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To protest against menstrual prejudices, there has been women who had decided to bleed free in the recent past. But is it okay to bleed free in public?
So, a few days ago the internet was splashed red with the “free bleeding” pictures of a girl running a marathon and the message that was supposed to be behind the sudden red overload was, to fight against the prejudices and social practices that are followed in a lot of countries in terms of the menstrual cycle of a woman.
Now, the message was loud (too loud I think ) and the intent behind the act was backed by some sound reasons, only, I believe the act in itself was not thought through.
At the time, I didn’t pay much attention to it and apart from some discussion with friends, didn’t feel the need to pay much heed to the whole thing until, a few days ago, I read a news item stating a woman in a similar act. Here, the act was the same ie “free bleeding” but the motive was different. This time, it was to fight against tampons listed under “luxury” items by the government of a country.
Looking at these two protests and being a paranoid person, now I am scared that I would suddenly come across some random person or a known one (and that would be simply horrifying) either free bleeding or in a similar mode of protest.
My paranoid brain refuses to rest and I keep getting some wild thoughts now. Like, what if someone decides to protest against the high costs of toilet paper rolls and demonstrates a “free pooping” protest? Gross ! Or what if someone decides to protest against the intolerance of our society in terms of letting men and women be close to each other without tying them up in the bond of marriage and start copulating in the public? That would be so scary!
Now, all these issues raised should be raised. They should be protested against. People need to show their solidarity in fighting against a lot of social stigmas attached to the menstrual cycle or the freedom of choice of a relationship between a man and a woman or the listing of an item such as a tampon listed under luxury item thus making it difficult for women to access it.There is not an iota of doubt in calling these issues problems that should be dealt with immediately. But, to all the ladies out there who think not supporting the “free bleeding” stand is standing against women, lady, if you try and show me your menstrual trickle and expect me to hug you and pat your shoulder, you are mistaken because I would run either from you – in case you have a tampon or a pad but are refusing to wear it or run for you – to buy one and give it to you.
Every issue needs attention. Menstruation is a normal natural process that every woman goes through. She does not become untouchable during that time or dirty and she is certainly not sick when she menstruates but instead of creating awareness regarding the same and working on it, a day’s free bleeding would help no one except the soap detergent companies you would later be using to wash your clothes with.
There is a rising trend these days where a lot of women suddenly group together and do something that immediately catches one’s attention and start calling the action a feministic act and then, my dear, either you are a feminist or you are with the “others” (here, the others mostly refers to men). And trust me, being with the “others” is not at all cool as far as the social media is concerned.
I believe in fighting against whatever is not just. I need not associate myself with the “free bleeding” supporters to prove my loyalty toward my own sex.
Let’s instead of free bleeding, start propagating free thinking because spreading a right thought can make a stronger difference as compared to a wrong action that would fizzle out like yesteryear’s fashion.
Cover image via Shutterstock
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There are many mountains I need to climb just to be, just to live my life, just to have my say... because they are mountains you've built to oppress women.
Trigger Warning: This deals with various kinds of violence against women including rape, and may be triggering for survivors.
I haven’t climbed a literal mountain yet
Was busy with the metaphorical ones – born a woman
Fighting for the air that should have come free
And I am one of the privileged ones, I realize that
Yet, if I get passionate, just like you do
I will pay for it – with burden, shame, – and possibly a life to carry
So, my mountains are the laws you overturn
My mountains are the empty shelves where there should have been pills
When people picked my dadi to place her on the floor, the sheet on why she lay tore. The caretaker came to me and said, ‘Just because you touched her, one of the men carrying her lost his balance.’
The death of my grandmother shattered me. We shared a special bond – she made me feel like I was the best in the world, perfect in every respect.
Apart from losing a person who I loved, her death was also a rude awakening for me about the discrimination women face when it comes to performing the last rites of their loved ones.
On January 23 this year, I lost my 95 year old grandmother (dadi) Nirmala Devi to cardiac arrest. She was that one person who unabashedly praised me. The evening before her death she praised the tea I had made and said that I make better tea than my brother (my brother and I are always competing about who makes the best chai).
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