Menstruation: Why should females have all the knowledge?

We live in a world where we still fight for equality and justice for women and the queer community. We still beg for equal opportunities and it is yet so difficult to voice our opinions because when we do, we are titled as ‘stupid’ or our opinions are declared ‘void’. Apart from fighting for all these existing issues, one of the things that still remains the same is the taboo of menstruation or to put it differently, “Shhh, do not tell your father about it! He is a man!”

Talking to our male counterparts on this topic of menstruation is still taboo in society. People hesitate, rather feel embarrassed to talk about this with their fathers or brothers, thinking, “They do not even know about this, is it even fine to talk to them?” and the same feeling of ignorance is also encountered in men as they feel embarrassed to talk about periods. They term it as a ‘disease’ or ‘apshagun’ (meaning: unholy). Men feel like it is wrong by their masculinity to speak about or address the topic of menstruation. They feel the society will question their morals and their sexuality if they speak about this. People tend to forget the hardships and struggles of women and the pain a female has to go through during those days. Calling a woman ‘unholy’ is not the solution. God has created this body, we must accept the pain and live with it but the people in our surroundings must make us feel comfortable and safe, especially during those days.

I believe men should have all the knowledge about this topic because I know for a fact that every man has a woman in their life, be it a sister, mother, daughter or friend. They should know what products we use and what are the necessities of a woman while she is on her period because if a situation of emergency arises and she cannot leave the house, he should be ready with what he must buy for her so that she does not go through more discomfort than she already is.

We are in the 21st century now. There is so much more to menstruation than just bleeding. Certain vaginal diseases come with it, period hygiene etc. A man does not feel ashamed while buying a condom from a medical store because his friends appreciate and cheer for him because having sex is a ‘celebratory’ thing. But if the same man buys sanitary napkins and comes out of the same chemist, the whole world would be judging him. “Oh, his wife could have come…this is so embarrassing..” It is not just men who need proper education on menstruation, it is the society as well.

In the end, I would like to conclude by saying that, it is understandable that you will face issues while speaking about this to your male family members but do not be afraid. Change begins at home first, always!

Written by: Itisha Phukan


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