”Freedom from Menstural Taboos”
It’s those five days of the month when a girl doesn’t wants to step out of her house. The days when ”aunty flow” hits her and she has to deal with the mess of tampons and mood swings. Menstrual cycle or dates or “on the rag” these are some of the common terms used to denote this situation. It’s the dispersal of the old blood from a female’s uterus through the passage of her vagina. Now, what’s so embarrassing about this situation? What’s that thing that makes this topic a hush of the town? Why are girls given an isolated corner to live during such days, when biologically she is losing blood and supposedly she is weak?
Girls during their menstrual cycles are impure as the impure (unused) blood is flowing out of her body. Hence, she can’t be a part of the normal day to day routine like if she touches long lasting foods such as pickles as it will get perished within a day or two. If she touches the idols at the temple, she will be cursed. She can’t enter the kitchen, because kitchen is the home of Annapurna Devi and the impure souls must not touch a goddess. She has to apprehensive of her looks, no makeup, and no “improper dresses” no going out. So much so, that in food, she will be given only boiled rice and water. Is the girl outcast? Has the girl committed a crime by getting her dates? Has she been a part of a sin? No. Rather her ability to get periods is the proof that one day she can successfully conceive a baby. Then why such taboos to such a good cause? We must understand that, it is a gift of god and a signal to the female that one day she can be a successful mother. But, isolating the girl to such extend will give her a feeling of been the culprit and not a part of her family, when no late, she will start blaming her dates as her cause for distress. As a part of the society, we need to figure out, it can happen with any of the female around us. We need to take steps and speak up for them, for us. The menstrual cycle taboos seem as if one is locked up in a jail and no less, a feeling of guilty, perfectly, is given to her. Don’t make her feel that she is impure; otherwise, she will feel guilty and cursed. Understand it, she is already irritated, already upset and sad by the very fact of her body losing blood.
—- About the author: The article has been s contributed by our intern, Prashansa Ranjan. She is pursuing B.A. from Christ University, Bangalore. She is a firm believer of the Gandhian qoute-” Be the change you want to see in the world”. She writes poems and articles in her free time, she believes that every woman should be equal to men in all respects. This equality can be achieved when we start from scratch; the process of restructuring the social mindsets.