Friday, November 11, 2011

Behind Glass

One of my biggest frustrations about grocery stores is that they put condoms and pregnancy tests behind glass. The stated explanation when I've asked? "Well, they're one of our most shoplifted items."

This is very subtle slut shaming.  Perhaps they're most one of the shoplifted items.  I actually would really like to see some statistics about this subject.  Statistics of how many condoms they have shoplifted and then statistics about how many condoms they sell before put condoms behind glass and after they put them behind glass.

Four years ago I can only think of one store that kept condoms and such behind glass.  Now I can only think of a maybe a handful that don't.  At this point in my life I would be completely comfortable asking a person if I could get some condoms, but that's not the point.  The point is that by putting them behind glass you're making teenagers and people just beginning to have sex ashamed that they're having it.  You're making them endlessly self-conscious about having to ask someone about something that they aren't comfortable telling the whole world, because we are constantly told sex is shameful.

And what about pregnancy tests?  I know several adult women (older by me by nearly ten years in a lot of cases) who are trying to have children tell me that they aren't comfortable having to ask to get a pregnancy test.  How then are young women who are afraid that they're accidentally pregnant ever going to be able to approach some one?

Shop lifting would go down if we were more educated and more accepting and putting condoms and pregnancy tests behind glass is not the correct way to handle this situation.  We ought to be promoting use of condoms and they way to do that is make condoms actually accessible.  I'm not even talking about free condom give away, I'm just just talking about not shaming the poor people who are actually doing the right thing and being safe and using condoms.

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