Feminine hygiene products. Feminine napkins. Sanitary napkins. Sanitary products.

Pads and tampons are given many different labels, but they serve one purpose: to soak up period blood. Red blood of the period kind. It’s a fact of life for many. Deal with it.

Crude signs are taped to many a bathroom wall, born of a hasty afterthought. The signs use outdated, condescending language, to make the reader feel as if their very biology is unclean. These signs shake an all-caps, Times New Roman finger at whomever enters the stall, seconds before they’re about to do their private duty.

illustration of public toilet and sign taped to wall with note: do not dispose of feminine hygiene products in the toilet. thank you.

No. Thank you for the constant reminder that:

  • Only hygiene products of the feminine variety end up in toilets.
  • Microsoft ClipArt tampons look like mitochondria.
  • Periods are unsanitary and unhygienic.
  • My period is (always) coming soon.

Every now and then I will avoid the line to the ladies’ room by making a detour into the deserted men’s room. The wall in the men’s room is bare. Serene, even.