silence: Menstruation Ahead

Shhhhh…… “it’s that day of the month”.

Menstruation or period has always been taboo. People don’t want to talk about it. It is a natural cycle. And that’s how a female body functions, doesn’t it?

Taboos around menstruation have always explained it to be something to be kept hidden. Religious taboos on menstruation consider women on their periods as “impure”. It is weird how a normal body function can be considered impure.

In Indian, it is not allowed to enter the temple for a woman on her period, or touch the pickle jar. This misogyny doesn’t just prevail in India, but all around the world in their unique ways. Women in Nepal are kept secluded in a menstruation hut, not allowed to enter the kitchen or touch anyone while they are on their periods. Indonesian women face similar issues in India and Nepal. The political boundaries couldn’t have succeeded to unite the nations with menstruation taboos.

Misconceptions, cultural norms and silence has led to living in the dark, letting such taboos build up. People are not enough educated about it as they find it shameful. Many girls around the world don’t know about periods till they have them for the first time. Because of this lack of knowledge and social humiliation women around the world risk their lives. As the period is not talked about, women at some places use clothes to soak up their period blood; at times use the same cloth after washing because, either they feel shameful to buy a sanitary napkin or don’t have access to it.

Even when these sanitary napkins or pads are bought, are wrapped around with newspapers and then put into a black polythene bag, just to ensure double safety so nobody sees it. It is treated as something nobody should find out. Even while asking for it women almost whisper so that nobody in the vicinity could hear about it as it has been taught to them it shouldn’t be talked about.

We have even watched advertisements of sanitary pads on television, where a blue coloured liquid is poured on the pad just to show them how much the pad can soak. But the question here is- do women bleed blue? And the answer is an absolute no. Then why do the advertisements show so? It is just so that the viewers don’t feel gross. But shouldn’t the reality be shown as it is? These aspects also contribute to misconceptions and often confuse.

Out of curiosity, boys in the class often take out sanitary napkins from female classmate’s bags. Lack of menstrual awareness often leads to period shaming, where a girl getting stained from period blood is shamed and mocked leading to humiliation. Not women but men and every human being should know about it. Schools should have awareness programs to aware the students about menstruation and menstrual hygiene. It should also be taught how a person on periods can be taken care of. Periods are a healthy and natural function of a women’s body.

Not just women but also men should know about menstruation and menstrual hygiene. Schools should have awareness programs to aware the students about it. It should also be taught how a person on periods can be taken care of. There is nothing to be embarrassed about girl blood staining her dress, or having a sanitary napkin in her bag. Periods are a healthy and natural function of a women’s body.

Categories: Education, Health

Tagged as: , ,