Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Let’s discuss ‘That time of the month’ with #Period Pride


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I had my first period at the age of 12. And I had no clue about it whatsoever. I did ask questions about what ‘Whisper’ and ‘Stayfree’ were, when advertised on television, but got no direct answer. The only thing that got to my ears was, ‘You’ll learn when you will come of age!’ And I used to wonder, will my brains automatically get the information from my surroundings, or will there be some information centre that will fill be up with the answers to my endless questions?

Anyway, my mother discovered and helped me when I had my period. I was a quiet child then. I wasn’t very talkative and usually preferred to stay mum in front of guests. When periods hit me, I was kind of neutral. Luckily, I had painless periods. It was only the discomfort that comes along that bothered me. And yes, not worshipping was another thing that I didn’t like about it.

Certain people lectured me about how I should behave in front of people and I shouldn’t talk about it in public, that I shouldn’t touch the vessel and pickles, and behave mature, coz now I am a grown up and not a child anymore. That was what actually scared me!

I now wonder, why? There was nothing to be scared of, nothing to be guilty of and nothing to be 
ashamed of! Having periods is the most natural things to happen, just like having a grey hair. It is the sign of indicating fertility amongst women, and imagine if it doesn’t occur timely, then it can be a really serious problem! Something as natural as this is treated with utmost shame! It’s a taboo to talk about it in front of people, especially the males.

Again, why? It’s all pointless! And it only leaves the boys with half-baked knowledge, which is even worse.

I remember having a few people in our school making us aware about the do’s and don’ts along with other information about ‘those days’!

Our school uniform was a white kurta with the red checked jacket. I dreaded going to school during those days, anxious of having a stain and often pestered my friends to check if I have stained my kurta. Of course, I reciprocated the same during their times! But as much as I hated that time of the month, I equally enjoyed the liberty that came along with it!

Making an excuse for not feeling well during the P.T. classes, not indulging in any sports or laborious activity, and lying down at home to take that extra nap, relishing the liberty of not studying and having a perfectly sound explanation for the same were some of the perks that came along. Thank God!

Now when I think about it, it only makes me smile. And with time, I’m kind of used to it. I’ve befriended with them. And it usually doesn’t bother me much now.

But what bothers me sometimes is when I see my relatives, wherein a family of 5, there are 4 females (three daughters and one mother), and when the mother is going through her menstrual cycle, it’s the elder daughter, of a mere age of 12, has to make tea, cook food, and do all the kitchen and household stuff! And by chance, if the dates of the mother and the daughter clashed, then the man of the house would bring some food from outside or eat at his friend's place and get packed for his family as well!

I really feel bad for them, for being stuck with all the old traditions. I feel sad for the little girls where in their years of growing up, they should be playing and fighting and falling and making friends, they are being caught in the shackles of such customs. And this is despite the fact that the family is an educated one!

Not touching the pickle, standing outside the temple and pray (and let the world learn that the woman is having her periods), not touching holy plants, not entering the kitchen, sleeping alone on a separate bed sheet and having meals in separate utensils, are some of the customs that are followed in the families.

While I didn’t have too many restrictions, few of the above were still prevalent in the house. But now, I’ve completely shunned them away! Yes, you heard me!

And I don’t feel a hunch that I’m doing something wrong. If my conscious is clear, I don’t think it’s a problem anymore then!

Lots of efforts are being made to spread the awareness, pertaining to hygiene during those days, use of various things available and their side-effects, other products that can be used alongside and so on. 

Naari is one such organization making constant efforts to share the word and remove the taboo from the society, instilling confidence in the girls and making them believe there is nothing to be ashamed of, of themselves or their bodies, and tutoring the underprivileged girls about the hygiene and nature-friendly products.

When I read about #PeriodPride on Write Tribe, I knew I had to write on this subject and spread awareness in a way.

“Chemicals like Dioxin which is found in disposable sanitary napkins is a known carcinogen and has been linked to ovarian cancer, abnormal growth in reproductive organs, impaired thyroid and immune dysfunction. Dioxin has even been added by WHO in their list of Dirty Dozen – List of 12 harmful chemicals.”

While spreading the word about the side-effects of sanitary pads, a few alternatives like cotton pads, tampons, and menstrual cups can be used without worrying about their fallouts.

Gone are the days, when women stayed within the four walls of their houses. Today, they are ahead in quite a number of fields and are bringing laurels to their families. If they are ahead in everything, then why should they be left behind in such an important thing as this?! 

Don’t you think?

Come on girls, share the post, talk about it and treat it as normal as you can!

