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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Always Commercials?

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Author Topic: Always Commercials?
LittleMissSunshine
Activist
Member # 33438

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Granted, I watch very little TV, but I happened to see a commercial depicting a young girl from Africa and sanitary products.

The commerical basically claimed that this African girl "couldn't" go to school for one week out of the month and she was losing her chance at a equal education...because of her period and lack of sanitary products.

First off, I'm pretty sure that women (especially in non industrialized countries)
have made it their entire lives without Always products there to save the day. Even in the United States, there is a small but growing number of women who use resuable/washable pads or rags. I'd assume that the same would hold true for women in underdeveloped countries, and would not prevent a girl from attending school.

Secondly, I think it's pretty darn horrible that Always is on some sort of campaign to "sanitize" the rest of the world. If we're all about conservation, and improving the world, the way to do it is not by introducing disposible pads.

Call me old fashioned or backward thinking, but that commercial just rubbed me the wrong way.

Posts: 64 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Actually, this has been a real problem in Africa for some time now and African women and girls have been asking for help.

I'm likely one of the most anti-capitalist people you ever meet, and I have a real problem with commercial menstrual products. However, this is a case where washables would be difficult to use (you have to consider the resources available), and given the cost of menstrual cups, you're not going to be seeing people donating tons of them.

I hear your concerns here, and I agree with them to some degree, but on the other hand, this is a bit of a unique situation, a LOT of women and girls need help with this -- more than individuals could likely give -- so I'm glad that a big company is chipping in. For sure, there are environmental issues at hand, but I think there are times when we have to prioritize, and putting that, in this case, over the education and quality of life of women and girls strikes me as not-so-sound.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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flower_fairy
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Wow... interesting. That annoyed me too (from your description, I haven't actually seen the advert.) What about Mooncups or similar? Work out cheaper and so much better for the environment. Quite tempted to write to them about this!
(oh and by the way you sound completely the opposite of old-fashioned and backward thinking)

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"Life isn't about avoiding the showers, it's about learning how to dance in the rain"

Posts: 46 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
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The problem Heather intended to bring up is that many parts of Africa in that level of poverty often don't have access to the cleanest water available for non-drinking purposes, or even altogether. So, washing a menstrual cup isn't going to be too practical in lots of cases.

Too, it doesn't take some ingenious mind to come up with washable menstrual pads -- women have been using scraps of cloth for centuries. The women there are asking for disposables likely because they've had problems washing and reusing cloth, not to mention girls at school can't well lug around extra cloth and carry around the soiled ones until they somehow wash them at home.

So yeah, I do agree that I wish there was a better way, but disposables are a luxury countless women enjoy, so I don't see a huge problem in providing it as an option when "better choices" (and remember, even that's subjective!) are not practical. :)

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flower_fairy
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(just to say, I posted my reply before having seen Heather's) It's true that it's not as simple to have a Mooncup there I guess. Whole thing just makes me so angry in general - the fact that people have to live without access to clean water etc.

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"Life isn't about avoiding the showers, it's about learning how to dance in the rain"

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, if you want to help out, there are some good charities which serve Africa. UNICEF and Oxfam do a lot, for instance.


I also feel like it's appropriate to get on my bandwagon here and talk a little about why we've boycotted Nestle in my family since around 1977. Actually, that was some of my first activism, going with my Dad to Mom n' Pop stores (this was the era way before the big superstores) and asking them to remove Nestle products from their shelves. Nestle, back and forth for decades -- and this is a very abbreviated version of this saga -- made bank by getting third-world governments to agree to aggressively market (in some cases by dressing Nestle workers up as nurses) their baby formulas with free samples, telling mothers it was better than breast milk. So, they'd stop nursing, use the formula, but then -- because the water they mixed it with, which Nestle knew then and still knows now -- was not clean, their babies would get sick. By the time that happened, their milk supply had dried up, so there was nothing to be done. A LOT of infants got ill, many have died, and over the decades, Nestle would agree to stop this, only to be found to start doing it again shortly thereafter.

So, boycotting them is one more way to help, just know Nestle is a BIG corp. so you have to look carefully at labels to know what's theirs. Stouffers, for instance, is Nestle, as is L'Oreal.

This may also make clear why I'm pretty impressed to see a corporation actually doing something to HELP women in Africa.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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flower_fairy
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Thanks. I am well aware of what I can do to help, but all seems inadequate. In fact I'm hoping to work for a charity once I've graduated next year.
Lots of unis over here take part in the Nestle boycott in their shops, cafes etc.
It's good that Always are doing something proactive, I just wish there could be a better solution.

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"Life isn't about avoiding the showers, it's about learning how to dance in the rain"

Posts: 46 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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