#PeriodPride: Stop ignorance and be the change as a society


I am an ignorant man. No! I swear! I ain’t kidding. It’s shameful. I am sharing my thoughts on a subject which I don’t know the A to Z of. Period! Naari Shakti. I am sure there are many men like me who never made an effort to read about period, women go through in the cycle of menstruation. I admit that before writing this post for Write Tribe  I didn’t even read about it for one reason: I had only one hour to submit before the prompt ends.

period-pride

I am not writing it to bag goodies or to boost my traffic. The reason that I am doing it is because I want to be part of the attitudinal change in our attitudes towards women. Given that I am a big zero when it comes to knowing about period that women go through, I am aware that as a society we nurture prejudices against women. You know why? Hey! it’s a dirty thing and women shouldn’t be allowed to be part of prayers in our Hindu society for menstruation will pollute rituals. I shudder when I hear such stupidity. I mean like how.  We are such unnatural beings. Yes! We are. Why do we resist or look down upon something natural in a human being? I am saying human being and not women. In that way, male ejaculation would be deemed the most unnatural process and we guys shouldn’t go to work if we feel a liquid inside us or simply chose to walk way from ritual.

Feeling gross at my choice of words? Offended? Well! well! The aim is to offend because something natural in our bodies is being discarded and we choose to humiliate a woman for going through a menstrual cycle. I have a friend who shared with me how she was sitting in a prayer at home and she was told to throw away the flowers for the Durga Puja since something untoward might happen on account of her period.  It was only then her Baba stepped in and said that according to Hindu belief, Durga is a form of Shakti and represent womanhood who also go through this cycle. Does this mean that one should take her away from the temple?

I mean, it deserves respect for a man who is also a product of patriarchy like all of us,  made the effort and stood up not only for her daughter but righteousness. I was moved reading this post. There are, I am sure, many men like him who doesn’t nurture prejudice against a woman going through menstruation. I strongly feel that it is us who have a dirty mind and making a sin by nurturing such prejudices on a natural cycle in the life of a woman. Does this mean that we don’t treasure our daughters? A child is born when a man and women procreate? Giving birth is something very sacred and a child born out of love is the result of our own actions as human beings. More power to my friend’s Baba and urge you all to pray for him since he is going through failing health. Read the post here.

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To be bluntly honest, if a parent-man or women-nurture such thought against menstruation, it makes sense to doubt their love for the child that they brought on earth. Isn’t it disrespectful for a brother or sister to nurture prejudice against their own on account of society’s definition of menstruation as dirty? I think that it reflects on us as human beings. As a society, let’s question such rules that doesn’t only make us dumb as the by-product of births but nurturing prejudices against women which is humiliating. We don’t realize that we are showing a lack of respect for ourselves but also our mothers and sisters.

There are many women who feel a certain lack of comfort speaking or thinking about something which is an inherent part of their bodies. Do we blame them or this misogynist society who has instilled such misplace doubt or fear in their heads? I feel that such things should change which we are part of as men and women? After all, what is society? It is people like you or me who make society. With all respect to my elders, it’s my strong belief that as humans we are not flawless and why blindly trust the words of men and women who falter? Sorry, I refuse to toe the line. Just because it’s my Dad doesn’t mean that he was 100 per cent right! Let’s be the change. Why are we so scared of society and of humans like us, who stumble and fail?

Believe in Naari Shakti. Menstruation is a cycle in the life of a woman. I confess that I am an ignorant man who shied away from learning about menstruation not because I have prejudice because I felt it’s something personal about women. It’s such a flawed judgment. Now, you see how I am treading on faulty lines? Would you trust my words about what makes society pure even if I am a man?

This post, Naari and #PeriodPride is written as part of Write Tribe initiative for a good cause. Period Pride is an event being conducted in Hyderabad for adolescent girls hailing from underprivileged background, steered under the leadership of Ms Suman Rangabhashyam of FWB (FTAPCCI women in Business) who teamed up with Naari. Naari is a product that aims to spread awareness on menstrual hygiene among women. Click on Write Tribe to inform and educate yourself.

Be the change

V

 

 

 

 

48 thoughts on “#PeriodPride: Stop ignorance and be the change as a society

  1. First of all the writdup is really inspiring .Secondly I feel obliged that you remembered the incident of mine & placed it in reference. It’s great. The change has began & ur sriteup shall inspire more…Thankz for the prayers dear…Regards

    • Thanks Joyeeta for dropping few words. Your post was thought-provoking and something that everyone should read. Power and blessing to your Baba. This change is needed and slowly but surely, it will happen.

  2. Vishal, I stand up (as a woman) and applaud you. You’ve stepped outside your culture and, as someone who majored in cultural anthropology in college over 40 years ago, I received a taste of how difficult that can be. Kudos! You ARE part of the change. Thank you for your courage in expressing your thoughts online. Thank you!

    • Thanks Alana for sharing your thoughts. It’s high time we need to step out and have issue with people maintaining status quo in culture. After all, society is made of humans and makes me wonder why we don’t question them often? I am glad to be part of the change and do share with us your experience in anthropology.

