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Why whisper, when you can be carefree? #Period Pride

                 I had my first period at the age of 12, and today, as I sense  menopause peeping from round the corner, I remember a statement made by a professor way back in college:
                       
                          "Celebrate menstruation! It is what makes you a woman!"
 
         Golden words, those, considering, we women hate this thing we would like to think of as  an affliction! When I first learnt about it, I wondered if only women in our country suffered from it! Hilarious, I know, but in my day and  age, innocence still existed. With no Internet to illuminate us with information, we were too naive to understand life and her ways.  Discussing such taboo topics with elders was considered to be strict no-no. Mother did advice me on what I was supposed to do if something "went wrong" in her absence. But, Dad was not to be consulted as he had no knowledge about anything of the sort!
          I would often wonder when I would be rid of this monthly trauma, and so once  badgered mother to tell me when I would become a free bird.  She muffled a laugh, wrapped me in her arms and enlightened me  that my periods would be my companion for more than half of my lifetime! I almost fainted.
          Mother would recount tales of how  women from olden days were treated  during those few days  of the month. They would have to stay in an outhouse, or some dark and dingy room all by themselves and their plates of food would be pushed towards them through the door left ajar for such tasks, lest they "touched" someone and contaminated them.
         They were forbidden from entering temples and kitchens, for they were impure. And if by mistake they did brush past someone, then that person had to have an immediate bath!  I was aghast at that piece of news! I also found out how certain practices  existed when I was young. Maybe they do so now, too! Maybe the way it is considered a taboo and has laws pertaining to behaviour during those days,is the reason why it  is looked down upon as an exasperating issue  rather than just another bodily function.
        Some years ago, mother had invited some guests at her place and some religious rituals also had to be performed. I was on my period precisely at that time, but I decided to keep mum about it and help mother, lest all the work fell on her shoulders. As I went about completing the chores, I wondered why God, who created us, would consider His children to be impure because of something He Himself had blessed them with! How could our God be so petty? I confessed to mother a few days later fearing the worst. But, mother was a lot more progressive in her views than I gave her credit for and accepted my views proudly! I wish every mother would be like mine.
        I  know that I am hurting sentiments by saying such things; I am aware how strongly some people feel about it. I have also read about some "scientific reasons" behind these so called laws. However, treating periods as a natural physiological occurrence, like urinating, would be a lot more sensible, isn't it? Also, discussing it with girls, as well as boys, when they come of age, and making them aware of the various eco-friendly products that can be used during periods, would help create the awareness it so deserves. Doing away with age-old laws and  assuming a  more progressive outlook will help the  Naari lead a better and a happier life.

*Linking this post to Write Tribe #Period Pride.















   

Comments

  1. Shilpa, you havent hurt any sentiments here. It's time to speak up and accept mensuration as a normal thing in life. Unless we wake up and write about it, the society isnt going to accept it.

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes, Ramya! It's high time we spoke and people.."some" people listened, and understood!:)

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  2. Praise to your mom, first of all.....If we have more mothers like her, then definitely the stigma attached to periods will go away.....

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Sunaina. mothers make all the difference! And, I am blessed to have one like her!

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  3. Great, your mom supported you when you helped in pooja celebrations during periods.
    Even my reaction was the same when my mom said we have to bear with this periods for most of our life. With severe cramps and inconvenience i hate those days. Its good to break the taboos and speak about those days.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Mahathi. It sure can be painful on some days; the physical aspect of periods as well as the social one, if I can say so!

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  4. See the positive effects of a progressive mother. I wish my mom was like that too. I just cannot change her. My mother-in-law who is much older than my mom, is more progressive and doesn't believe in this untouchability business.

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  5. You had a great mum and I'm glad you had her support. I was aghast too when I came to know that I'll have to live with periods all my life. I counted not having periods as a huge perk of pregnancy :-).

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    Replies
    1. :) I can imagine! When I was a teenager, I heard from one of my married friends how she didn't have periods during her pregnancy. I was so happy hearing that! Although, I didn't go through it, but, for the others who do, it must be a welcome break! :)

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  6. Your teacher was a wise man ahead of his times, Celebrate Menstruation. I shudder when I think of those so-called impure terminology and social construct used where women are pushed like outcastes. Hope we change it. Powerful post, Shilpa.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Vishal! It feels good when men show empathy and speak on our behalf. We sure need many more men like you amidst us!

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  7. Yours is a positive story, Shilpa. Thank you for sharing it. It's amazing how something so natural can be treated as an 'evil'.

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  8. Very well written post Shilpa. And trust me you were blessed to have such a progressive Professor and a mom. I truly believe these people are very important part of our ecosystem and if they are supportive like this, life is a lot better and happier.

    Yes, women need to understand that Menstruation is to be celebrated and not sulked about though it is mostly the other way round. Hopefully things are changing and more and more women and of course men are joining hands in breaking the silence around this tabooed topic.

    Would love to hear from you again. Feel free to share your Menstrual experiences or views with us at https://www.facebook.com/NaariWomenWellnessProducts/ or drop an email to naari.wellness@gmail.com

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