Myths and Misconceptions about Menstruation

about menstrual cup

Social construct has created some bizarre trends. There are various cultural perceptions all over India when it comes to womenís periods. There is no denying that menstruation is a phenomenon unique to girls, but the process has been surrounded by myths and taboos since time immemorial. These myths exclude women from many aspects of socio-cultural life and contribute to gender-based discrimination. The myths can be so atrocious that they can also bar women from jobs, education, and overall equality.

 

Menstruation related myths in India

If you live in India then during your periods have you ever been given strict guidelines for sleeping, eating, walking, and living a certain way of life? Here are some of these myths about menstruation that still exist in India.

 

Read Also: Don’t fall for myths, Insert your shecup right

 

#1 Women who are on their periods might contaminate food

Even in the 21st century, there are parts of rural India that believe that women cannot cook or water the plans during their periods. People believe that their uncleanliness will spoil food. Whatís more staggering is that in a random school survey conducted in rural India, about 55 percent of girls surveys believed that they cannot cook or even enter the kitchen.

 

#2 Women canít enter sacred places

Almost across all regions of India, there is this belief that women cannot enter holy temples when they are on their periods. In Nepal and Bali, the situation is no different. Women are believed to be impure while they are menstruating and so they are not allowed to enter or clean sacred places like temples. We say this is nothing but a form of gender inequality that limits women from the same human rights like freedom to practice their own religion.

 

#3 Women on periods can make men sick

In India and in different parts of Nepal, there is a myth that says that women cannot touch or interact with men because they will make them sick. The more disturbing fact is about 20% of girls in rural India still believe that they should not talk to any male member of the family when they are menstruating. As most girls learn about menstruation from their mothers, until external education is provided, these myths will exist.

 

#4 Period blood is impure

No. Just like blood from any other part of your body, period blood isnít impure. Most women in India still donít use menstrual cups as they have to clean them. This shouldnít be the case. Menstrual cups are sustainable convenient and eco-friendly, and they are reusable which makes them economical, so cleaning them shouldnít be a problem.

Read Also: Festivals in India that celebrate menstruation

 

Letís break the silence

Many girls and women, young and old, rich and poor, educated and uneducated-feel ashamed talking about their periods. These myths hold women back from leading a normal life that they are entitled to. It is high time that we end these myths for good. The more we spread awareness, the better are the chances that we would step beyond the confined boundaries of period taboos. Women must have access to menstrual education as well as female sanitary products so that menstruation can remain a general bodily phenomenon rather than being transformed into a taboo.

 

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