“History says that untouchability was abolished in India in the year 1955. But the truth is that, an advanced version of it still exists, Especially against women- IN THE FORM OF MENSTRUAL TABOO”
This is why we are here. We are here to join hands and do all that we can in breaking these taboos that for long has designated the title of ‘inferior beings’ on women.
Menstruation: Freedom to Bleed.
Ever so often we ourselves treat periods as a ‘task’, constraining us from enjoying our days or function comfortably. We find ourselves hiding it from others for the fear of being mocked at or be shamed.
It’s time we break from all these societal and psychological restrictions and allow ourselves to bleed freely.
Menstruation is a topic that for long has been talked about in whispers and hushes. A natural process which has had negative connotations attached to it for as long as one can remember trying to understand what it is.
It has been used to consider a human being impure, filthy or even disgusting.
We bring to you a series on menstruation, its existence across, cultures, religions and different perspectives.
Menstrual Discourse and its Socio-Cultural Dynamics in the Indian Culture
“Menstrual blood is the only source of blood that is not traumatically induced. Yet, in modern society, this is the most hidden blood, the one so rarely spoken of and almost never seen, except privately by women…”
Ankita Gupta talks about how a natural process like menstruation has become a taboo ridden topic. She discusses how the interaction of different religions, cultures, and society has resulted in the stigmatization of menstruation through the ages. Questions like ‘ What is menstruation?’, ‘What is a taboo?’, ‘What is menstrual poverty?’ And ‘How can we carry out the process of destigmatization?’ have been answered.
Girl’s Experiences with Periods in School
“These responses speaks volumes about the kind of hushed conversation and taboos that accompanies MENSTRUATION even amongst educated individuals. These are the very practices that must be ended.”
It can be seen that most of the responses talk about a very hard time that girls had to face in school while dealing with periods. They faced a lot of inconveniences in performance and varying health issues. From the first time they got their period at school to the emotional outbreak over the use of pads and keeping up with the occurrence of such a massive change. From taking a leave from school during the menstrual cycle to rushing to the medical room during sports periods. From telling others that they are “down” to whispering to the teacher why they need to go to the washroom. These are just a few experiences of girls at school which are shared by many others and the responsibility of being on a secret mission that accompanied the journey of periods every month
Teacher’s Experience with Students Menstruating in Class.
“Most of the teachers do understand that Menstruation is a natural process and are there to help in times of inconvenience. As students we first need to come out of our own reservations pertaining to talking about periods openly and approach the teachers openly. How comfortable or uncomfortable the teacher is has to be dealt not by the students but the teachers themselves”
After our discussion with Girls about their experience with periods in school, a major issue that was continuously brought up was having to ‘convey it to the teacher’. This constituted a significant part of the school experience for most of the girls. So we decided to ask teachers to give their perspective about dealing with student’s while they were menstruating and the way they were approached by the girls. In addition, we also asked if there were any period related incidents in the class and the kind of reaction that was met by both boys and girls.