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Why We Still Need To Talk About Menstruation. Loudly

Posted: February 12, 2018

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Does it feel like the talk about menstruation has been done to death? Well, not really. It’s still as much of a taboo in most homes and places.

Even in the silicon valley of Gurgaon, a posh city inhabited by millenials, I witnessed a discussion on a very popular topic for women – about how even in today’s times, still the women can’t participate in any major Puja in their own homes during periods. They can’t enter the Puja room, can’t fast during Navratris.

One particular instance was that of a lady who was so excited for her housewarming puja, of which she had dreamt for years. Just because she was undergoing menstruation, she had to stay away from everything, as directed by the older woman in the house. The Lakshmi of the house can’t worship the Goddess. Isn’t this sheer hypocrisy?

A festival where a Goddess, a female form is worshiped and another woman at home is not allowed due to her female characteristics!

In the Indian context, menstruation is a subject to be hushed and treated with a lot of hypocrisy. Whenever you go to buy sanitary pads, they cover the pack with a black plastic bag. Why can’t it be seen openly? It is an important accessory for an important part of society i.e.women. Isn’t this a way of keeping her subjugated, submissive? To be treated as unimportant, lesser?

What’s the big deal in shouting about Pads?

It’s important to acknowledge the natural phenomenon of menstruation of women i.e. to talk about it loudly. To talk about women. In rural India, this natural phenomenon of menstruation is still considered a taboo, a disease and the woman becomes untouchable, every month. The very biological quality, symbolic of the power of reproduction of a female which should be celebrated instead, becomes a mental torture for her. She should hide in a cage as prescribed by our patriarchal society. The divine quality of the power of the womb, capable of creation of the entire human kind is so ill-treated.

The girl undergoing menstruation can’t enter a kitchen, can’t do puja, can’t touch a tulsi plant, can’t sit on a mattress or bed, can’t make pickles. What are these barriers? What purpose do they serve? Hygiene? After all, women still use dirty cloth or rags when pads are not available.

I feel menstruation is empowering women to be in harmony with nature as our menstrual cycles are aligned with the waxing and waning of the moon, which is a 28 day cycle. Thus, women are more aligned with nature biologically and as creators, I also believe that we draw energy from Nature.

A festival where a Goddess, a female form is worshiped and another woman at home is not allowed due to her female characteristics!

It’s time to acknowledge the ‘Wonder’ in women. The periods are not to be whispered about but to be stated loudly and flashing selfies is an important step to make the awareness reach out to many that it’s okay to talk about periods openly. To let the pad reach into the conversation of a household. To normalize it.

More than menstrual hygiene, it’s to approve a woman’s sanctity and existence, Padman’s buzz is important and I commend Twinkle Khanna and Akshay Kumar for doing this as well in the movie Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. It’s time to weave the fabric of a gender sensitized, egalitarian society with a PAD.

Image via Unsplash

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Meenakshi M. Singh is an author of three books “SOULFUL SYMPHONY”, “AAWAZ” and “I AM

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