(This article is a personal essay submitted by Prashita Patil from Mumbai, India.)
The first time I got my period I was scared to see blood coming out of my vagina. Yes, we were told about it in our school by taking all the girls separately in a room and showing a PowerPoint presentation on menstrual cycle, but, no-one talked about it descriptively or honestly. Right from that time my mind was trained to hide my Period. In school, I used to hide my pad in napkin or jacket and take it to the washroom and make sure no one could see that black polythene. I was always worried about it, questioning: What if my pad falls down when I walk to the washroom ? What if my skirt stains? What if someone gets to know that I am on my period? My heartbeat would quicken when my aunts used to ask my Mom so secretively whether I got in time. I was told not to touch the pickles and stay in the corner of the room. Before school trips all the girls were taken in a separate room and were asked about their periods and told to bring sanitary pads ( every teacher smirking ). We girls used to get offended if any boy asked us about our periods. We also gave many subtitute words for Periods.
In our society periods are talked in whispers; it’s as if they’re taboo. We follow so many myths without any scientific reason. Boys as well as girls are not provided with correct education about periods. We carry our pads so secretively. But, periods are just a biological process. Why should we be so ashamed of it ?
It’s time to end that. Teach your boys and girls about periods in honest detail with mental health as well as physical health given the utmost attention. Periods are a biological process not a disease, so, don’t treat your wives, daughters and girlfriends differently during their period. And don’t feel ashamed to use the word ‘ PERIOD ‘.