If you are a girl in India, you know a lot of things that are associated with menstruation…naah..I am not talking about the pains or the cramps..I am talking about those many, many, MANY things that are associated with the word. So when Aditi Gupta and Tuhin Paul, gave this Tedx Talk, I could connect to them instantly.
Here are a few things I learnt about menstruation when I was growing up:
– It is not something you talk about. Our school had a lot of workshops on menstruation. From sixth standard we had to attend compulsory sessions where leading companies like whisper would come and inform scientific information via cartoons and skits. It was great to learn all this. But here is the thing, only girls were supposed to sit in this workshop. And once the workshop was over, and when boys asked why y’all were called, where y’all went, etc..we were supposed to be vague and not talk about it once the class got over. This is how actress Parineeti Chopra reacts to such taboos:
–Cannot visit temples. When I first came to know about this rule, I asked, why? Why cannot I? How am I impure? I did not ask for this..and this is natural, if it was so impure, why did God create an impure thing? Also, you tell me stories were Gods have wives, there are also lot of Goddesses. If all women have menstruation, and that menstruation is a way to have kids, then Goddesses (who have kids) definately have menstruation, are Goddess Impure too? I have not yet received an answer to this question.
–buying sanitary napkins is shameful. It was not explicitly said, but the way people around me acted, I felt very ashamed of buying a sanitary napkin for my self. I was so ashamed that I would go to malls, and buy a lot of things that I do not want and then act ‘innocent’ when the billing time came…even if there was no mall, and I had to buy it from grocery store, I would point at it, and the shopkeeper would wrap it in a newspaper and a black polythene and hand it over.But then one day, not very long ago, I realized, how stupid being ashamed was! Why SO much secrecy? I mean I was not buying a murder weapon, for Petes sake. And as soon as I realised that, I was able to go up, ask for a napkin of my choice and say ‘do not bother’ when the shopkeeper goes for the wrapping of newspapers. Check this out:
– No touching the pickles, because…ok..I cannot even think one logical reason for this. But this ad portrays breaking this taboo in a perfect way:
As I grew up, I found that a lot of my friends had to face a lot of other restrictions, from not touching, not washing hair, having separate utensils, having different bed sheets and many more!
Do we really need to cater to these unreasonable taboos?
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