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Periods are normal for most women. However, men and boys rarely know of it. Here’s why I feel we need to normalise talking about periods.
I am very sure every woman out there remembers the first time she got her period. The feeling isn’t a pleasant one. To see drops of blood on your underwear which was spotless can be horrifying at first. But then, as time goes by, we get used to it. It becomes normal for all of us.
But do you remember the boys? They are usually so clueless as to what is happening to us! Our frequent bathroom breaks, the excuses of stomach aches to get out PE class, the mood swings. I am sure they must’ve been curious to know what this fuss was!
Now, as a wife, sister and most importantly, a mother to a little girl, I feel that boys should also be told about menstruation just like girls. I remember our school educating us girls about menstruation, the maintenance of hygiene and the usage and disposal of pads.
However, all of this was done in the absence of boys. They were told to strictly remain in their classes while the girls were taken to a different room and sensitised about the same. This segregation was enough to put wrong thoughts in the minds of the young boys.
I clearly remember an incident from school when a friend happened to get period between a class and was unaware. We were in the eighth grade back then. When she stood up to answer a question, a few boys noticed some red spots on her skirt and chair. And they started cracking jokes about it like it were something funny. She was embarrassed and didn’t come to school for a week!
Now what I want to know is, why do such incidents take place? Are we to blame only the boys? Partially, yes, but not completely.
The boys in our class acted this way because they didn’t know what menstruation really meant. And honestly, I don’t think a biology text would have given sufficient information about the topic. Their entire lives they have seen ads of sanitary pads with blue liquid poured over it and a girl happily dancing in the background. That is not menstrual education. What it is is misinformation.
In reality, our mothers and even teachers are often hesitant to educate boys about periods simply because they are conditioned to believe it’s a taboo subject. As a mother of a girl, when she goes to school, I would want the boys to be sensitive toward this particular topic.
How can we make this happen? Just a few tweaks here and there and we would have more informed and understanding men around us.
Let’s encourage mothers to speak to their sons about menstruation and pads freely. Tell the boys that menstruation is normal and not something to be laughed at. It is only when we speak about these things openly with the boys will they know that this is normal, natural and beautiful. And this is exactly how we will raise informed, educated and sensitive sons, brothers, husbands and fathers.
Picture credits: Still from Center Fresh’s ad on YouTube
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I'm just another happy mom from Goa who loves reading, writing and drinking lots
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