Before I could know about it I was hushed to talk about it. Before I could feel about it I was asked to be quite about it. Before I could ask all about it I was asked to keep it only to myself since it’s the red blot on my so called feminine life.
I am going to only whisper about my whisper choice!
I was a kid totally unaware of what is going to follow me for rest of my 40 -50 years of life. Unaware of that every month I’ll be succumbed to night long pain in my tummy and I’ll not be allowed to hiss about it. Unaware of fear that is going to haunt me every month that what if the demon happens in public! Society’s diplomacy is to such an extent that even in this simple natural process they have defined it in two ways: Demons and Gift of Nature. Demon if we bear a red blot in public and Gift of Nature because our Laws and In Laws and who-so-ever is concerned will get the proof of our Productivity.
During School time we girls would ask our best friend to quietly keep a check if she sees any spot. Our Biology teacher would often skip/ speed read the chapter of Menstrual Cycle. We would pray our friends won’t ask to visit a temple during trips if we are on our periods. I remember once my cousin visited our house. My mum was indulge in prayer and I was just sitting outside watching TV with my cousin when his inquisitive mind brought up a question that I would not like to pray with Mother? I remember I was flushed red and was embarrassed on the thought that how should I explain that I am having periods and I am not allowed(now that’s another debatable/diabolical topic). I cooked up a story that I am having a fight with God over some silly demand of mine. That was a naïve mind and that was what I came up with that time 😛
Menstruation is such a stigma in the society that we have even created cute names to address it that cannot be understood by all and sounds decent. Down, Meter-Down, Shark-week, Chums and what not. And there are even websites on “Code Words for Being On your Period”! But why do I need to use a code word? Why Menses sound so distressing/unhealthy/filthy to society? Even the products are also named in the same way such as ‘Whisper’ because yes I am only allowed to whisper about it. Such an Apt name.
I went to a shop to buy pads and some medicines. Shopkeeper put the medicines in transparent polythene but when he was about to put the pads he hesitated then looked around, reached out for a newspaper, covered the pads in it and gently placed in inside my polythene. In another event me and my friend were in grocery store and she was holding the polythene in which those orange and green pads where shining bright. Suddenly we encounter some of our male friends and she immediately handed over the bag to me because she was embarrassed that she was buying pads.My friends often push me forward to ask for pads from a male shopkeeper because they feel embarrassed asking for it. Such is the power of social stigma we are facing.
I often wonder if it’s the red blot on my dress or on people’s mind!
I crave for the society where natural things will be accepted naturally and welcome whole heartily without making it so complex and confiscating to utter about it.