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I had no awareness about menstruation, except for a warning about reporting 'blood on panties'. When it happened, I soon equated periods with pain.
I had no awareness about menstruation, except for a warning about reporting ‘blood on panties’. When it happened, I soon equated periods with pain.
My mother had told my elder sister and me, “If you see blood in your panties or while you pee, let me know”. I did not understand and asked her why. She said, the neighbors’ daughter found blood and felt sick. I thought, it is some new viral fever that is spreading. 2-3 months went by but neither of us reported any such incident. I had almost forgotten about it.
I was in 6th standard, barely 12 years old. Our school had organized a field trip that day. I got up early and noticed blood. I remember, I was scared. Immediately, I shouted and reported to my mother. She inspected and told me I cannot go to school today. I was confused. I was fine so “why can’t I go?” I argued in vain.
She gave me a cloth and asked me to use it. I had no idea what was happening. I remember crying wanting to go to school. My mom quietened me and then explained to me. I was shocked. At our place, the old age tradition of not letting the girl do anything during first 3 days of period was followed. I had seen my dad cooking during those 3 days. My mom could not enter kitchen or bedroom (since our temple was in the room). There are many more restrictions. Now, I had to follow all these.
My mom never used pads – only cloth. So my first period was devoid of pads and that made it more cumbersome. My mom realized this and gave me cotton the next day. It was better than the cloth but yet I didn’t like it. For some reason, I did not bleed a lot during the first three days and neither did it hurt. On the fourth day, I ran and hugged my father and wept. He was trying to console me and said it is a part of growing up.
My dilemma did not end there. After 7/8 days, I again noticed blood. This time it was bad and was hurting. Also I was bleeding a lot. For a moment I felt I have lost all blood. I had a horrible time, my mom told me not to play or do any strenuous activity. She then introduced me to pads (thankfully).
The saga continued – after every 20 days I used to get my periods and it lasted for nearly 7 days. I was losing weight. We consulted many doctors, but nothing helped. Finally, I visited a Homeopath doctor and was on her medicine for nearly a year and half. Slowly, the number of days reduced. However, other problems like vomiting, acidity aggravated during those days.
I changed my eating habits, improved on my lifestyle. It helped, but yet it is not completely painless. I wonder how some women (including my sisters) navigate through those days with complete ease. Somehow, I always associate period with pains and wonder why do women need to endure always.
Image source: shutterstock
A software engineer ,who loves to travel.A writer by heart. read more...
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: