Periods/menstruation – why is it not normal in our society? Why do people see a girl differently when she is going through her normal monthly cycle? Why do they feel ashamed when a man gets a sanitary pad for a girl and a shopkeeper wraps it in a newspaper or covers it in a black cover? Why are periods considered taboo – in that we should not utter a word about it in public? I am really not able to understand why our society is not able to take the natural body process to be normal. It’s just like passing urine or feces – which is a daily process, and menstruation is a monthly process. Menstruation is a blessing for a girl and if she does not menstruate, she would not be able to give birth to a child.
People here in India still feel that menstruation is a curse and that’s the reason they are isolated, prohibited to enter the kitchen and the pooja room, or share a bed with one’s husband. These rituals have restricted and shunned women for ages.
In my experience, when a woman in my team is a little cranky and annoyed, she is assumed to be on her menstrual cycle. Shocking as it is, it is intact very much the truth. If a girl is annoyed and cranky, does that mean she is on her menstrual cycle? If a man is annoyed or irritated, do we ask him if he is menstruating or hormonal? Stereotyping has made its way into the language we speak and the words we use. This leads women to succumb to the disadvantaged side.
Nowadays, we see advertisement by Akshay Kumar where he has mentioned how important sanitary pads are and how bad cigarettes are for society. I respect the fact that he came forward to acknowledge the two most common problems of our society.
- We live in a society where a man feels that he is masculine only if he smokes cigarettes but he forgets the fact that there is a statutory warning: ‘CIGARETTE SMOKING IS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH’ and the irony is that he doesn’t feel ashamed to smoke cigarettes but he does feel ashamed to buy sanitary pads for a girl.
- Even now in India, there are areas where a woman uses cloths instead of sanitary pads which are unhygienic and which can even result in life risk. In the same house, a man spends money on buying alcoholic beverages but refuses to make use of the same money to buy sanitary pads which are very essential.
These are the common problems in our society related to menstruation and we need to increase awareness in our society related to this topic. We want a society where every girl should be free enough to discuss her problems related to menstruation with any man around her and where a father will be open enough to discuss the pain his daughter undergoes, with her.
Author: Swati Rungta
New to the world of writing but has lots of matter in mind to pen down. Softwar Engineer by profession and a mother of a sweet little gal.
Edited by: Divya Rosaline