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The other day dhaima(the lady who massages my baby) mentioned that her grandchild will soon start her Mensuration. I excitedly said that it is a great news and she should tell her grandchild everything about it. That is the problem dhaima said. "How can I explain it to her. Even if I somehow tell her then also she would have to face the world. Why only girls have to go through such embarrassment." Suddenly my baby started making some weird sound and I got distracted and started concentrating on my little one. The discussion was left there and the topic never came up again.
Mensuration is a dreaded topic especially in a country like ours. It is considered to be a taboo. Mensurating women are considered to be impure and are restrained from doing many things. It is beyond any logic or rationale why women are treated in this manner every month during those days. There are so many myths and superstitious beliefs associated with it. I remember before I had my first periods I was ready for it. My mother had briefed me about the physical change that my body will undergo and how it is necessary and I should be prepared for it. There is nothing wrong with it and this is a natural phenomenon. All women older to me, of my age and others who would be my age one day will experience this natural biological change. The best part about knowing it was that I even asked questions to my Dad. He happily cleared my doubts. Even my elder brother was aware of it and told me to maintain the hygiene standards during that time. The whole family made me realise that it was a part of my growing up. Not amongst my friends and closest relatives I could see a difference in attitude and approach to the discussion on periods. Some of my acquaintances say that I grew in a liberal family. What is knowing about your body related to liberation. It is your body and it is important to know about it. There is nothing gross if you are bleeding evey month. You bleed when you deliver a baby too. You bleed when you are operated, or when you cut yourself. Is bleeding bad then? Then why is periods considered to be impure. Why it is looked down upon? Why is it hidden? In an age where technology has changed the way we live, it has failed to change the way we think about periods or mensurating women. We still live in the era where TV channels are changed if there is an ad on sanitary napkins, where sanitary napkins are bought in black polythenes or covered in newspapers. We call ourselves modern. Yes with the latest gadgets in our hands we are modern. But in our approach, attitude and thoughts we are hollow and narrow minded. A section of the society celebrities, sportsperson, artists have come a long way and spoken openly about periods/ mensuration. However it has probably impacted maybe only a miniscule of our society. Such beliefs will not change until and unless each one of us contribute towards it. How can we achieve this by educating our daughters and sons that there is nothing wrong about periods. This is one of the many things that happen in a girl's body and it should not be looked down upon. At times I wonder whether education has helped our generation or not. Because we the so called educated ones consider mensuration a taboo.
Food for thought: Had men experienced this biological change of having periods every month, would they be treated the same way women are. No, maybe they would have taken pride in it.