  3. Hi Vishal…welcome to the world of women…
    I didn’t know about this prompt till now…
    And am new to blogging, so dunno how to participate and anyway time up for the present one…but a good topic to muse on…maybe I will do it sometime….
    And the prejudice about mensuration is very very deep rooted cutting across urban, rural ,literate illiterate and socio economic backgrounds….
    Foremost concern however is awareness of hygiene…
    Awesome initiative by Naari

    • Thanks Haseena. Do check and participate in Write Tribe prompt and they are very helpful. I have quite a few thought-provoking posts that I intend to write about. There is a whole prejudice and the society we live in which is governed by morons. Agree, first step is awareness and educate people. Naari is doing a commendable work.

    • Thank you Random Ramblings, sorry don’t know your name. I am Anju Arora, Founder of Naari. So pleased to read Vishal’s post and equally happy to read all the comments here.

      Please feel free to share your experiences, thoughts, opinions and views about Menstruation with me on naari.wellness@gmail.com or post on https://www.facebook.com/NaariWomenWellnessProducts/

      Will be really glad to hear from you and anyone who is willing to contribute in spreading awareness about Menstruation. Its unfortunate that this is still considered a taboo in our society despite all the progress we have made as a nation.

      • Thanks so much Anju and glad to see you here. I can’t tell how happy I am to see you dropping few comments and sparing your time. Naari is doing such amazing work in spreading awareness in educating and creating awareness to break the taboo which is holding us back. Men and women can hold hands, unite our fists into palm to be the change. United we stand as humans!

  4. First my appreciation to you for your honesty. You spoke the reality to a core. Loved your post. Truly, period is pride. I’m proud to bleed. Thanks for understanding and supporting us for the cause.

  5. I’m so glad you decided to pen down your thoughts in this post and took this very important step of talking about the change you want to see. We all would benefit so much as a society if every man came forward and understood this simple thing! The bottom line is there’s no shame and there ought to be no secrecy around periods! If we all join hands we can effect that change too…maybe with our generation things are changing for the better. Doing the right thing and being the change!

    • Thanks Esha. High time we be the change and together as humans, we can make the difference. We need to steer small changed and form a chain of positivity ushering in fresh out. It’s no shame for sure which were led to believe by a society who doesn’t want to question itself. I am hopeful with our generation and the new one which is so vocal.

  6. I need to congratulate you on two things Vishal….first is the acceptance that you do not have complete knowledge on the subject and second, the decision to change it….How many men can do that? Most of them would feign to be the know-alls…..but you acknowledged your ignorance on the subject. That already is a sign of change. To be aware of one’s limitations, and then to work on them, to be ready to interrogate things that have come down to us in terms of beliefs and practices is worthy of praise. I am really happy that you voiced your thoughts on the subject…

    • Thanks so much Sunaina. I choose to write on a topic and an issue that i am a zilch. Trust me, learned about menstruation through your post and other amazing ones, explaining it so well. This change is needed. We must acknowledge our weaknesses and that’s how we progress towards change. It’s very important to question the system and rules if we are to progress as a society, where every citizen is treated with respect he or she deserves. Your comment adding to the awesomeness of the day, Sunaina. Sorry for moderating the comment so late. I was out:)

      Have an awesome weekend.

  7. I appreciate you for accepting your ignorance, for doing up the reading on menstruation and resolving to be the change yourself. Society needs more men to speak about this and, feigning ignorance, not hide behind their mothers giving them the wand to treat their wives in a demeaning way. I applaud Joyeeta’s father who stood up for her in the wake of festival.

    • Thanks so much Anamika. We need to be the change, accept our shortcomings as humans and the society. It’s very easy to hide and let things-evil and unnecessary-continue which is shame. Joyeeta’s is inspiring and join me to pray for him since he is going through a tough time health wise. We need to question and change things. Only united minds can force the change.

  8. This is so good. I am happy to see that men are taking an effort to bring the change in the culture. Strange it may sound but yes, not many men are ready to accept it.

    You really inspire not only men but women too – to come out and talk about it. A beautiful post indeed.

    • Hi Nikita sorry for late reply. We need to take a small step to help change this unfairness and inequality treating women as second class citizen. It’s something no sane individual can condone or accept. Let’s hope the change happen.

  9. Wonderfully expressed and I can say Vishal, men like you and my Papa still exist in the society who takes Periods as a positive thing that every woman pass through. It is not a shame. Actually, you know a woman is a great enemy of a woman. Its our grandmothers who taught their daughters and now when these daughters become mothers they teach their daughters and the cycle goes on.

    • I have seen women being their own enemy, instilling prejudices and wrong notion of faith. It’s high time we change that. Sadly, the cycle continues. Thanks for dropping and sharing your views. It’s not a shame and dunno where this whole shaming comes from. Such things need to be questioned and trashed away.

    • Thanks so much and glad to see you here. We can do our bit by sharing our thoughts and voice out against this ‘shameful’ stigma, blatant discrimination which is holding us back as a society. Let’s not speak of development if equal men and women are treated as second class citizens.

    • It’s the least we can do, Corinne and be the change in society. Such an openness will help us discover ourselves as humans for an equal society and ward off darkness. Thanks lot Corinne:)

  10. So glad to read this post. We are the change indeed, really appreciate how you openly accepted your lack of knowledge and expressed your personal views too. And right you are, why fear the society that has its own flaws just like us? A thought provoking piece. 🙂

    • Thanks Dashy. It’s something that I strongly believe in. Society is not infallible and not free from flaws. It is us who make a society and it’s not like our established rules are words of God or flawless for that matter. We need to be the change and true I learned about menstruation through the posts where I made the effort to read all entry. It was truly educative.

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