Ever since I was 14, I started bleeding every month. Not a stranger to menstruation, I started accepting the fact that this is what I have been entitled to do since I have been born with a functional uterus. But the mentality of the people around me when they came to know I was menstruating was not at all normal. From staying away from elders to every possible measure that the Indians follow when they know a girl has her periods was followed but there’s a change – Not in my family. I am lucky enough to have a family who is as broad-minded as me and has never ever imposed any restrictions on me during my periods. I have had my brothers bringing me pills to help with the cramps to my aunt giving me the utmost attention if I need anything during that time. But not every girl is lucky enough to have a family who supports her like this.
I have been to my friend’s house when she was on her periods and I was instructed to not touch her as she stayed one foot away from me in a corner, sitting on an uncomfortable piece of rug. She had to stay away from the kitchen, washing area and jars of pickles as if her touch would contaminate them. Giving her separate utensils and clothes were not new for her because every woman in the house, including her mother, is given this kind of treatment when they are on their periods. And I am not even allowed to speak about her period if there’s a male member of her family present.
Living in the 21st century, it seems disgusting that people who are so-called religious, do not accept that menstruation is not a sin but a virtue that God has bestowed upon the girls so that they can give birth.
When I ask some elders why aren’t we allowed to visit the temple when the goddess is a woman and has a womb herself, the reply I get is that you cannot talk of something so intimate about the gods.
My heart melts every time I see a girl suffer because she is on her periods and her family doesn’t accept the way she is but this has to change. Would you want your daughters to be given such kind of treatment when she bleeds? I guess no!! So instead of staying quiet about it, raise your voice and speak against this taboo that is irrelevant in all ways.