What actions should HR and business leaders take to curb mental harassment at work? Share your thoughts.
Once in a while comes a movie comes which breaks through the clutter, dismisses regressive social practices and tells a story of guts and belief. One such, is Padman.
Padman is based on the real life story of Arunachalam Muruganantham who created a machine which manufactures low cost pads and became the saviour of women across rural areas who did not have access to sanitary napkins. He faced ridicule from his family and friends, all of whom berated him for even talking about a subject which is considered shameful and appalling.
Menstruation is a natural biological syndrome. If anything, it is a beautiful phenomenon which symbolizes the transition of a girl into a woman. Due to this change in her body, she can create the miracle of life. Yet, so many years and scientific discoveries later, blind superstition surrounds it, especially in India. It is a topic which is swept under the carpet and discussed in hushed tones. Girls from a very young age are taught to be ashamed of this bodily function and are embarrassed about it.
Ironically, the onset of periods is celebrated in some states with a traditional puja ceremony. However, later, women who are menstruating are not allowed to attend religious occasions. Infact it’s considered inauspicious for women to go into temples or near places of wordship during their monthly cycle.
In many places, they are regarded as untouchable and are forbidden to have any contact with the men of the house. Women are also not allowed to enter the kitchen or touch food during their downtime. The funniest period superstition has to be that a menstruating woman should not touch pickles, as she will spoil them. Probably because she has started emitting harmful chemical waste due to her periods!
The taboos and shame is not limited to rural areas only. Even in big cities, men are embarrassed to buy sanitary napkins for the women of their family. I have always found shopkeepers looking highly embarrassed when I ask them for my brand of pad. They fervently wrap it up in layers of newspaper so that no one can see even a sliver of the product inside.
If the origins of these superstitions are traced, one will find some logical reasoning as to why they were introduced. But the reasoning of those times is probably not relevant today, and yet the practices continue. It’s about time we stopped following traditions blindly and questioned them.
Let’s teach our sons and daughters to talk about what is a natural process and not be ashamed of it. Let’s teach them to talk about periods, and be comfortable with it.
My first book - Second Chances has just released and is present on all online book stores. Do pick up a copy to read about the adventures of a novice ghost. read more...
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I wanted to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting 'win' moments.
My daughter turned eight years old in January, and among the various gifts she received from friends and family was an absolutely beautiful personal journal for self-growth. A few days ago, she was exploring the pages when she found a section for writing a letter to her future self. She found this intriguing and began jotting down her thoughts animatedly.
My curiosity piqued and she could sense it immediately. She assured me that she would show me the letter soon, and lo behold, she kept her word.
I glanced at her words, expecting to see a mention of her parents in the first sentence. But, to my utter delight, the first thing she had written about was her AMBITION. Yes, the caps here are intentional because I want to scream with excitement that my daughter chose to write about her ambition and aspirations over everything else first. To me, this was one of those parenting ‘win’ moments.
Uorfi Javed has been making waves through social media, and is often the target of trolls. So who and what exactly is this intriguing young woman?
Uorfi Javed (no relation to Javed Akhtar) is a name that crops up in my news feeds every now and again. It is usually because she got trolled for being in some or other ‘daring’ outfit and then posting those images on social media. If I were asked, I would not be able to name a single other reason why she is famous. I am told that she is an actor but I would have no frankly no clue about her body of work (pun wholly unintended).
So is Urfi Javed (or Uorfi Javed as she prefers) famous only for being famous? How does she impact the cause of feminism by permitting herself to be objectified, trolled, reviled?
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