Sunetra Sarker accused of teaching son periods 'shameful' in Loose Women clash
8th April 2022

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Sunetra Sarker was accused of teaching her son that periods are something to be ashamed of during an intense Loose Women segment.

Actress Sunetra joined Christine Lampard, Nadia Sawalha and Lady Leshurr on Friday’s episode of the ITV panel show, where the conversation turned to the continued stigma around periods.

Pharmacy chain Boots recently announced they would no longer call refer to sanitary towels and tampons as ‘female sanitary products’ and will instead call them simply ‘period products.’

The change will first appear on the Boots website and app, and will be rolled out in-store later in the year, when the ‘female hygiene’ aisle will be renamed to ‘period products’ aisle.

Nadia welcomed the move, saying the term feminine hygiene makes you ‘think of something a bit dirty, like there’s something dirty about periods or unpleasant about periods.’

Sunetra however said she ‘completely disagrees.’

‘I like that female hygiene is for a lot of things, it covers periods and everything I don’t want to tell everyone about all the time,’ she said.

‘If I’m with my son, he’s aged 12 or 13 and I’m bringing him down a ‘period aisle,’ then I’m letting him know!’

She added: ‘I wouldn’t really want him to know what time of the month I’m having my period.’

Sunetra went on to say there was ‘a girl code about talking about periods,’ and the phrase ‘period aisle’ would make her ‘feel a little bit outed.

Nadia shot back, saying she was ‘so shocked’ at Sunetra’s reaction.

‘Without periods none of us would exist – your son wouldn’t exist without your period!’ she said incredulously.

To which Sunetra replied: ‘I understand that, that’s not the problem.

‘The problem is labelling it something that says “I am having my period today which is why I’m coming down this aisle”, and I’d rather not share that information with everyone who’s watching me.’

Nadia accused Sunetra of teaching her son that ‘there’s something shameful’ about periods, but Sunetra insisted she thought of it more as ‘secretive.’

The clash sparked conversation on social media, with all genders flocking to Twitter to voice their opinion on the feisty segment.

One user said the idea of a period product aisle was ‘great,’ writing: ‘There is no shame in people having their period and because there are other issues you can have with menstruation, opening up the honesty around menstruation is very much needed’.

Another agreed: ‘It shouldn’t be feminine hygiene because nothing about your period is unhygienic, periods say exactly what it is, we shouldn’t ever be ashamed of having periods and we need to be inclusive of all those who bleed.’

Others empathised with Sunetra, with one viewer writing: ‘Who here wants to explain periods to their 6 year old boys?

‘My son says “what are those” I shove em in trolly and say “cleaning cloths” I’m not embarrassed at all but if I explain to him that I bleed for a week he isn’t gonna take that well (sic).’

It shouldn’t be feminine hygiene because nothing about your period is unhygienic, periods say exactly what it is, we shouldn’t ever be ashamed of having periods and we need to be inclusive of all those who bleed. #LooseWomen

Period product aisle is great. There is no shame in people having their period and because there are other issues you can have with menstruation, opening up the honesty around menstruation is very much needed #loosewomen #pmdawareness2022

this woman in green is making me angry #loosewomen no way should we feel embarrassed about it being called period products. shut up

As a man, I am baffled by why women don’t want to mention periods. It’s actually annoying that they don’t tell you about it, I don’t want to be ignorant. Half the population have them, it’s normal, it’s not shameful or dirty or anything. #LooseWomen @loosewomen

Who here wants to explain periods to their 6 year old boys? My son says “what are those” I shove em in trolly and say “cleaning cloths” I’m not embarrassed at all but if I explain to him that I bleed for a week he isn’t gonna take that well #LooseWomen

#LooseWomen Re ‘period aisle’ I don’t like @BootsUk idea of ‘name the reason you’re there aisle’. As a post-menopausal woman I have to ask what would be next? ‘Stress Incontinence’ aisle’, ‘Forgotten why you Came in there in the First Place’ aisle?

Another viewer agreed she didn’t like the idea of Boots renaming aisles to state exactly the reason you were visiting the shop.

She asked: ‘As a post-menopausal woman I have to ask what would be next?’

Following the segment, rapper Lady Leshurr – who was appearing on the panel for the first time – admitted the discussion had been ‘intense’, while Christine described it as ‘feisty’.

Christine added that differing opinionsmakes the show what it is, and welcomed the debate.

Loose Women airs weekdays from 12.30pm on ITV.

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