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Fearless, Period.

Taboo on Menstruation

An Open Letter to Period Shamers

Taboo on MenstruationCode RedComment

Dear Period Shamers,

    Saumya here. I just wanted to say… where do I start. Okay, how about with the fact that my period is none of your business. You are not my doctor, you don’t get to tell me what is healthy and what isn’t.

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Why do you feel so strongly about the fact that I am on my period, anyways? I don’t care if you consider me your friend, unless you’re telling me that I have blood on my favorite white pants, I don’t care. You can have an opinion, you just can’t have an opinion about MY period. Did you catch that?

MY period. Mine. Not yours.

    It irks me even more if you are someone who has never had a period. What do you know about how a period feels? Nothing. You know nothing. If you think my period is disgusting, why are you here? No one asked you to come and share your opinion on something you have no personal experiences with. My biology is not something that should be ridiculed.

Do I even have to tell you that people like you are the reason why society still exiles women during their periods or treats them as touchy and irrational? I guess I do, because obviously you are completely ignorant of those facts. Guess what? Women are still not treated as equals, and while you aren’t the whole reason why, you certainly are a part of it.

You might not even realize you are doing it, so here’s a checklist. If you seriously ask women if they are on their period when they’re mad, call women unfit to lead because they are “irrational”, explain things to them like you would a child when they’re mad, etc., you’re probably a period-shamer, and you should stop.

Now let’s move on to a list of things people like you have caused. I cried when I got my period because I thought it was a bad thing. Thanks, period-shamers. My mom didn’t even know what a period was until she got hers because her mom and sisters were ashamed to talk about it. Thanks, period-shamers. I am always self-conscious about whether or not I’m leaking, even when I’m not on my period. Thanks, period-shamers.

Sincerely,

Saumya

 

Nepali Menstruation Hut Crisis

Taboo on Menstruation, Current EventsCode RedComment

By: Colleen Claire

Menstrual taboo is becoming increasingly popular not just in the United States, but around the world. In the last few months, there have been numerous reports on the ‘menstrual huts” in Nepal.  When menstruating, women are banished to small, confined huts throughout their cycle by their family.   

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http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/10/asia/nepal-menstruation-hut-deaths-outrage/index.html

This practice is called Chaupadi, a tradition that views women menstruating as “impure”. Women are not involved in household activities, nor can they have any contact with men. In some parts of Nepal women are not allowed to touch books or learn in fear they will anger Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of Knowledge. Women who do not follow these rules are blamed for unanticipated circumstances, such as poor cultivation, illness, or the death of an animal. While this practice is banned, some parts for Nepal still follow the tradition.

Early this summer, a girl was sent to a shed during her period. During her exile, the young woman was bitten by a snake twice. She later died due to delayed medical attention as her family took her to a shaman instead of a doctor. Another case of this arose in late 2016 when a woman was sent to a hut. She died trying to light a fire for warmth.

The idea of women being expelled into a confined space because they are bleeding from their uterus in immoral and continues to grow the stigma behind periods. Nepali girls are being taught that periods are shameful, almost as if it is a sin. They are not able to celebrate becoming a woman when the time comes. They will grow up in a society where they feel belittled because of their anatomy and continue to give their future daughters this way of thinking.

Ironically, Nepal has female leaders running it’s government, yet there has been no mention of this issue anywhere. Whether you are male or female, someone needs to speak up. I am saying this with a human rights approach, not a feminist perspective. Young women are dying, feeling disgraced, and even raped because of these huts. Women need to be educated on menstrual health not, humiliated.