WHY TALKING ABOUT PERIODS OPENLY IS IMPORTANT
28 Apr 2018 #Menstruation
Menstruation or periods, is the regular discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina .This phase is usually marked by the onset of puberty amongst girls. Conventionally, a girl having her periods is considered a matter of discomfort for the girl. Adding to her agony, is the attitude that people possess towards this extremely natural biological phenomenon.
In our country, barring a few places, monthly cycles are still considered a taboo where girls are restricted entry into the kitchen, temples, wells and other ‘pure’ places . Even though we have modernized so much, India still has walls of stereotypes ingrained in our psyche which has blinded the practicality of a normal cycle into something that deprives women of their basic right to freedom.
Prima facie, a little research about ‘period myths’ that are followed extensively today revealed that in those days when a female would be menstruating, it would be awkward for females to bathe together with the rest of the ladies as the women might ‘pollute’ the water. So since they did not bathe due to the lack of bathroom facilities, they would naturally be termed as ‘unclean’ during that time. Hence , it lead to barring of the ladies from the clean places such as temples and kitchen. This is what surrounds the stupid act of prohibition of females from such places, it’s time we break the bubble and not suffocate young girls with the so called customs laid down by the society.
It becomes essential to talk about periods to save young girls from discomfort caused due to lack of knowledge and resources .For a girl, bleeding between the thighs and the shame that surrounds the ‘vagina’ might lead to mental trauma and sadly but distinctly this is also the reason of early school dropouts as girls find themselves ill-equipped to cope up with their flow of blood.
How many of us were able to get legitimate sex education in schools? This does not include that one chapter on menstruation in class 10 which was dexterously ‘skipped’ by our teachers as a lesson meant for ‘self-studying’ .This represents the stark reality where even highly intellectual teachers show reluctance in educating students about adolescence, puberty, sex, male and female genitalia and menstruation. Why are we so ashamed of discussing about the changes that takes place in every humans body, why is there a need to hide sanitary napkins under black polythene wrappers? Why is sex education not ‘worth ‘discussing in our classrooms?
Luckily enough, “times they are a changing”, today herds of Bollywood celebrities are coming up with empowering captions holding a pad in their hands, which might look like a propaganda to promote a film, but nevertheless it is inspiring to see pads being taken out of the black polythene and held with pride . Adding to the pain is the layer of GST which fuels up the existing un-affordability, leading to a decline in their usage and an increase in the usage of rags, newspapers, plastics, ashes and anything ‘available’ for under-privileged women to control the blood flow .A research has found that to avoid the taboo related to the disposal of sanitary napkins women used cloth napkins which led to fatal hazards like urinary tract infection and even run a risk of cervix cancer.
Teachers, parents, government bodies, social activists and girls themselves have a proactive role to play in empowering girls. Educating them to make them realize that a phenomenon which gives women the supreme power of producing offspring, should never be looked down upon by anyone in the society.
I am a girl .I bleed. It’s natural and nothing to be ashamed of .PERIOD.