By Bianca Fernet
Ever heard the old cliché, “happy wife, happy life”?
As one of the sole business ladies in the fields in which I work, I hear this expression frequently when colleagues or clients find themselves doing something they find ridiculous to satisfy the seemingly baffling and incomprehensible desires of their wives and/or girlfriends. And try as I may, I cannot seem to get it through their dense male skulls that she doesn’t only want you to take her to the new restaurant she can’t shut up about – she wants you to want to take her there, and not have to ask/nag/beg for weeks first.
Men and women are fundamentally different, both physiologically and psychologically. And while feminism and technology have made great strides in forcing society to accept physiological lady realities as no longer shameful and disgusting, there are still a number of very normal lady things that Polite People simply do not discuss. Although it is considered fine to slap photos of skinny, naked, pouting girls on just about everything.
In order for our species to continue, women’s bodies serve as more than just shiny silicon-engorged playthings for Tinelli to trot around at the beginning of an episode of ShowMatch. They also make babies, and in order to do so they menstruate once a month. Periods. Gross, right? I know.
Women’s issues, especially those involving shameful and disgusting taboo subjects like monthly bleeding from even more shameful places, are not treated like they directly affect the personal wellbeing of over fifty percent of the population. Argentina’s tight border controls prevent imported goods from entering the country. And while national newspapers are quick to report how electronics, air conditioners, and manufactured goods are in short supply, no one is talking about how since August women haven’t been able to dependably purchase tampons at the drugstore.
Germán Daniele, president of the Cordoba College of Pharmacists, confirmed that since August there have been supply shortages of supply of tampons. To add insult to injury, these supply shortages have also nixed the variety of sizes we picky women love so much, and the only tampons available are the biggest ones.
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s protectionist brand of Peronism may be protecting Argentina from foreign vultures, but by cutting off access to any brand of tampons it is not protecting female comfort or clothing.
In Argentina, imported goods are scarce and more expensive than in other places because the government restricts and places costly tariffs on their entry. While the official explanation for these restrictions is that they protect national producers from unfair international competition, the reality is that every time a product or good enters Argentina, the Central Bank has to fork over precious dollars to pay. Furthermore, these import and export restrictions affect inputs as well as final products, so even local manufacturers are unable to bring consumer-ready alternatives to market.
And while you may think this is a women’s only issue, I assure you that it is not. Happy wife, happy life, remember? So when the significant lady in your life starts acting like a scene from the movie Carrie once a month, do not ask her what’s wrong. Sit her down on the white couch and show her the most recent instance of Cristina’s state of the nation address, Cadena Nacional, to remind her to make the necessary sacrifices for the good of the Patria, even if it gets messy. And take her to dinner without her having to ask first. By Bianca Fernet
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