“No one saw that bloody body while passing by, but everyone noticed the blood stains on the skirt” – Parth Bishnoi.
As a woman, we have got so many powers that sometimes as ourselves, we fail to understand that, we fail to recognize the power that we have within us. The compiling outsources of wisdom and love that we can give the world without any hesitation of being the lethal weapon.
When I was 11 years of age, I was astonished seeing myself bleed, I was in thoughts that I might have got some gruesome disease and I will be dead soon. Panicked I went to my mom and told her, there is blood oozing out of my female body part. She only smiled and said,’ don’t worry, now you have become young’. I didn’t realize that until I was 15, mature enough to know what it actually is, why it happens to me and what all benefits I serve from it. When I had asked mom about it, I was shunned down because maybe I wasn’t ‘adult enough’ to know about the complexity of the situation. I had got my period in very early age, so my mom had told me that if I told this to anyone then I might start turning into a lunatic since then keeping it a secret was the ultimate purpose of my life.
I have always wondered why we have always been asked to hide the fact that we bleed. Why it was always the hush-hush affair, who decided these unnatural norms that are to be followed by the ladies while they are bleeding.
While writing about the menstrual issues in India, I had to do some research online regarding the norms or the illogical taboo which presides in the country. I was not very much in shocked that many countries have disregard to mensuration as well. They all had some silly reason to tell the women why they not pious for are just 3 days of the month rest of the days we are treated at goddess (pun intended). Some of the norms from different countries apart from India include, if a lady, while being on mensuration sleeps beside her husband then it shall result in the dead of the husband, if the lady touches the cow then the cow will become infertile and will not give milk. In India, we say that the tulsi will go bad, don’t enter the kitchen, don’t touch achar, milk, and curd, and don’t be next to anyone. We are given different rooms away from the family like we are untouchables, we can’t enter the temples. Who even made these rules?
When I searched the Hindu mythology, it graved a story which has been written in Shreemad Bhagwat Geeta, the story runs back many thousand years ago, according to the story Lord Indira had killed a learned Brahmin and all the people were asking questions to him as though how can he do such a sinful act of killing a Brahmin, now it will bestow bad luck on him and grant him a lot of misfortune. After getting petrified by this outrage he decided to distribute his sin in 4 parts among earth, water, trees, and woman.
He had asked the women to get the 4th part of his sin, and the women asked for a boon which said that, when their husband will ask for a child, the sin shall not come in the way, after their boon was granted; they willfully took the 4th part of the sin. So basically we bleed for 3 days to let Lord Indra get over his sin of killing a Brahmin. I wonder how many sins we all will have to pass on, for killing women, children purely for our pleasure.
I still can’t over the fact; we took the bleeding for Lord Indira for everything he has done. I am outraged.
Now, this was mythology, now the scientific output, Menstruation is the natural part of the reproductive cycle in which blood from the uterus exits through the vagina. It is a natural process that first occurs in girls usually between the age of 11 and 14 years and is one of the indicators of the onset of puberty among them. Despite being a phenomenon unique to girls, this has always been surrounded by secrecy and myths in many societies. Taboos surrounding menstruation exclude women and girls from many aspects of social and cultural life. Some of these are helpful, but others have potentially harmful implications.
The problem with our society is that we are more aggrieved with the fact about the women in mensuration rather than the problem itself. We see it as a taboo more than the issues at hand. In India, even mere mention of the topic has been a taboo in the past and even to this date the cultural and social influences appear to be a hurdle for the advancement of knowledge on the subject. Culturally in many parts of India, menstruation is still considered to be dirty and impure. Cultural norms and religious taboos on menstruation are often compounded by traditional associations with evil spirits, shame and embarrassment surrounding sexual reproduction. Such taboos about menstruation present in many societies impact on girls’ and women's emotional state, mentality and lifestyle and most importantly, health. Large numbers of girls in many less economically developed countries drop out of school when they begin menstruating. This includes over 23% of girls in India. There are health and hygiene issues also to consider relating to girls and menstruation. Over 77% of menstruating girls and women in India use an old cloth, which is often reused. Further, 88% of women in India sometimes resort to using ashes, newspapers, dried leaves and husk sand to aid absorption. Poor protection and inadequate washing facilities may increases susceptibility to infection, with the odor of menstrual blood putting girls at risk of being stigmatized. The latter may have significant implications for their mental health.
Low-cost sanitary napkins can be locally made and distributed particularly in rural and slum areas as these are the areas where access to the product is difficult. The government of India has approved a scheme to improve menstrual hygiene for 1.5 Crore adolescent girls by distributing low-cost sanitary napkins in rural areas under the National Rural Health Mission since 2010. Since govt is taking so many incentives regarding the issue of mensuration, it becomes our duty to remove the stigma of the mind of the people. schools and colleges which can be of govt or private should hold meeting and awareness programmes regarding the issues of mensuration and distribute pads. The government should send its people to induce people with the knowledge about mensuration and ask them to use pads and not clothes which can be dirty. Any incentive or any sort of programmes won't be in any use unless until people see it as a normal biological process rather than a taboo. The problem with our society is that every problem that is related to women shall be seen as a shame rather than the fact that as an individual we do have some biological issues.
The jest of the matter is that at the end of the day it is something a woman goes through because; it is a normal biological process, which only means that she becomes eligible to carry the babies. It isn’t a curse that has been bestowed upon her. Even it is a curse then it was never our to take, it was by a man who wasn’t in his control and begged us to take it.
Mensuration is given to us to tell us that we are strong enough to bear pains, which can’t be given to the men. We serve our purpose of being the strong hearted covenant.
Stand tall, and stand together to fight this taboo of treating us like untouchables while we bleed.
BE THE CHANGE TO SEE THE CHANGE.
- Arunachalam Muruganantham
- aksahy kumar
- sonam kapoor
- radika apte
- be the change to see the change
- government reforms
- biological process
Comment by Vikash
To good KY likha h bhut ache Bowdown to womens because they have power to go through that time. Good work madam
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Comment by Akhil Premji
Well written Shreya¡¡¡ we should open for this type of discussion. While we continue to keep silent on the subject of periods, women and girls will not be able to get the facilities and support they need to be able to deal with what is a normal part of life, hygienically and with dignity. We all need to play our part in opening up the conversation. And it's not curse, Be the change to see the change. It's your line
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