Y’all might think this post is way out in Too-Much-Information Land, but I’m so shocked/peeved I’m (muff)diving in regardless.
In Europe and the rest of the modern world, the feminine care section of a shop features a variety of special cleansing soaps for women’s sensitive lady parts. Abroad these products will range from perfumed to all-natural, and there will even be special towelettes that you can put in your purse, say for the times you’re on your period or when it’s very hot outside. It’s sort of a crazy area of the body, what with tenuously balanced microsystem of flora and fauna, and thus pH-balanced cleansers aren’t just a luxury, they’re a necessity for gynecological health. At least for mine, anyway.
Being the seasoned traveler I am, I brought enough of my favorite product with me to get through six months, naively thinking that I would be able to find a new wash locally as I have everywhere else in the developed world I’ve lived.
Yesterday I ran out. Today we went to seven different shops including three organic-oriented establishments and guess what? There was only ONE brand, and even the so-called sensitive version was filled with chemicals, coloring, and fragrances. Big no-no’s for a healthy lady garden.
What each of the stores DID have were row upon row of perfumed deodorizing suppositories, deodorant sprays, yeast infection treatments, powders and other accoutrement to apply to a woman’s nether regions.
Oh my God.
So, instead of giving women what we really need — a nice chemical-free feminine wash that promotes a healthy and clean vulval area — all we are offered are a range of artificial items that in fact throw our systems out of whack, thus requiring all the over-the-counter medications to counteract our now poisoned (and subsequently stinky) ya-yas.
Wash with our perfumed soap! Itchy? Use Vagisil! Feeling less than fresh? Spray on a Spring Blossom scent inspired by air fresheners! Now rinse with our unnatural soap! Got a yeast infection from the artificial scent? Try Monistat! Yeastaway! Then rinse with our Delicate Blossom fragrance! Start the whole cycle again!
Talk about a Medical Industrial Complex at work. Why don’t they want us to have flourishing maps of Tasmania? Is this a more subtle form of the War on Women? Just the thought of all those synthetic products near my muffin — near ANYONE’S muffin! — makes me itch.
Here in Florida temperatures soar to 95F on a regular basis, with humidity levels being almost as high. Personal hygiene is important anywhere, but especially in extreme temperatures like this made worse by air conditioned shops and homes. How do Florida’s women cope without a natural hoo-ha soap? Or are they existing in a perpetual state of bacterial imbalance? My privates ache, and not in a good way.
Again, I’m back to the idea of not just an illusion of choice in this country, but of a systematic and pre-meditated lack of health-promoting options, further evidence that the American governmental system and corporations prefer (female) citizens to be ill and uncomfortable. Sick and miserable people are so much easier to control than healthy and happy ones. Lord knows, when my Georgia O’Keefe is upset I’m not all that far behind her in my own moodiness and discomfort.
In the end I was forced to order the American version of my favorite European brand from the evil empire of Amazon.com. Fingers crossed it will be true to the original. Otherwise I’ll be back again with another TMI post on my unhappy version of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party.
A note to savvy export entrepreneurs of the world: Please provide American women with healthy, chemical-free and natural alternatives for all measure of personal hygiene, not just lady flowers. I’ll only accept a 1% commission on your sales for bringing this oversight to your attention, thereby making you a millionaire. You’re welcome.
©Sezin Koehler, image by Zuzu O’Keefe (oil pastel on paper)