Tuesday, 4 August 2015

What's more painful?

Being a part of an Indian family, I have always been taught to not talk about certain things in public. Ample of social taboos continue to exist in our society. The question is who is wrong?
The free minded and unprejudiced people who don't give any heed to such  proscriptions or the people (>60%) who continue to pass on these guidelines to their coming generations. 

Talking about the top most cultural taboo for the Indian women. Any guesses?

Yes, the menstrual taboo. I didn't give a second thought before writing on this topic (an obvious lie). 
I had to think a lot on whether or not being open about such overcritical issue of females. But is it really that big?
No, it' not. There is nothing wrong in having a period, in speaking of period. Yes, I'm saying it again because I'm no longer ashamed of it.  Are you ashamed of being a woman? 
No, right?
Then why being shy on something that's very natural and a token, an expression of womanhood.

Personally, my mother had always been very supportive and I've never been barred of living my life when I'm down. But when I see the people especially the mothers or Nanis or Dadis or aunts around me, I always see them prohibiting their daughters about certain things when they are on their periods. 

Girls are taught not to touch pickles or curd or milk or the Idols. Not to enter the temples, not to have a head bath during their menstruation cycle. I'm sure many of the women feel embarrassed while buying the sanitary napkins, even I do. 
But, the point is, guys, a change starts from within. It's never going to change until we don't bring a change in our mentality.

In future, If I have a daughter, I don't want her to cry when she gets her period for the first time, rather I want her to be happy for taking a transformation from a girl to being a woman. That is something to be proud of and not to be ashamed or embarrassed of. 

At last I want to ask, what's more painful? The intolerable cramps that we get during our periods or these social taboos? Is it really a monthly curse?

The answer lies within you my super ladies! Whether to whisper or to stay free? 
  1. First of all, Deeshani, hats off to you for writing this article. Must say you are quite mature and wise for your age. I loved the thing you said about your future daughter :-*
    I so agree with the points you mentioned. I see many families treat their girls like they are untouchables during those days, which is simply ridiculous. First of all, we go through this pain every month and more than the menstrual pain, what's more painful is the ill treatment. God has created women in this way, then there is no logic in prohibiting women from entering the temple when they are bleeding.
    We cannot change society but we can change ourselves and say a firm NO if we are ever subjected to such abhorrent treatment.
    Lastly, a big hug for writing this my little sister <3

    1. I'm so so glad. I wasn't really sure that I was right in taking this step.. Your comment actually assured me of not being worried about that.. It's something that I always wanted to voice to people. You're absolutely right my dear, that's a change that we need to bring in ourselves.. thank you so much for your support..I means a lot, seriously.. Lots of love :)

  2. Deeshani, we have to talk about this. So thumbs up to you.

    Thankfully, I've never had to keep pickles and 'head baths' at bay, during those days.
    Periods! everybody actually knows about it, so we shouldn't be treating it like a secret. You're right. ( And I feel the same about 'breastfeeding')
    I'm not ashamed about taking about periods, but I do find myself going 'whisper' way these days, because I have a 6 year old at home. Honestly, I don't mind explaining things to him and clearing his doubts but I don't want him to talk about it with friends, as yet. So I guess I'll let it be, for now. :)

    1. Oh that's cool..! He is too young to know about it.. as for now.. So it's better you opt for 'whisper' for a while :D I'm glad to know about your similar thoughts.. Thanks a lot for appreciating.. :)

  3. Deeshani, kudos to you for bringing up the issue. In our society, menstruation cycle is still considered a curse or something! There is no scientific reason behind the way women are barred from touching food items or shunned from entering a temple. It lies all in our minds and nowhere else. I also very much dislike the way people keep on eyeing if you buy sanitary pads from a medical store. It seems as if I'm trying to buy some forbidden things! What stupidity!

    The elderly male members often support this rule of menstruation 'untouchability'. I wonder if they would be happy enough if suddenly their daughter/niece/sister stops menstruating. For that either could be the sign of a serious ailment or pregnancy!

    1. Yes, you're right Maniparna.. I hope people get over this 'untouchability' custom.. Thanks a lot for reading :)

  4. Deeshani, no you/we don't need to be ashamed of periods. Earlier in my childhood , yes I think there some things like quickly shoving the sanitary napkins in your purse after buying them, disposing them off secretly and all, but now I give two hoots to that. As far as staying away from idols come, I don;t mind that..( a choice of convenience). Not having head bath - is there a scientific reason?
    At the same time Deeshani, if there is some rational/ hygienic reason behind any of these practices, I would gladly accept it.
    Great that you brought the topic out of the closet. I am dropping a link to my post here with the story of A Muruganantham, who after years of struggle brought about a social transformation in his village and developed a sanitary napkin machine, breaking all the taboos.

    1. Even I don't mind following some of them which are necessary for our own wellness.. but the intention is to make it our choices and our decisions and not theirs :) Thanks a lot for stopping by.. Always glad to hear from you.. would read the post as soon as I reach home.. (Hostel has poor wifi connection)

  5. No way to be ashamed. The way some people esp. dadis and nanis treat the young women like untouchables on period, argh it makes me cringe from within. My mother never treated me that way but elderly ladies well, what can you say about them! They had seen worst days. Women today are far more comfortable thanks to STs and free to roam around without worrying about stains. Still, many people need to break that old mindset and need to take this natural phenomena as suchness. You have done a great job by posting about it. Bloggers do make difference.

    1. Absolutely Roohi.. It's disgusting to treat women like that.. But I'm glad that people like you are willing to make a change. Thanks a lot for stopping by :)

  6. We have strange validation points in our society. Why care about all those when you are confident and know what are you doing?...and that applies to everything.

    A thought provoking read, Deeshani.

    1. Exactly.. High five ;)
      Good know that we are like minded.. Many thanks for reading :)


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