Being a 13-year-old girl is hard. Being a 13-year-old girl with her period on what feels like an impossible hunt for tampons in a pharmacy is harder.
Last Saturday, Belina Hankins of the blog Ninja Poodles, posted a text message exchange on Facebook with her 13-year-old daughter in which she tried to help her navigate those murky waters in search of the tampons.
“THIS was the highlight of my parenting week. Sending my 13-year-old daughter into the store for (whispers) ‘feminine hygiene products,’ and having the following text exchange. I died, she gave me life, I died again,” Hankins writes. “And she drew an illustration, on the spot, ON HER PHONE, to drive her point home. #VaginaLasers #SMASHTHEPATRIARCHY #THEVAGINAZONE #GodILoveHer #IGotThePerfectKidForMe.”
“THEY’RE NOT HERRREEEEE” writes Hankins daughter when she can’t seem to find the tampon section anywhere. Hankins tell her to “look near condoms and sex lube”. But still the tampons are nowhere to be seen.
So, Hankins suggests she try looking near the diapers insisting that “there is no way they don’t carry those essential items,” telling her she’s to “stay in there until you find them”.
Finally her daughter finds them saying, “They’re here tucked away in a corner unlabelled”. And she starts to get it. “They labelled a tiny shelf of joint braces but not the massive aisle of stuff for your vagina??????????” Yes, this is the world we live in.
Hankins fills her in on the fact that “Vaginas are SECRET.” To which her daughter responds with what might just be the perfect summation of what it’s like to be a woman in 2016.
“VAGINAS ARE MYTHS, WHISPERED QUIETLY IN SECRET AMONG ONLY THE BRAVEST OF MEN, COURAGEOUS ENOUGH TO EVEN MENTION THE NAME.”
This 13-year-old is a feminist icon.
“BUT SERIOUSLY, WHY ARE MEN SO AFRAID OF WOMEN AND THEIR VAGINAS,” she asks. “DO THEY THINK IF THEY ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR EXISTENCE WE WILL SHOOT OUR LASER ESTROGEN BEAMS OUT OF OUR EYES AT THEM AND DISINTEGRATE THEM WITH EASE?”
“Yes. Yes they do,” Hankins responds to her daughter’s question. “I will tell you what my mother told me when I asked why society was unfair to women. She said society is controlled by men and they fear us because we are powerful.”
“And that is why we do WHAT every day?” Hankins asks prompting her daughter.
“SMASH THE PATRIARCHY,” she responds back before providing a very handy map for her mother should she ever need to enter that drug store to buy tampons herself.
If anyone can smash the patriarchy, it’s Hankin’s daughter.