The past week on social media would have been quite surprising for all of you too. You suddenly saw people caring for the delicate, weak and “bechari” naari who has to pass out blood from her body every 28-30 days.
Yes. I’m talking about the #padman challenge which has suddenly woken up people from their deep slumber.
Stars from Akshay Kumar (Wait. It’s his movie after all) and Sonam Kapoor to Aamir Khan and Anil Kapoor have all been posing with a sanitary napkin on social media. Well, I hope they didn’t savagely throw it away and thoroughly wash their hands after the 1 min stunt.
You would be thinking, “What’s wrong with this female? Why does she have a problem when the society is finally starting to change their mindset and help wipe out period taboos?” The stars are after all promoting health and hygiene.
My only reply is that BOSS, I don’t have a problem with them doing this. I have a problem with the delay in doing this. Where were all these people sleeping when all these years women were secluded and treated like untouchables when on their monthly cycle? (Oh sorry. I forgot that a woman HAS to be untouchable in those days of the month)
Come on people. Even female bats, elephants, dogs, horses, chimps and many other animals menstruate.
But do you go around telling them to stay in their shelters, eat only specific things and not move near humans? Then why this with women?
Let’s look at some practices by women around the world during their periods:
* School girls in Bolivia can often be found carrying around used menstrual pads in their backpacks all day because they are told that menstrual blood is so dangerous it can cause diseases like cancer if it’s mixed in with other trash.
*A long-standing tradition in Japan dictates that women cannot be sushi chefs because their sense of taste is thrown off by menstruation. “To be a professional means to have a steady taste in your food, but because of the menstrual cycle women have an imbalance in their taste, and that’s why women can’t be sushi chefs,” Yoshikazu Ono, the son of the famed Jiro Ono (of Jiro Dreams of Sushi) told the Wall Street Journal in 2011.
*The ability to afford menstrual pads is a luxury for women all over the world, and for women in Kenya, this luxury is often at the behest of a male superior, like their husband or father.
*The tradition of chaupadi (which was technically outlawed in 2005 but still persists in many communities) in Nepal involves sending menstruating women to live in sheds, isolated from others and forced to endure the elements, often without access to food or clean water. This has led to illness and even death for many women in the region.
OK. I’m not telling more. Go research for yourself now.
Just one word. Why?
You are not a bad person for god to hate you.
You are not allowed inside temples during your periods only and only because the energy during menstruation goes downwards into the earth, while at the puja place, near the offerings and the altar it is going upwards. This contrast of positive(upward movement of vibes of the temple) and negative(downward flow of impure blood from your body) can bring discomfort to the body.
We don’t mind you sitting with us and eating.
While eating, people expel negative energy all around. In the normal course of things, we would not feel it. But if a menstruating woman who is sensitive to absorb all types of energies around her is in the middle of a group that is eating, she can get affected by the lower energies. This is probably the reason why menstruating women were told to stay away from others and eat separately.
No. That pickle won’t get polluted if you eat it during your periods.
In many parts of Assam, girls are given only fruits and water to consume for 3 days. In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, specific food like ragi, drumstick leaf, fenugreek, jaggery, etc is given.
Women are advised to avoid eating too many spices and oil during menstruation in order to soothe their stomach. Even in ancient times, menstruation used to bring along food restrictions just to ensure better health of women.
Relax! It’s only blood
The most common notion of all is that menstrual blood is impure and that it makes women impure.
well, different people have different notions on this. In Manipur, when a girl first bleeds, the cloth into which she bleeds is safely kept aside by her mother and gifted back to her when she gets married.
This cloth is believed to be so powerful that it will protect the girl and her family from poor health and other ills.
Many women even taste a drop of their first menstrual blood, as part of a traditional practice. This blood is considered to be very powerful and believed to keep them in good health when consumed.
On the other hand, It is believed in Jharkhand that menstrual blood is very powerful and can be used for black magic and therefore, women should be very careful about destroying this cloth after use. Every year, around 400 women in Jharkhand are murdered in the name of being witches.
Just because there are valid reasons behind every practice, doesn’t mean you need to forcibly follow them and make your daughters follow them too. It’s your personal choice. It’s your yes or no.
So don’t worry. Go to that family function, go hang out with your friends(boys too), eat that big scoop of ice cream, hug everyone around you, don’t miss your swimming classes (You don’t bleed when in water), lick that pickle without worry, don’t wash your hair everyday in periods, choose to go buy a sanitary napkin that is not wrapped in newspapers and black carry bags.
Be that girl whom nobody can stop!