Thursday, January 08, 2015

Day 8 of Feminist Joys: Talking about Periods

My parents were less religious than most of my friends'. The Assamese have this absurd ritual when a girl gets her first period (and she's said to have "grown up"). My dad refused to have any form of that for his daughters.

On one hand, this celebration that a girl (barely a teenager) is now capable of theoretically bearing children. On the other hand, an unnamed taboo on ever directly speaking of periods where a man or boy might hear. On the one hand, segregation of women who are menstruating because they are "unclean". On the other hand, this pretense that menstruation isn't uncomfortable and even excruciatingly painful for many of us. (Remember the "happy period" ad?)

So it's a victory when we can talk about periods openly, when I inadvertently leave my bag open with napkins visible in it and merely shrug at the thought that men near me may have seen it.

I may not have a happy period, but I don't need to have a hidden one.

Some interesting links:

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