Menstruation cycle is something where Indians shows their real hypocrisy. It is true that it has not remained a thing to be whispered about and has attracted a large audience to speak about it. Thanks to the media coverages and advertisements. But the contrasting picture to me is the real effects of such publicity? The advertisements boldly presents not to hush-up when you are in menstrual cycle, they, however, forget the cheap labeling used for periods by people. Such as ‘ketchup, Leak phase, girl flu, TOTM (that time of the month) etc.
Graduating from a women’s college made me aware of the hypocrisy within female colleagues about the periods. If women can’t take such issue as a natural thing, then with what rights do we ask others to do the same? The talks on periods were always taken as a thing to mock on! For example, if a woman from a rural area uses sanitary napkins from waste clothes, most of the girls go on giggling about it labelling them as junglee. Being afflicted from PCO, my colleagues without taking it as serious, reached to the conclusion ‘No Periods? Whom did you loose virginity too? Kya baat, ladki pet se hai’. Such mockery needs to be changed. And this can change cannot be done from the numerous ad’s, but through education at school level. We all have must sat once in the biology class where our teachers talked about menstrual cycle. But, we all recall, that lesson attached with a cheap joke or with shyness.
So how can we really overcome it? Will taking lesson at school really help in sorting out the insensitive response? I think, the answer is a big ‘NO’. The solution lies within family, mother, father and friends. It is they who can bring the change. Not the written letters of a textbook. Mother has a huge role to play in passing the confidence and respect in her daughter and son when such issues are being talked about. It is the family upbringing that can really make a change in transforming a child’s understanding of such biological issues. As home is the place where we learn our first basic principles of life. Once the mindset is changed within, I am sure that we can confidently criticize someone else who is making fun of it rather than joining them.
Mocking or giggling is not the solution for the girls and women who are still using old methods of absorbent during the periods. As research by Unicef India in Bihar and Jharkhand found that while 85% of girls were using cloth as a menstrual absorbent despite their knowledge about sanitary pads. Their reasons for avoiding them varied from lack of money to not knowing how to use them. Ignorance about menstrual hygiene is not shocking as the issue is itself a taboo to be discussed in a family. This taboo is not only leading to increase in cases of vaginal infections but exclusions of women from temples and kitchens during their menses.
Such isolation during monthly cycle refrains a woman from interaction from her own family members, limits her diets and makes her feel uncomfortable. The embarrassment needs to be stopped as it’s a human issue. Bleeding is not a shame, it’s a blessing for another life. So next time when you bleed, don’t hide beneath the shame rather cherish the moment.