who place a lot of pressure in her to using tampons because it makes her a “big girl”. I swear sometimes it is like a “cult” where girls feel the need to assimilate one another. Although I recognize that tampons are an excellent feminine hygiene product due to its size, allow swimming during menstruation and discreteness when inserted, I would not use the word “superior” to describe it. Every form of menstrual hygiene has its advantages and disadvantages and I think it’s extremely obnoxious for men or women to define for one another what is “better” because after all, it is the individual him/herself that’s using it.
I advised “G” of several ways he could attempt to persuade his girlfriend to use tampons if her swimming on her period is a huge concern. Naturally, it is outside the rights of a guy to force his girlfriend to use something she doesn’t like, but it is always valid to express your opinion and see if she feels comfortable with the idea. It took me about 3 months of persuading my ex to try tampons for once and she was pleasantly surprized with her experience. Although she has discontinued using them, at least now she can make an informed decision on her choice of menstrual protection. I wish “G” best of luck in talking with your girlfriend and seeing whether she is willing to use tampons so you two can spend the summer together actively for water activities 🙂 If not, at least you got yourself an awesome pad-girl 😀 because they rock anyways, lol.