It’s been a solid time span of nearly six years now, yet I still distinctly remember that sunny summer morning when I woke up to see my white pajama full of blood. It was 55% of astonishment, 35% of confusion, and 10% of fear. It did get me startled. Thousands of thoughts ran through my tiny head to join the pieces of the puzzle. I wondered if somebody had hit me in my vagina at night and so I woke up with a bruise. I shouted out for mom’s help only to see her passing a smile to my grandmother. I obviously yelled at her, and then the later series of events escalated quickly about her telling me what happened with me, teaching me how to wear a sanitary napkin, calming me down and getting me fresh hot food to eat.
It brought me an immense amount of discomfort to walk around with something stuck in my underwear which made a lot of noise during any kind of body movement. To make me feel better about the harsh situation, my grandmother said to me, “Do you know menstruation is celebrated royally in foreign countries to celebrate the maturity of their girls!”(sic). That did hit me differently, given my condition; I thought this gave me a ray of positivity.
Slowly and gradually, I learned how to carry myself while being on chums. Talking about it with other girls did help me understand more about wearing dark-colored lowers during periods, changing the napkin every four hours, not having cold foods, and the list pretty much goes on and on. But all of this happened in our secret talk sessions. We could never let the boys know what we’re talking about. But one day while getting out of school, I heard a senior girl saying to one of her male friends, “Yo, don’t annoy me, I’m on my period!” leaving me with the thought of why any girl would disclose something so personal with the opposite gender. Passing some more of my teenage time made me realize the ‘sympathy card’ that girls play through the use of their periods. There are a number of girls with a personality which makes them come off as “attention seekers”. Talking to your close friends about your physical pain is undeniably right, but isn’t it deniably wrong to seek sympathy and attention from boys on the basis of your bleeding uteruses?
There are millions of women out there who cannot even open their mouths to arrange sanitary napkins for themselves. Menstruation is such a taboo that has resulted in the prevalence of silence amongst various Indian women. The issue of menstruation is very sensitive for ladies who unfortunately come from orthodox, conformist, and patriarchal backgrounds. Being a gender that is an epitome of strength, courage, integrity, and character, each and every woman must understand that they should voice their opinions and channelize their emotions in the most righteous way and not use this bodily phenomenon to seek intentional attention.
Every woman has the right to pass through her bleeding days with dignity and utmost respect. All genders must equally be responsible for the wellbeing of women to make this world a happier, healthier, and evolved place to live in because life is about collaboration, not competition. And if the world doesn’t understand so, then it is the world which is bruised, not you.
Moreover, one must never forget; all leaders bleed. Hence more needs to be done to put an end to the disempowerment of women, whilst inculcating the values within females of handling menstruation with superlative pride and veneration.