It’s one of the most expensive, prestigious leisure centres in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. There’s a state-of-the-art gym, overlooking a 50-meter indoor pool, and it’s listed on Lonely Planet as a “luxurious and modern” attraction for health and fitness travellers.
Just not for women on their periods.
The Vake Swimming Pool and Fitness Club has a strict no-menstruating-in-the-pool policy.
A fact brought to the forefront of public consciousness when Sophie Tabatadze posted an image of the centre’s noticeboard to Faceboook.
Her caption read:
“Do you even realise how offensive this is?” she asked, tagging the leisure centre. “And, by the way, since according to your rules we are not allowed to use a swimming pool 5-6 days each month, do we get a preferential price compared with men?”
But she wasn't "shaming for shaming sake". Tabatadze had a broader purpose.
“My goal is not to shame them for the sake of shaming,” she told BuzzFeed News. “Overall misogyny is so widespread in this culture that sometimes companies/people make mistakes unconsciously. The real test is how they respond when they are exposed.”
The club's response? Likely not exactly what Tabatadze had hoped for.
“Our statement is not sexist and has a preventive objective,” the club responded.