28 August, 2016

It's time to break the taboo of talking about Periods #PeriodPride

Girls and Women face periods every month which is the natural biological change in their body. But, It's a taboo to talk about it in public. Leave about talking, purchasing a sanitary napkin and carrying it uncovered attracts everyone's attention as if the lady is carrying a bomb or pistol in public. 

The major concern here is the lack of awareness on periods and menstrual hygiene in girls.  I felt very bad reading from Corinne's blog that 71% girls reported that they were completely  unprepared for their first period. Even, I was one of them and I understand how it feels for the first time. Even though mother helps her daughter to cope up with the situation well, if doubts are not cleared at the right time, young girls get afraid of their body changes and assume many things. At least, we have google now, which is helping many girls to get a basic idea about menstruation and hygiene during periods. But, this information is not completely reliable too. 

As it is with pregnancy, the experience during periods also change from a person to person. Severe cramps, heavy bleeding, migraine, body pains,weakness, feeling anaemic etc.,are only some of the problems. My doctor explained me the reason behind the cramps once, but until then, I was afraid of those 5 days. I have discussed with my close friends about the problems during periods and that was one way to understand, share and learn. Who else can a girl talk to about these problems oOther than her mother, siblings, and friends? If those close people don't have enough knowledge, where does she get the awareness from? I feel, it's essential that a few educational sessions should be organized in schools and colleges about the periods, body changes, hygiene etc., Till now I am talking about people like us who have access to education and good schools. But, the girls/ women from less privileged strata of society might not have this awareness and even if they had, the sanitary napkins or other options for menstrual hygiene might not be accessible to them. Naari, a social enterprise working in the space of Menstrual hygiene management is doing a great job in spreading awareness. Their focus is to erase menstrual myths and encourage women to talk about periods with pride. Kudos to the organization.

It's time to break the taboo and start talking about Periods, what say?

Until next time,





21 comments:

bellybytes said...

Yes talking about periods is a start.

mahathi ramya A said...

True bellybytes.

Ls said...

School should educate and create the awareness. But, at the same time, mindsets at home should change too. It is still taboo. If the taboo is in the mind of the mother, she will pass it on too. I am glad we are talking about it now.

tulika singh said...

You're right - the family and school together need to work on this in order to dispel myths and bring about awareness. It's the taboo that has to go first.

Vasantha Vivek said...

Timely post. It's high time to feel pride in your periods ......

Rekha Dhyani said...

That's the pity. Girls from respectable and educated background have found it so difficult. Then what would be the experience of those from the underprivileged families? Such a shame. Schools these days do have sessions to educate young girls. One of my friends shared it with me.

vishal bheeroo said...

Ramya, it's a hard-hitting post. There is a lack of awareness and education on the issue. I mean, why something natural should be taboo.

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

Geets said...

We all face situations and we all have been there. There are so many things associated with periods around and only we can shun it away by accepting it and talking about it as a natural thing!

Cheers
Geets

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Thank you for writing on this important subject, Mahathi. There's so much unnecessary fear caused by ignorance.

Anju said...

You are so right Ramya, when girls step in to puberty, they have many questions and doubts which they only clarify from their moms, sisters or friends. But what when these women themselves don't have complete information, what if they themselves are the believers of societal taboos and stigmas...unfortunately the wrong information is passed on the subsequent generations....Thankfully the women are changing in Urban society but there's still a lot that needs to be changed among the less privileged strata..and with this vision and hope Naari is brought into existence.

Thank you for writing for #periodpride. It was lovely reading your post...:)

Would love to her from you again. Feel free to share your menstrual experiences or views with us at naari.wellness@gmail.com or post on https://www.facebook.com/NaariWomenWellnessProducts/



Anju said...

You are so right Ramya, when girls step in to puberty, they have many questions and doubts which they only clarify from their moms, sisters or friends. But what when these women themselves don't have complete information, what if they themselves are the believers of societal taboos and stigmas...unfortunately the wrong information is passed on the subsequent generations....Thankfully the women are changing in Urban society but there's still a lot that needs to be changed among the less privileged strata..and with this vision and hope Naari is brought into existence.

Thank you for writing for #periodpride. It was lovely reading your post...:)

Would love to her from you again. Feel free to share your menstrual experiences or views with us at naari.wellness@gmail.com or post on https://www.facebook.com/NaariWomenWellnessProducts/

Holly Jahangiri said...

I don't even know what to say to this. I am so glad that my mom was matter-of-factly informative about these things - from periods to reproduction. I cannot imagine growing up in a household where I did not learn exactly how my body would grow, develop, and work. Or a household where I was not taught about my rights over my body.

That said, "discretion" is not having lengthy discussions about bodily functions in public. (Not saying we shouldn't talk or blog or write books on them, just that some go so far that there's another inevitable backlash that's counter-productive.

I think there's a demonstrated interest and need for things like this: https://medium.com/memos-from-the-menstruation-museum/not-your-average-exhibition-ea7ff9b0e565

I'm completely in favor of not letting the monthly flow interrupt the flow of LIFE in general: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4xq7eb/free-bleeding-is-the-shock-art-the-world-needs (though I'm sad it even needed public commentary, if you know what I mean - it should just be as normal as sweat, and doubly so while running a marathon that's not perfectly in tune with a woman's hormones).

I'm a little less sure we need a barrage of very explicit commercials, or bloody art exhibits: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4x9vnj/period-themed-art-exhibition-wants-society-to-rethink-menstruation (I'll just admit that while some of it is artistic, a toilet with menstrual blood in it is not. But to each their own. I certainly wouldn't protest AGAINST it, I just don't see that it's a normalizing, positive, uplifting message or experience, any more than a toilet with poop in it is. And that's a very normal, very human, very unisex bodily function that we mostly don't have dinner-table discussions around once the kids are, say, past the age of 3-5. :D Not because it's shameful. I cannot imagine shaming or ostracizing a child for having to poop. Or wetting the bed, though I know that some people do that.)

When I was in 7th grade science, we had a unit on human anatomy that included sex ed. I think it was great that we had a mixed gender class, too - if the boys chuckled over breasts and periods and uteruses and ovaries, they were warned: "We're getting to YOU, next." Boys need to understand periods. Girls need to understand penises and ejaculation and men's health, too. It's just human. NOT understanding leads to all sorts of problems, later.

Mahathi Ramya said...

Ya, more responsibility to the mothers to educate daughters.

Mahathi Ramya said...

Yes Tulika.

Mahathi Ramya said...

Yes Vasantha, iam glad you agree.

Mahathi Ramya said...

May be the schools should play an important role in educating on thos topic too Rekha

Mahathi Ramya said...

Glad to hear your opinion Vishal

Mahathi Ramya said...

Well said Holly. The periods is as normal as other bodily functions. Thanks for the links of informative articles.

Mahathi Ramya said...

Thanks Anju.

Mahathi Ramya said...

My pleasure Corinne.

Mahathi Ramya said...

Yes, we, women only can change and spread awareness

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