I remember when I first started menstruating, how lovingly my mum conveyed the gracious reality we feminines hold for ourselves! It was such a deeply impacting thing that still has an impression on my mind.
But as I grew older with this wonderful feminine reality, I noticed there are so many social taboos attached to it. The whole phenomenon of menstruation has been covered up with so many layers of societal menial mentalities, low standards of education, and of course our superficially modernized social structure.
Menstruation is a natural phenomenon and we all know that, but still talking about it openly is considered a taboo in our society. We cannot talk, discuss, or share things related to it openly even in our family, friends, and surroundings. Even our education system presents this concept as a very mysterious notion, something we should not talk about in open. I remember how our biology teacher used to skip that particular chapter having the menstrual cycle topic.
Actually, this mentality is deeply rooted and has its origin in the old myths of primitive Indian society. In ancient times and old Indian society the menstruating women used to be isolated for five to seven days, they were not allowed to go into the kitchen nor into the temples. They could not touch the utensils and clothes of others. They used to eat and live in isolation as if they were abandoned by society for those few days.
My opinion says that even if this all stands true and women used to live in isolation why cannot we see it from a different perspective? Why do we have to see it from a point of view of indifference and why not compassion for them? Perhaps women at that time were isolated so that they can take complete rest and take care of themselves.
Today, even after surpassing a long journey of westernization and urbanization all it seems to me is an extension of old mentalities in the new urban world. But we will have to realize the fact that women have gone really far, they have succeeded in the vivid dimensions of life so why do they still have to suffer the stereotyping in the new-age world?
Menstruation is a part of a female’s identity, how and why should hide a significant part of their identity after all? In fact, seeing it from an empathetic perspective would make it more meaningful.
Imagine a female is constantly bleeding day and night for certain days and she doesn’t let you feel her pain, her irritation, she does all her work, she doesn’t take off from anything. In spite of boosting her morale and praising her for bearing this nuisance of menstruation every month, we rather make this process look like a taboo for her! How ethical is that?
When she is bleeding, she needs care, empathy, love, and privacy and not isolation and indifference. Menstruation is a sign that a female is stronger than ever and capable of doing anything.
If we all make such a difference in our mindsets, it’ll be easier for women to survive with their very own realities and for others to accept it gracefully. Accepting the truth for what it is, is the best way instead of covering it up with layers of menial thoughts and hesitation.
It’s time women should become vocal about the realities of their physicalities and identities, they neither should be ashamed nor shy of this truth. I even feel society alone cannot change, it will be good if our government makes a purposeful contribution in sensitizing the awareness and acceptance of this natural phenomenon of women.