First of all I would like to thank world pulse for giving women like me a platform in order to voice out our opinions on menses. And I would want each and every woman/girl to be aware about the importance of menses in their lives and start respecting it.
As gone are the days when getting into puberty was celebrated in my country. Now menses are neither celebrated nor respected. In fact Periods or menses is a so called taboo subject in our societies until today. And though we have advanced technologically and medically yet most of us shy away from this topic. Maybe that's the reason the pads names are also whisper, stay free, care free as in stay away and don’t care from discussing this topic. But just because of not discussing about periods openly somewhere women as girls have felt helpless, scared? I remember when I had started bleeding I didn’t have a clue about the irregularities of periods and that had made me nervous. Except that I was aware that every girl bleeds when she is in her puberty. I did have all the biological knowledge about periods but what attitude I should be having towards periods was never conveyed to me. Instead I was told that periods is something I need to be feeling awkward about.
And for me these embarrassing feelings about periods were there until I came to know about the importance of periods in a woman’s life. That was the day I got a new perspective of menses as being a symbol of feminity, of course that’s the reason men don’t menstruate, right? It is given to us as nature has bestowed the gift of life bearing to us. This is something we women should be proud of yet most of us feel ashamed of or think it to be a nuisance. Most us even have strong loathing towards menses as it becomes painful and hinder our important tasks. And it’s not our fault because our upbringing has always asked us to be having a go getting attitude while were seldom told to be at ease with our own bodies and our menstrual cycles. And undoubtedly due to this attitude women in today's era have become successful in almost all areas of life but somewhere we have forgotten the feminine principle of nature, which also says to go in cycles of rest and revival. And this is always fabulously conveyed to us by our menstrual cycles. But our demanding lifestyles states we can rest only when our schedule permits us to and not when our bodies ask of us to.
According to my understanding menses are a nature's way of saying "Hey beautiful hard working woman, now is the time to rest and reflect, have some me time rather than meager time”. I totally agree that this information did not come to us in a right manner. We were told to stay away from holy places, rituals and kitchens but the exact reason of doing so didn't come to us. Rather the belief that came down was menses blood is something which is impure and the woman/girl becomes untouchable during such time of the month. And I know menses hygiene is important but we perceive the blood of our menses as something which is dirty. I too used to feel the same until I came to know that the blood which is expelled out from our bodies’ in fact contains many macro nutrients that are important for soil and can be given back to mother earth. That’s the reason this layer is prepared by our bodies every month to bear a child and give it a new life. It’s funny we eat eggs stating that its nutritious and have high content of proteins but we discard and treat our own blood badly which contains high amount of nitrogen phosphorus, potassium etc. By saying this I don’t intend to convey that anyone should be consuming their menses blood, but I want women to be aware about the importance of it. And change their attitude towards their menses. Because there are few who also think and say it is a pain to be woman. NO it’s not a pain to be a woman; in fact it’s a blessing. Just because one decides to go against nature of how nature has made a woman, of course it would be a struggle. Because I feel most of us resist our periods just because we do not want to miss those important tasks on our schedule. Instead can we start embracing the fact that Periods are an important part of our lives and to start respecting it rather than cursing it? And I have started respecting my own menses, and my question will remain to those women out there who don’t, when will you start respecting your menses?
Moreover I wish that the coming generation don’t face what we had. Girls should also be taught to have a positive attitude towards periods. The day when a girl first bleeds it should be celebrated by giving her a sapling as a gift to nurture. Telling her that she too is like the plant and the way plant gives birth to new life. Likewise she has also reached a stage where she is able to bear a life for which she should be proud of and not ashamed of.
There can also be ritual of giving back the menses blood each month to mother earth and offering some flowers. This is just a way of saying thanks and being grateful to mother Earth for whatever She is bearing for us.
And lastly my heart’s desire is that the pads and tampons should be replaced with some biodegradable material so that the these don't be collected in our landfill or be burnt to cause environmental pollution, rather go back to the earth. Else women/girls start using menstrual cups which can help collecting the blood and safely giving back to mother earth.
I was truly moved and inspired by Clare Dubois - the founder of Treesisters asking women to be part of course "Wild power" on menses. This was the time I got to know that women should not be ashamed of their periods but proud of it. Also have received lots of inspiration and support from Treesisters in my journey to changing my attitude towards my periods and how I see myself in this world as a woman.
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