Over the years Indians had been holding certain deep-rooted beliefs that they probably don’t know the reason behind following it. One similar to it is belief regarding menstrual taboos. It is not only the biological process that every girl and woman goes through every month but there is a lot more to it. They are considered impure, sick, touch me not during the days they need care.

I remember an incident of my school days when I went with a friend to her place. It was her fourth day of that “time” when her grandmother pull her from out of the door and send her straight to the bathroom. I was baffled.

But as I grew up I find this social restriction & these menstrual taboos almost everywhere. My aunt told me that right after her marriage when they shifted to a new place their land lady followed these taboos too strictly. She not only disallowed her in the kitchen but threw the plate of the food on the floor not going closer to her. Moreover she used to pour the bucket of water on my aunt on the fourth day herself. She use to cry throughout the day and finally she found a temporary solution that was to reside at some relatives place for those tragic three days. But that would have definitely not fixed the problem.

I was so annoyed that I went to ask my teacher about what is the fact behind it. And her answer to an extent satisfied my inquisitiveness. She said that people in olden times had not access to things easily and had to live comparatively hard life. For instance, for water they have to walk miles and that is painful for a woman during their periods and hence they make it a rule to help them. Similarly they aren’t allowed in the kitchen so that they can have some rest. But since these were morphed into rules they are still being blindly followed without even knowing the reason behind it. And to make it worse woman are left feeling cursed.

A study reveals that 75 % of women in cities still buy their pads wrapped in news paper or black poly bags because of the stigma attached to menstruation.

Women are restricted to visit temples during their periods. What is the connection between cleanliness of your body to the purity of your soul? If we exclude just this point even then there are countless risible myths and prohibitions that still exist and imposed on women. It is sad when you are treated as untouchable for filthy reasons. And the strange fact is it prevails as much in urban areas too.

  • First and foremost, women are not allowed to take bath for three days when they need it the most considering hygiene.
  • If some are liberal and allows bath, they restrict washing their hairs off backing with the fact cum myth that it increases flow.
  • Woman cannot enter kitchen for three days and have isolated utensils to use during periods since it is believed that menstruating woman is impure and can contaminate the thing she touches.
  • Another example of an incongruous logic is that even the shadow of a woman will spoil the pickles and papad during the making and drying process.
  • If a menstruating woman waters the plant it will begin to wilt. I mean seriously??
  • Women cannot sleep on their own bed, sit on couch etc. Infact, they have their separate mats and bed sheets for those three days.
  • The most disgusting! Woman can’t touch others as she being impure and dirty.
  • Even today some are not allowed to leave home. It could be understood that in old times they don’t have access to anything called sanitary napkins. But now, why?
  • There is also a belief that menstruating women is anemic which isn’t true in case woman is in sound health.
  • If a menstruating woman touches another woman she will get her periods before date. Magic??

Some of these taboos make women vulnerable to many diseases. And such beliefs cause discrimination against women, hurting their self-esteem.

There is generally a silence around the issue and no one openly discusses the matter, where one website called www.menstrupedia.com works on shattering the myths and spreading awareness about the hygiene and safety issues and guiding on puberty through their comics.

This is not just any one’s story but of the majority women of India. It is just a nature’s rule of passage why to consider it social stigma. People need to rethink about these menstrual taboos to leave them behind and for the growth of women.