This afternoon, I walked in a conversation between some moms of the catholic private school, where my son attends. We were waiting for our children at the soccer training.
Two are sisters, one a teenager´s mom. The younger sister, mom of one, a preschool boy. The third with a 4 year old son, close to her fifty birthday and mother of two teenagers, almost adults. The fourth mom, with two children, one an 8 year old, another a 4 year old. All of us of 38 years and ahead.
At some point in the conversation they were talking about intimate hygiene products and were eagerly recommending them. My head of Fe.rti.lity.Care Pra.ctiti.oner In.tern, reacted naturally to comment that the vagina is an organ that does not require such products to be healthy. And that it is very important that women look for vaginal discharge, because it offers signs of our gynecological health.
With common sense and intuition, and observing what they were saying, quickly I could assume that one is on menopause already, another one uses the pill, other has tubal ligation and the last one, the husband a vasectomy. That is the natural demographics on catholic marriages on middle class in Mexico.
Of course, following the conversation, the younger of the two who are sisters, said that his father in law has recommended her to use this type of products, because they are necessary to take away the fertile mucus, and not having any type of odorous discharge that it causes. Furthermore, that it is important to teach young women about doing this from the very first cycle. Help!
By this point of the conversation, I was sure that the father in law was something related with contraception and reproductive health. So I asked: "What does you father in law do?". And obviously she confirmed, that "He is a doctor of an organization that is the most knowledgeable about reproductive health", implying that he is THE authority about anything in the reproductive system, including vaginal shampoos. I asked her if she remember what that organization was. And she answered that she does not remember the exact name, but remembers that part of the name is Pla.n.n.ed Par.e.nth.ood.
Therefore, I outline a courteous smile and tried to end the conversation.
But then, the older sister asked me: "why we should be aware about what the fluids of our body says?". And I answered that because the body and soul we are, those fluids tell us more, than that we are hearing. And that we should learn to read them and to be aware of them, not only because of our own health, but also because for our marriages and children´s. So she stated back: "well, we can be responsable for what we can do in matter of reproductive health or sexuallity, but we cannot assure what our husbands do, neither, about what our children do."
I smiled while moved my head, trying not to imply anything and trying to think were and how to pull the conversation.
And after few seconds, the woman added: "well, in fact, the only thing that we can do as parents is buying for our boys their condoms when they begin to go to parties. If we do not do such thing, they will forget to use them and they will be in high risk of getting AIDS."
In my mind I could expect hearing that, but my heart was in shock.
What a great ignorance!
The shock helped me to remember what Pope Benedict XVI recently said about ignorance. Ignorance, the beginning of the path toward conversion.
A very heavy motivation to continue my mission as Fe.rtility.Care Pra.ctiti.oner.
Note: I have checked and I discovered that the father in law is a mexican, who is sub-director for latinamerica of an organization called In.tern.ational Pla.n.n.ed Par.en.tho.od Federation.