By Sum Atieno
Every Sunday evening in the intolerant streets of Nairobi right in some dimly lit chemist stands a girl whispering a prayer, cursing silently as she tries not to have direct eye contact with the pharmacist as she purchases the morning after pill. The questioning eyes of the chemist make her postulate how she will talk him into using condoms next time, a tall tell but a girls’ got to do what a girls’ got to do. She thinks she is the only woman in his life and even if he does not glove it, she’s safe…another educated illiterate.
Condoms are a girls’ best friend in private but funny enough their biggest foe over the counter. A woman who carries around condoms is presumably promiscuous yet we expect men to dish them out every time we ask for them. We unsparingly boost the morning after pills industry yet we’d have lessened the hustle from the word go.
Surprisingly women are not the only culprits, some of these men do not know how to glove it.
Now what made me write this?
I was recently given an assignment to conduct a social experiment on the reception of chemists to their contraceptives clientele. Well I’m lying, I just have to use euphemism or socially accepted words to decorate the fact that we have sex but we fear people’s perception.
I went to the chemist to get condoms, tactlessly I made my order. A crowd had formed and being loud mouthed I asked the chemist what condoms he had. Then there was silence in the room, everyone gave me that ‘hauna hata aibu’ (you don’t even have shame?) look but if you know Macy too well, you most definitely know I hardly give audience to people’s misinterpreted perception about me.
The guy serving me literally had to conceal the condoms as he packed them, he took a brown bag wrapped them hurriedly and gave them to me. I walked out of the chemist amid questioning stares.
From a survey conducted by the World Health Organization(WHO) women are at a higher risk of contracting the much dreaded HIV virus compared to men. Women also lead in the numbers of those infected by the virus.
Why? Yet a lot of sexual education has been done, we have even been taught to wear female condoms in most public fora but still yours truly has no idea of how to even use it.
Women have been empowered enough to unchain themselves from backward stereotypes.
If you still believe that people will judge you wrongly for purchasing condoms yet you treat yeast infections monthly because your guy refuses to take meds and worse still he refuses to glove it then you still need to subscribe to the monthly newsletters of ‘I am foolish and I don’t know it’