Menstruation is an issue that is highly stigmatized and considered taboo, even in 2021. The sheer amount of stigmas and myths associated with menstruation across the globe reveal that there aren’t enough talks which can help in breaking the stigmas. The unwillingness to talk about menstruation is the reason that there are so many stigmas associated with it and often resulting in a cause of discrimination.
When it comes to men talking about menstruation, the situation is even worse. Many men want to talk about it, but they do not know how to start a conversation. At the same time, the others still in the cloak of stigmas consider menstruation to be a subject for women only. They don’t want to talk about it, and they blush by the very nature and the word menstruation.
Some men consider or see nothing wrong in talking about menstruation, and they do so hence breaking the stigmas. For them, menstruation is something as simple and as natural a process as any other biological process.
But the critical question is, why shouldn’t men talk of menstruation? On a personal level, I have actually experienced this many times when people say or instead ask me as to being a male and a non-menstruator why do I want to talk of menstruation? To which my usual reply always is, “Why shouldn’t I?”
While women go through the emotional and physical pains five days a month, most males turn a blind eye to the issues. Thus there is an emerging need that men do start talking of menstruation.
Men 4 Menstruation Campaign is one such initiative that revolves around breaking the stigmas around menstruation and where men talk about menstruation with no stigmas and challenging the myths. Young teens now understand that there is nothing wrong with menstruation and are gradually developing empathy for the menstruators by lending a helping hand and a sense of equality, which surely would come one day.
#periodsarenotaninsult Campaign was launched after the US President Donald Trump commented upon periods. This campaign did bring out lots of stigmas and also, very specifically emphasized on the fact that periods are not an insult.
Men need to be sensitized to issues around menstruation and then we might expect a society with some less gender inequality. Also, not merely teaching, but it has to be specially kept in mind that the girls and boys should be taught together when talking of menstruation else, the separation may sow the seeds to stigmas.
There is a need to start comprehensive puberty education programs for boys and girls in school and community level education programs for parents. The equal focus should be given to sensitize the men as much as to women in the community so that they can positively start supporting the women. Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programs for all the genders at the adolescence level could help to a great deal of extent in clearing the bush of stigmas around menstruation.