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Linking this post with Naari and Period Pride via Write Tribe.

Cheers

32 Discussion

  1. Such a wonderful initiative. I only recently got to know of them (Naari). But will certainly check them out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, please do. There are some really interesting articles on their blog. They are worth reading!

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. The white uniform and the dreaded days are something most of us can relate to, as also the prejudices of not doing this or that....It is good that we are already questioning these practices so that the coming generation will escape the senselessness of it all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. That is what is important. If we only won't talk t=or question about it, the same trend will continue and get passed to the next generation!

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. Great Post.... I also made excus of Periods to avoid PT classes.... Those were the days... Please read my post and share your valuable comments.
    http://www.womanzie.com/2016/08/my-experience-period-is-bold-and-bold.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dipannita. ye. Hopping to your blog now!

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. You said it all Geetika. I think all of us have faced some kind of taboos regarding periods. If only there wasn't such a hoo-haa around them girls would look upon them so much more positively. The cramps and the aches would't seem so bad if at least one could complain about them openly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a ton Tulika. You don't it yet, but I really love to hear from you! And yes, we've all faced situations in our growing years and now time has come when we need to change that!

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. I am still scared of stain... having stained enough white skirts in school. Forget fertility, all I knew was this was only a source of embarrassment. I feel bad for the 4 girls, to imagine how they will grow in age old beliefs. Great post and a wonderful message :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here dude! Who isn't afraid of the stain? Thanks a ton Raj! Always a pleasure to have you :)

      Cheers
      Geets

      Delete
  6. It's a real shame when educated lot sways to such blind and patriarchal beliefs in our society, Geetika. It's holding us back as humans. Glad that you don't believe in such so-called obsolete views.

    https://vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com/2016/09/01/period-pride-stop-ignorance-and-be-the-change-as-a-society/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to know you have penned your views as well! Will sure read them!

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. Such a relatable post. My experience was mostly similar. Except for the fact that I had and still have extremely painful cramps and severe nausea. So for me I used to have to take leave because I had to go to the doctor and get injected with painkillers, just to be able to eat. Though now it is just reduced to popping an Anti Spasmodic but yes, it is mostly the same. For me all the not touching or in general moving happened by default because I just couldn't.

    It is really shameful that people would not talk more openly about this. I for one have shunned all the taboos. It is something that is normal and I will treat it as such.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. People are not ready and they never will until and unless people like us will come forward and remove the taboo!

      Cheers

      Delete
  8. Instead of dismissing the depressive or disturbing thoughts that occur to us during the pre-menstrual days, an effort to understand it and address the reason would be much more helpful. Women have all the natural magical tools to deal with life – if only we were more aware of it!“Why am I not allowed to visit a temple during my period?” “Will the pickle really spoil if I touched it during menstruation?” There is a tendency to dismiss these rituals as superstitions without investigating enough the knowledge or wisdom behind these practices. Let us act responsibly about what we tell the next generation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, what you've said here makes lots of sense and I really this movement brings about change! Considerable amount of change!
      Thank you for dropping by :)

      Cheers

      Delete
  9. Good one..I agree with you how people blindly follow rules and also teach their kids without thinking..high time we stop Period shaming! I also wrote on the same topic here- http://kreativemommy.com/stop-making-it-an-undercover-operation/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true! We should do it asap!

      Cheers

      Delete
  10. I agree with you here. It's time we stop the period shaming. Great initiative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Aditi! Yes, time has come to stop the shaming!

      Cheers
      Geets

      Delete
  11. Well me too against all these taboos, and sometimes even argue with my mom regarding all these non-logical things.
    Inspired by this topic, I too written a blog on this topic, sharing with you, hope you will like it :
    http://wp.me/p7uYLP-5H

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure! Hopping to your blog now! And thank you :)

      Cheers

      Delete
  12. Thank God! my parents were liberal too- except of course the Pooja thing. Glad that you wrote about the taboos and your experiences.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to learn that ! The pooja clause is with everyone I guess!! :P

      Cheers

      Delete
  13. Thankfully my family never bought into the myths, but hush hush there was. Thank you for sharing. Geetika.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a ton for hosting it Corinne. Your post made me write this one!

      Cheers

      Delete
  14. Love the way you've put your points forward about this topic. Our mentality toward menstruation needs to change. Nicely written!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Vanessa for your kind words!
      And I love your name :)

      Cheers

      Delete
  15. This is great... Wish more women would come forward for the cause 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sachin! A lot of women have and have done wonderful!

      Cheers

      Delete

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