period pieces: dear tampons
Period Pieces is Melbourne Fringe Festival comedian Loani Arman’s hilarious new series on menstruation. Be sure to check Lip every Wednesday for new instalments.
From: Loani Arman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Wed, 12 August 2015 2:57:15 PM
To: Tampons (email@example.com)
It’s time to break up.
I remember the first time we met. It was the 90s, I was 11, and my mood ring had turned a miserable shade of grey because I had just gotten my first period. My Mum handed me a huge box of you, and after some trial and a lot of error, I finally worked you out… or so I thought!
I had seen the ads and thought that by using you, I would spend my period days dancing around in a white dress or riding a horse on the beach – no red stains in sight! I would look like a model, have really attractive friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, and be laughing so much that PMS wouldn’t dare come near me. My period would be fun with you by my side!
Of course, I soon realised that periods are about as fun as having teeth pulled and that you could never ‘cure’ me of menstruation.
There was nothing that you, or your friends Pads and Panty Liners, could do to stop the bleeding or slam the brakes on the emotional rollercoaster that I would ride every month. You could never convince me that I didn’t look like a bloated whale or a pre-pubescent teen with a zit explosion. You could never ease the headaches, the heartaches, the backaches, the womb aches, or the ‘my entire body has been stuffed inside a blender and is now collapsing out of itself’ aches.
What you could do though, was keep me clean and healthy, and help me fight the war against stains.
For more than 20 years, you have been by my side: storing yourself in my handbag, my bathroom, my spare bathroom, my Mum’s bathroom, my gym bag, my fridge, my boyfriend’s car, and my work desk. We’ve been to Mexico, Indonesia, Guatemala, New Zealand, Japan, Dubbo and Gosford together, and you were even there when I got engaged.
I have always thought of you as essential, necessary and crucial to making my period manageable.
But, I was wrong.
You’ve been deceiving me, Tampons. You’re not essential at all. You’re not necessary, and it turns out, I don’t need you.
I know about the “Tampon Tax”. I read the papers and I know that there’s a 10% GST applied to every purchase of sanitary products in this country.
If it weren’t for the Australian Government looking out for the women of this country, then I never would have been told that sanitary products aren’t essential!
Sanitary products are a luxury, just like menstruation, reproductive health and being a woman. Silly me for believing that women were key players in the procreation of the human race.
My heart is breaking at the thought of having to dispose of you but at least I have condoms, lubricant and nicotine patches to comfort me. Those products don’t have GST applied to them, so I know they’re essential to my life.
I’m not sure what I’ll use to manage my period now, though. I did consider stuffing entire rolls of toilet paper into my undies, but then I found out that toilet paper is a luxury product too. Duh.
In Sierra Leone, where many women and girls don’t have access to adequate and affordable sanitary protection, they resort to using old rags and leaves and tree bark during their period, so I could always try that. I doubt the Australian Government has taxed bark… yet.
There’s nothing left to say now but goodbye, Tampons. I’m not sure if we’ll ever meet again, but you’re probably too busy living a life of luxury in someone else’s vagina to care.