How many of my friends know about menstruation, you ask? Men i.e. Yup, I am a man and I am confident that I know almost all the general things to know about puberty and menstruation. By God’s grace, I was born and brought up in an environment that facilitated this, largely thanks to my family. But when it comes to my friends, most of the guys I know still don’t know what happens exactly at the time of periods and what problems girls face during this time. There were occasions when I talked to my friends about it. Some of them knew what happened but most were and aren’t still ready to change their mindsets about menstruation and the myths surrounding it. The situation was much the same during my college days as well. Even if boys were aware of things, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]they would crack private jokes when a girl would go to use the restroom suddenly in between a lecture.[/inlinetweet] Even then I used to often think about how I could do something to change this. How could I help women? How would I make my male friends aware about the importance of menstruation and women?
After some days of thought, whenever they cracked jokes about women by saying things about her periods or whatnot, I would go up to them and converse with them about periods and its importance. The same thing happened after I joined a job. All of my colleagues were in an age group not exceeding mine by a difference of one or two years. Obviously when my roomies and I discussed topics about women and women’s ‘issues’, the words ‘menstruation’ or ‘menses’ or ‘those days’ comes to mind and I understood that the story was the same everywhere. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]I had changed states, languages had changed, but yet almost all young men were unaware of the purest thing in the world: menstruation.[/inlinetweet] For one week or more, I would give lectures about periods to them and while I am not sure about how successful I was in that mission, I surely can say that many of my friends clarified many of their doubts and abandoned many myths about menstruation. After that, when it came to discussing pads, I brought a pack of sanitary napkins to demonstrate to some of them about how it was used. Shockingly, most of the guys had never seen any in real life before, since all they knew was through TV ads alone. I then further discussed menstrual cups and tampons with them, two things that they had never heard about and that I hence had to explain to them.
Of course, now I can say with confidence that most of my roomies will not crack jokes about menstruating women and have started to consider it to be a normal biological phenomenon as natural as breathing, eating, urinating and such and so I am very glad to say that I do something with my knowledge, even if the difference I am making is but little. When I came across the Menstrupedia page on Facebook, I became so happy thinking about the fact that something like this was operating in my country and I read almost all the articles on their blog page, which I also shared with my friends. I even messaged the admin of the Facebook page regarding a Malayalam translation as well when they launched the Gujarati edition. Having read the Menstrupedia comic book, I am sure that it will make a change in our society’s views about menstruation. If not for our generation, then I am sure that the younger ones; my sweet little sisters and brothers who are on the doorsteps of puberty, will certainly change their attitude. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Let puberty make people smile instead of having them worried![/inlinetweet]
Author: Libin Balan
Libin hails from Kerala and is working in Jaipur now.
Editor: Divya Rosaline