Yes.. You read it right.. All the filthy, untouchable, unholy, demonic, Aachar and khataai contaminating female days of the month are just some days in every month which come in a cycle as an indicator that that womb is fertile and healthy. No, there is no on or off switch to this perfectly normal female body function. No, we women cannot control the flow of blood as per our mood.
All the biological aspects of menstruation you can Google for yourself, I’m not diving into that.
So where was I? Yes, we become a little bit of moody in those days. Yes, we can come across as cranky also.
No, our intelligence and IQ is not effective by the “PMS”. We do NOT go crazy in those days. Because we are hardcore, brave and strong women who do NOT faint at the sight of blood; we see bloodshed on a regular basis. We are so brave and strong that even after the psychological effect of seeing your body throwing up blood all day and night long we just get a teeny tiny bit emotional and cranky. We women are so strong that even with that gut punching pain in our stomachs we manage to get through the day at work, school, home or any place; playing sports, attending board meetings, doing bai work, giving lectures and what not. Because all the females from students to bais to presidents menstruate. It’s really no big deal. You don’t even get to know most of the time what these women are suffering because that is how strong they are.
This hash tag, “I am not down” is so important because the society, religion, behavior codes and people are so stigmatized by the thought of menstruation that the leading brand of sanitary napkins is popular as a “whisper”. Because that is what this perfectly healthy body function of women is for our society. Merely a whisper. The thing that should not be named. Instead call it “those days”.
NO. This is how it is does never mean that this is not how it should be. The first period of a young girl should not be a nightmare and so psychologically and socially patronizing. Menstruation should not socially stunt a woman. It should not be the reason for the inferiority complex in so many young girls. It shouldn’t be the reason why thousands of girls quit school because of the unaffordable sanitary napkins that is why menstrual products should be tax free and available to all. But I’ll not talk about that because there is no reason to talk about that. Saying, “menstrual products are a necessity” is like saying “the sky is blue”. There is no arguing about that.
Now, what has caused so many stigmas and taboos to form around this natural body function. I’d say ancient subservient women who did not dare to question the patriarchy when the first man tried to call menstruating women filthy and untouchable and instead these women made it a tradition to seclude every female during her periods so that the men would easily know when the woman is menstruating and when she is unavailable for umm lets say adult games.
The patriarchy that made these ridiculous rules for menstruating women that they should not go in temples, should not touch religious scriptures, should not even enter the kitchen and should not touch food that is to be consumed by other men and women and kids of the same house as she lives in. Yes all these ridiculous rules that are shared by almost every religion, almost every society of India should not hold any more importance in this day and age. Because let’s face it. Nowadays women are not just objects to procreate with. They are conquering the world. They are slowly but surely getting more active in choosing when to have children and with whom to have them. Whether she is fertile or not does not have to be slyly calculated by the days she missed prayer and didn’t step in the kitchen; all you have to do is ask, or better still, mind your own business. You do not own a woman’s womb so stop acting like you do.
Now these were just some of the many taboos and stigmas revolving menstruation; which I’m sure I’ve tried my best to cover all that I can in a limited space.
Now comes the tricky part.
How is the destigmatization of menstruation possible for our future generations?
We as the youth of this country need to reflect on ourselves and question the beliefs we already have crammed in our heads. We need to tell children around 11-13 years about this natural phenomenon of the female body. We have to bring that time when girls are not self conscious of their bodies and bodily fluids. We have to bring a time where all the future men understand how strong “wussies” are. How “wussies” bleed and hurt and still manage to stand toe to toe with all the “jocks” out there. How these “wussies” do not need to “grow a pair” to carry the miracle of life. A world in which menstruation in girls is looked forward to as the growth of facial hair and muscles is in boys. A world where young boys understand and respect their fellow young girls for their endurance, their courage and their strength. A world where NO WOMAN IS EVER DOWN. A world where being called a girl could stop feeling demeaning to the boys out there.
A world where all the women have nothing to hide. No restrictions. No ridiculously illogical rules to abide to. Freedom to choose whether to pray or not, cook or not, pick achaar or not, make achaar or not and the list goes on and on. Once this stigma of menstruation is removed from the society we will all be able to see a world how it was actually meant to be.
#bethechange #Iamnotdown #proudIndianButKnowWhatIsWrongInMyCountryandnotscaredtotalkaboutit