How Periods And Their Taboos Did Not Change Her Life

Posted by Seersha Nambiar
May 1, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Don’t buy sanitary napkins publicly they said. Wrap it up in layers of paper and put it in a black bag. No, don’t carry it like one of your grocery bags! Keep it buried under the other things you’ve purchased. Don’t let them see how revolting you are.

I’ll window shop for sanitary pads. I’ll discuss their pros and cons with shopkeepers. I’ll compare prices and read them all. I refuse to have my “Whisper” subdued. I’ll “Always” ask loud and clear for the brand I need. And like that’s not enough, I’ll flaunt my new purchase and “Stayfree” from senseless taboos. #Iamnotdown

How shameless is that model? Why does she do such advertisements? She must be desperate for money! What about that actress? Has she stooped so low as to advertise for sanitary pads? Or has she turned into a feminazi?

I’ll write to those worshipped stars to come down from their castles. To tell our girls that stars bleed too. Stars buy sanitary napkins and tampons too. That they too struggle through cramps and mood swings on difficult days. That they smile and swoon through gritted teeth to reach great heights, that you too may have to in order to find success. #Iamnotdown

You’re impure 7 days a month every year for the rest of your life they said. Don’t enter the kitchen they said. If you step in it will need to be purified.

I live on my own. If I don’t cook, I starve. I walk into my kitchen. I make a sumptuous breakfast to cheer myself up. I cannot order in just because they have demons whispering in their ears. #Iamnotdown

You’re a woman now, you have to keep secrets they said. Nobody should know you’re on your periods. It is embarrassing. No one should know. Scurry to the bathroom with it hidden in your dupatta. Don’t let your brother see! It is awkward they said. Don’t put him through that.

Why not? My brother spots me carrying a bright coloured envelope. What is it? He asks. It’s a sanitary napkin. Can I see it? Of course, you can! I pull out my biology textbook. I tell him what pads are for. He listens curiously. He scurries off to read more. I walk into the bathroom carrying my sanitary napkin. Never have to hide from family. #Iamnotdown

No temple visits they said. The Gods don’t like that. Period blood is disgusting. Of course, it is disgusting! What makes it disgusting is that people like them came to this world through the same route as period blood.

What will happen if I walk into a temple during my periods? Will the authorities check my loins to confirm? They are welcome to. I stroll in. The Goddesses in the temple shrine smile. #Iamnotdown

I want no benefits because I bleed. I don’t hang my head in shame. It’s not something to boast of either. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it doesn’t. Days on which I feel sick please let me sit in one of those reserved seats. I stand otherwise. The old man sits instead. I smile. #Iamnotdown

I don’t promote displays of clothes and bedsheets stained with period blood. Don’t explain to me the logic behind impurity. Don’t read to me religious scriptures and laws of nature. I’m here to live, to survive, to flourish. I don’t care what they say. #Iamnotdown


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