What makes womanhood special?
Our place in the society from the gendered notions of child-bearing and rearing has undergone transformation in this rapidly changing global environment in recent years. We are single and independent, mothers and leaders, cis and queer, fearless and nurturing. The world is full of choices to be had and possibilities to be explored. Then why leave behind the things that matter?
Kerala has seen amazing dialogues on menstruation and busting taboos in the year we left behind. Groups like Red Cycle, Thanal Trust, Haiku, #HappytoBleed campaign and art collectives have stepped forth to not bleed in silence. Taking this forward, this year, Thiruvananthapuram brings together the Sustainable Menstruation Kerala collective to organize a menstruation festival on occasion of the International Women’s Day on March 8.
In the day long festivity at Manaveeyam Veedhi we celebrate menstruation with,
Women and girls are often considered impure, contaminated, and dirty when they menstruate. Period-shaming is the gateway to the extreme forms of discrimination that millions of girls have experienced, and continue to experience across India. This is not limited to any one class or community. Girls face exclusion, segregation, restrictions on movements and diet. Even to this day the stigma persists–we get sanitary products wrapped in newspapers or hidden in black plastic bags, advertisements feature blue liquids to represent blood and are women are expected to use all sorts of code words instead of ‘period’.
The Red Cycle in association with College Union, Government Law College, Kozhikode have decided to organise Womenses, a 3 hours session which includes conversations, film screenings, panel discussion on the topic- Menstruation.
Throwing myriad questions at the age old customs and searching answers for the same, in a society that despises and is ashamed of the impure menstrual blood, The Red Cycle and College Union ’16-’17, Calicut Medical College presents ‘Bloody Talk’, a 3hr session of conversations, film screenings and discussions on 9th March 2017 at the Dr Jayaram Panicker Memorial Lecture Hall in Calicut Medical College.
As the tides rise and fall,
Blood meanders through her desires,
Gushes forth through her soul,
Chains her to the caverns of myths and faith
And distances her from the divine..
This March, Kerala celebrates differently.
Written for the Sustainable Menstruation Kerala Collective