Sophie Tabatadze, a member of Vake Swimming Pool & Fitness Club, posted a picture of a sign announcing the club’s new rule to Facebook, writing, “Do you even realize how offensive this is?”
The club, however, told BuzzFeed in a statement that the rule “is not sexist and has a preventive objective.”
“We had a case, when the water was contaminated due to which the we had suffered damage,” the club added in the statement. “We try to follow norms of hygiene and we ask our members to do the same.”
Never mind that swimming on your period is perfectly hygienic.
A pool staffer told BuzzFeed that they’ve found tampons floating on the surface of the pool, and that it’s costly for the pool to change the water.
But the pool’s price tag is costly for its members, with an unlimited pass costing about $440 Georgian Lari, or about $187 USD, a month.
“And, by the way, since according to your rules we are not allowed to use a swimming pool 5-6 days each month, do we get a preferential price compared with men?” Tabatasze wrote on Facebook.
Sexism and misogyny remain problems in the country. The Women’s Fund in Georgia notes that violence against women and suppression of LGBTQ women remains prevalent. In 2012, BBC reported that the head of the Georgia Orthodox Church said at a Sunday sermon that men should be in charge of the family and women should be waiting at home to wash their husbands’ feet.
“My goal is not to shame them for the sake of shaming,” Tabatadze told BuzzFeed News about why she posted Vake’s rule. “Overall misogyny is so widespread in this culture that sometimes companies/people make mistakes unconsciously. The real test is how they respond when they are exposed.”