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11 Jul 2020, Edition - 1824, Saturday

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Coimbatore

Taboo still sticks to a biological cycle

Indhu Lakshman

Pain and blood, it is no easy thing to go through every month. Yet there are a lot of people who still invalidate their views on the ‘period argument’.

Though we are in the 21st Century with all its urbanisation and technological advancements, the fact remains that the woman’s ‘periods’ are still taboo, spoken in hushed tones. Rituals associated with them are still followed, sticking hard to superstitious beliefs, as if insulated from these changed times.

Anita Mankottil was asked about her opinion on talking about periods in hushed tones and about the puberty ceremony that still happens within certain groups. “First of all periods are never a taboo and it’s a natural biological cycle. But for me personally, I wouldn’t be telling it aloud if I have my periods as I do not want the whole world to know about my biological cycle. And as far as India is concerned I feel that attitudes towards menstrual cycle are strongly influenced by a lot of cultural practices. This could have a scientific reason during ancient times but could’ve been misinterpreted by many as you see something that was told 10 days back has a lot of tweaks and turns the following week. Similarly this could’ve had a similar play”.

On whether education has played a significant role in creating awareness about periods, Nisha Syed Ahmed feels there has to be more. “I feel there should be more awareness, just not in the text books and both the genders should learn and know more about it themselves. There should be a clear emphasis in whatever they teach. Some groups have functions and celebrations when a girl in the family attains puberty…. In a way it makes no sense but on the other hand I think having this celebration also helps men understand more about the biological cycle a woman goes through and also being a woman is always carrying extra responsibilities,” she says.

“Times are changing but there are also a lot of men who tend to think that when a girl gets angry or behaves in a cranky way it is because of her periods….. Certainly that’s not the case because women go through all kinds of emotions in their normal state,” says Kritika Vasan.

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