Keen to learn more about inclusive workplaces? Want to be inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community? Download our special report with Randstad India on making Inclusion without Exception happen
A funny look at the sexism of period pain. Periods, for me, meant cramps and pain. But, as my mother said, as a woman I was "supposed to to get used to going with the flow."
A funny look at the sexism of period pain. Periods, for me, meant cramps and pain. But, as my mother said, as a woman I was “supposed to to get used to going with the flow.”
The first time my mother caught me popping a painkiller when I had my period, she gave me an earful. I was sixteen. To my protests about needing to numb the pain so I could concentrate on studying for an important test, all I got was, “You can’t take medicines every month just for cramps. It’s unhealthy. Just deal with it and your body will get used to it.” I spent all night chewing gum and massaging my belly with a hot water bottle, willing my mind to divert itself.
My mother was right. I got used to the pain.
Every month it comes; this faithful friend– my period. Once upon a time I scribbled dates in a diary and tracked the 28- day cycle but after two decades of our relationship, I no longer need to. When I feel my patience shrinking quicker than usual, I know it will be another five days. When my breasts turn tender and ache like they’re made of little boulders tugging me down, two days. When my libido surges and I find myself terribly confused with the desire to both slap and mount my husband, one day.
Despite the infinite curses I’ve hurled at human biology and the universe, I’ve grown rather fond of my period. Once a month I get a four-day window where I’m allowed to be an inexplicable mess and I can tell myself – It’s okay, you have your period. I can spend half an hour in the shower crying over the shreds of stale potpourri in my head; graying hair, failures as a mother, being broke, being fat, broken phone, broken heart. I relish the anguish and luxury of self-pity. Twenty-something days of frustration over all the disappointments I was unsuccessful in confronting bubble and boil over. The world sucks, life sucks, everything sucks. I can wallow, be unreasonable, reclusive, exhausted and indulgent.
My period is the opportunity to tap into the rawness within me, the parts I’ve shuddered to look at too closely. The peeling uterine walls purge me of all the unsaid and unfelt. My head and heart connect and I realize this power I possess, of being weak enough to weep over nothing and strong enough to not only endure the pain but long for it. It is my release; fixing all the clogs in my emotional plumbing, releasing the stored sewage of festering emotions.
As I drown the undulating cramps with hot water bottle massages, dark chocolate and ‘The Cure’ on an endless loop, I embrace my body and mind. Pause. Inhale. Pause. Exhale.
And when it’s all over- Un-pause.
I still remember the day I got my first period. Ours is one of the many communities around India where coming of age is celebrated. I was fed raw oil, weird tasting laddoos and then draped in a sari as families came to visit me. The only bonus of enduring this humiliating ordeal was that I received gifts and cash. Lots of it.
But I see a deeper meaning behind this celebration. It goes beyond announcing the transition into womanhood. We are telling the world that SHE is ready for pain. SHE will bear it with silence and grace. SHE will get used to it.
So bring it on.
Image source: shutterstock
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, indivisual posts do not necessarily represent the platofrom's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Stop glorifying biological parenthood - other methods of growing a family are just as valid, and completely a couple's choice, especially of the woman whose body goes through pregnancy and birth.
Stop glorifying biological parenthood – other methods of growing a family are just as valid, and completely a couple’s choice, especially of the woman whose body goes through pregnancy and birth.
Trigger Warning: Contains derogatory remarks about having a baby through surrogacy or any means other than giving birth through biological means, and may be triggering, especially to adoptive parents.
Recently Priyanka Chopra Jonas announced parenthood by surrogacy. This has once again sparked the debate about ethical surrogacy, which is a discussion for another day.
Arathi Rajagopalan, founder of 'House of Kalart', talks about thinking like a designer & transitioning to thinking like a business owner.
Excerpts from an interview with Arathi Rajagopalan, founder of ‘House of Kalart’ – a fusion jewellery label that merges global aesthetics and traditional craftsmanship.
When did you start ‘House of Kalart’ and what was the intention?
I started House of Kalart in 2017 as a venture where painting, drawing and embroidery are married with metalsmithing to create well-handcrafted fashion jewellery. Along with painting and styling, the venture aims to create a holistic fashion experience for a bold and dramatic woman!” As a child, I had always been fascinated by arts and crafts.
Menstrual cramp is a beast in women's lives. Here are 7 effective ways to deal with menstrual cramps, and let's share it with every woman and girl we know.
Menstrual cramp is a beast in women’s lives. Here are 7 effective ways to deal with menstrual cramps, and let’s share it with every woman and girl we know.
Disclaimer: Those who are too shy to read this article may skip it. But a problem that affects 3 billion people of this planet sometime or the other, deserves a solution.
Is it that time of the month? Had to miss your class? Had to take a sick leave? Reaching out for aspirin? Feeling dizzy in the head? Back is aching? Had to miss your sports tournament in school or college? Had to cancel the picnic?
A mother’s matter of fact approach to menstruation resulted in a daughter seeing periods as something positive and stains as normal. An empowering period story!
The time comes in every girl’s life when her mother introduces her to the concept of puberty and menstruation. I was no different but perhaps, the way it was introduced to me was very different…and in retrospect, very inspiring.
So, I was this 11 something girl, happy and oblivious to the concept as most of us are. Plus, in our times, the exposure was so limited that I still believed that breasts were the only difference between a boy and a girl! Having an elder sister meant that there were no boys around us and hence no ‘boy talk’ really existed in the house. It was just us…a bunch of three girls (includes my mother).