Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Access to Healthcare Reproductive Health & Rights How Menstrual Taboos Influence Our Ideas Of Hygiene

4 replies, 4 voices Last updated by Manpreet Singh 2 years, 10 months ago
  • Woospire
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    Yash Tiwari
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    Menstruation is exoticized by some societies, seen as a spiritual and ritual activity. Taboos on menstrual health have been a hindrance to the education of girls and women; they are perceived as impure and contributing members of society in India. Thus, menstrual taboos have been created in the name of upholding these two fundamental components of every society. The generalized perception of women remains that they are emotional and irrational beings. It is surprising, if not shocking, to note how this has affected the way women perceive themselves. Menstruation taboos and laws are a way of controlling menstruating vaginas and women’s bodies. They are a reflection of the deep patriarchal mindset that women’s bodies, sexuality, and reproductive functions are dirty, impure, and polluting.

    Women themselves have internalized patriarchal ideologies to such an extent that they perpetuate this stigma on menstruation. Menstrual taboos and superstitions are not restricted to India alone but are present in other Asian countries as well. For example, some Japanese refrain from bathing during their menstrual period for fear of being stigmatized by neighbors or colleagues. Therefore, a person is expected to be modest about her ‘womanhood’ and therefore most women are not even aware of their menstrual cycle.

    Menstruation has been viewed as a pollutant by society. Typically, menstruating girls and women are banished from their homes or barred from entering the kitchen. They are told not to touch pickles and fish, indulge in non-vegetarian food, wear red clothes or have sexual intercourse with their partners during this period. They are also discouraged from bathing in holy water bodies or touching flowers during menses. The stigma associated with menstruation can be traced back to the ancient Indian scriptures where we find references to the impurity of women during periods. These very ideas are carried forward in modern times, and along with them all the resultant taboos, rituals, and superstitions.

    Even though many women are aware of the importance of adequate menstrual hygiene, they remain confined to social taboos, religious beliefs, and negativity. Also, certain factors contribute towards cloth usages such as financial status and lack of proper facilities. No matter what the situation is in the developed world, women’s menstrual hygiene is woefully inadequate. This results in a variety of problems ranging from absenteeism to poor health. Lack of access to sanitary products means that women are more susceptible to infections and diseases caused by bacteria and viruses including HIV/AIDS. Menstrual taboos are based on irrational fears and social stigma, whether they’re justified or not is beside the point. The issue is that these notions prevent women from asserting their right to bodily integrity. And that means millions of girls and women lack the most basic information about periods. They don’t know how their bodies work, and that makes them vulnerable to exploitation.

    PALAK KASHIV
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    In our Indian society, there are many taboos on menstruation because earlier people did not understand the real reason behind female menstruation, so they have made their own preconceived notions of women periods till today females are following it. Female bodies during menstruation are considered impure and dirty, because of this they are not allowed to go holy places or enter the kitchen and allowed to touch anything from the kitchen, this only religious reason women don’t need to follow it is just taboo, some women are following because they are not much educated about it. women are not even allowed to share their periods with their husbands or other male members of the family. There are various religious beliefs according to culture. In north and south regions some devis temples are closed for some timespan because they say devi is menstruating. Females are given different utensils and they special toilet to go to. All this because they are considered impure. When a girl menstruates for the first time it is looked like very happy girls’ reproductive organs are mature and they are ready to give birth to the baby. Some people celebrate this thing. Even if go today and tell them the scientific reason for a girl’s menstruation they may not believe it easily. All women and girls are not able to afford the products because of that some women use the stained old clothes but it is not hygienic. We need to make understand and stop believing in these taboos and educate people.

    DISHA SAPKALE
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    In our society, Menstruation is still considered as dirty, impure, unclean and what not. At old times, people used to ask women and girls to stay separate and use all the things separately while going through periods because they feel that menstruation is impure due to which women and girls has to suffer with such taboos and still their are some people in our society who adapt this norms. In villages also their are people who think menstruation dirty, impure due to such taboos and myths about menstruation it affects women menstrual hygiene. Because all the people are giving importance to menstrual taboos instead they should focus on women’s menstrual hygiene. In urban and rural areas their are some people who don’t allow women and girls to enter kitchen because they are going through menstruation. Why? People thinking is still not change towards menstruation it’s natural thing for women and their is nothing impure or dirty about menstruation. People should start changing their mind and they should also stop spreading such myths and taboos about menstruation. Because of getting influenced by such things they totally ignore the things about women’s menstrual hygiene. Women can’t talk about menstrual problems with their husband because of norms like they should stay separately due to which it only affects the women’s menstrual hygiene. Society has to make normalise about talking about menstrual problems. So that women can talk freely with their husband about menstrual problems. Their should be menstrual education for every people in our society because by understanding exactly about menstruation due to which atleast some people will stop making taboos about menstruation. Society need to think about women’s menstrual hygiene instead of getting influenced by myths and taboos. Instead People should must be aware about women’s menstrual hygiene and menstrual problems faced by the women’s and girls.

    Manpreet Singh
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    Since time immemorial the idea of a patriarchal concept that women’s body and sexuality should not be debated publicly has been taboo to human health and cleanliness. The female body is thought to symbolize the “honor” of a community since “lining” and “identity” remain alive through their reproductive functions. Over the years, women have been taught that they have children’s bodies and that women’s sexuality is controlled by a bigger society. This assumption culminated in practices in which women are ashamed to tell their family and partners about menstrual hygiene and reproductive health (husbands). Menstrual blood is depicted by society as dirty and ‘impure’ and further implies women’s belief in very erroneous corps and physical functions.

    The determination of these cultural ideas, mirrored in common practice, is the key role of religion in India. There are countless folklore people, who represent menses as something to be feared in the Hindu faith, followed by a majority of the population, while women are cuddly demon-like bodies. All of these convictions and practices often originate in a particular culture of religious observance and ignorance of current science education. Women and girls are so restricted and traumatized by menstrual builds that more than 23% of females leave school when they start menstruation. Most females falling away from the community are vulnerable.

    Even schools are poorly supported physically and medically and emotionally by young girls and they create a healthy environment in which to develop. In addition, the economic realities of most households in India significantly contribute to the fate of menstrual hygiene for women. About 77% of women utilize soiled rags and clothes during their time in the nation. In addition, because of extreme poverty, numerous women even use ash, sand, sheets, and papers. There is, therefore, a deplorable state of affairs for most women in menstrual hygiene. This is the taboo and stigma of the reproductive and menstrual blood system of women. The country most needs a holistic, inclusive, and changing approach to primary socialization right from the start of children’s education as a society. We need to teach our children the sexuality, body, and values of equal treatment that eschew all kinds of gender prejudices. In addition, the readily available cheap sanitation goods and the participation of society in revolutionizing and reforming the faulty concept of women’s bodies is another critical demand of the hour.

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