Saturday, May 10, 2008


Warning: If you don´t want to read about "that time of the month", better known as menstruation, then please don´t read any further!

As often happens with women, Vilma and I are pretty much on the same menstruation cycle. This happened to me at my last job in Portland too. All the women would have their periods at the same time each month, give or take a day. Anyway, she usually starts first and then one day or so later I get mine. Here is a picture of some pads from Brazil. The name "Sempre livre" means "Always free" and "com abas" means "with wings or tabs".

Learning about the "female condition" and how it is viewed here in Brazil has been an interesting experience, to say the least. Here are some notes about what I have come to understand about "menstruacão".

  • People are a lot more open about talking about it, men and women. I once had a Brazilian guy try to give me advice about what kind of pad to buy (I wanted tampons, and he couldn´t understand why I would want to use them because they are more expensive than pads)! You can just call in sick to work and say that you have cramps and the other person (man or woman) will say in a sympathetic voice, "Ohhhh, tranquilo".
  • Women here don´t use tampons. They also are not into using any of the alternative types of feminine hygiene products that some women in the US use, like the keeper.
  • Many women stay in bed all day long on the first day of their period, no matter what (like Vilma!).
Anyway, these are the main differences between here and the US with regards to "the curse". I guess my last question is, why does writing about this topic involve a lot of quotation marks?

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Hey! I really like your blog. It seems the American experience in Brazil is often quite similar, if you haven't already noticed from my blog. My boyfriend's sister always announces to everyone when she has "colica" and retreats to her room and no one bothers her. Weird.