We are all so tired of listening to the myths attached to menstruation and the length to which people go to justify them. As young progressive people we, I’m sure (or rather hope so) we are trying our best to break these myths as far as possible in spaces that are under our control. There have been various advertisements that have shown how the age-old taboos related to menstruation such as ‘not touching the pickle bottle, not entering the kitchen or even sleeping on the bed’ are purely nonsensical and make absolutely no sense. There are academic as well as non-academic references that speak about a number of such taboos and how they are broken over time. If one has watched the recent movie ‘Padman’ starring Akshay Kumar and Radhika Apte, one is likely to think and even otherwise that it is people from the rural areas who are absolutely ignorant to a lot of facts about menstruation and rightly so. But what do you say when you hear the cabinet minister of India, Smriti Irani utter certain words at the Young Thinkers Conference that leave you with a bad headache for days together. Let’s us not forget the fact that she was called to speak in a conference as ironic as it may sound, called the ‘Young Thinkers Conference’. This again goes on to serve the many reasons that show how we have ‘ wrong people at wrong positions of power’ and how they continue making a grossly negative impact on young impressionable minds. The exact words of Smriti Irani were:
“I’m nobody to speak against the Supreme Court verdict as I’m serving as a cabinet minister. But just plain common sense is that would you carry a napkin soaked with menstrual blood and walk into a friend’s house. You would not. And would you think it is respectful to do the same when you walk into the house of God? That is the difference. I have a right to pray, but no right to desecrate. That is the difference we need to learn and respect”.
Wow! How does one make sense of it? Who is the one lacking common sense here? We often hear and think that we need to educate the uneducated and make them aware of various issues which they are unaware of. But what does one do when the so-called ‘educated minds’ are passing such grossly disturbing comments and even going so far as to justify them with equally illogical explanations. One is forced to ask what really happens if we enter any temple irrespective of the faith we practise, during menstruation? Do the gods leave their place and come out to chase us? Does it dramatically start raining or does a volcano erupt? Nothing happens. Nothing will. We know that. Smriti Irani knows that and she should absolutely know better not just because she is a woman, mother and a Union minister but because I believed that she was a sensible human being too. But I guess I was wrong?
The question we should be asking is who really needs to be educated?
The problem is if these people continue to occupy these spaces they do not deserve to be in, the least we can do is stop inviting them as panellists/speakers to speak at important events. The last thing we need is people in power speaking and re-affirming illogical beliefs and myths that should be shunned, to say the least.
The pictures below basically convey the message that ” I carry my blood soaked pad to my friend’s house. So? They do not judge. Why do you?”#HateViolationNotMenstruation