10 taboos about periods

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When I was in college, I was hanging out with some of my classmates, and I noticed that a girl was feeling uncomfortable. I asked her openly that are you on periods and everyone's face was like they have seen an alien. The girl took me aside and asked me how you can say something like this publicly. And that's when I realize that this is how we have raised our girls. We have made them so guilty about periods that they don't want to talk about it.

The period is such a taboo subject that we are even scared of saying it aloud. So we came up with code names like lady problems. It has been around since ancient times, and we can witness in our history as well as our scriptures. You will get to see mentions like-

"Go away from women during periods because they are not clean."

"Whoever will touch her during the period will be unclean, and if you touch her, then you shall wash your clothes and take a bath."

"Contact with period blood will sour the wine. The crops will become barren. The seeds will dry up." And the list goes on...

A woman has around 500 periods in her lifetime. If we put it in an average, they go on bleeding about 3000 days in their lifetime. Taboos around periods in India is way broader. They are skipping school. They are forbidden from holy rituals. They are excluded from sports. For a few days every month, their life on hold.

Around 20 millions of girls drop out of school as soon as they start menstruating in India. And only 18% of women have access to sanitary pads in India. It is shocking to see the figures, but it is the truth.

Taboos around periods-

In India, taboos around periods are like the mother of all taboos. Some are so stupid and illogical that if you think about it, you will just laugh about it. But we have failed as a society to overcome such stupidity because we have never tried. Let's talk about the 10 taboos on periods which you will usually encounter-

  1. Celebrated yet an outcast- In some parts of south India as well northeast India, when a girl gets her first period, gets presents and are celebrated for this occasion. And still, they are barred from household works for a period of 3 nights.
  2. A menstruating woman is not allowed to enter the temple- Being born in a Hindu family, I had witnessed it month after month. When my cousin sisters were on periods, they were not allowed to be a part of any holy rituals. Now you can imagine how much shame it will bring to the girl that she will think and believe that she is not even accepted in God's house. She will hate herself for it.
  3. Nobody should touch a menstruating woman- I have heard this numerous times while growing up that I should not touch a girl or woman while she is on her period. One time I touched the hand of one of my sisters, and I was asked by my grandma to take a bath. Even I felt so enraged hearing such stupidity. I refused to do so. I got some scolding, but hey this is how you all should start in your family as well.
  4. Her touch will rot the pickle- Yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds that if she will touch pickle during her period, it will rot. And women follow it religiously. I still can't get my head around it and aliens must be laughing about it and what a weird mental virus we have.
  5. Don't go near the Tulsi Plant- The tulsi or basil is considered holy in Hinduism and woman cannot touch it while she is on her period. Even her shadow will kill the plant.
  6. Don't wash your hair and don't tie your hair- This is again one weird and illogical taboo that women should not wash their hair while she is on her period. She has to keep her hair open. There is no trail of this that what is the reason behind it but it is still get passed on by older women to younger girls.
  7. Living in exile- In some rural parts of India and Nepal, Girl lives in a shed outside the house while she is on her period. This practice is called "Chhaupadi". Sometimes it leads to the death of some women. In the first-ever case, there has been an arrest in Nepal for such practice in the first week of December 2019.
  8. A menstruating woman should not enter the kitchen- In Indian households, a woman cannot enter the kitchen if she is on her period. This is as stupid as it sounds. The food will become bad if she will touch them. This is so discriminatory. As she should be free to do whatever she wants while she is on her period.
  9. Virgins should not use tampons- India has so much preached about the virginity of a girl. In some rural part, there is still a virginity test before marriage to see that if a girl is a virgin or not. And that has started a taboo that if you use tampons, you will lose your virginity. Scientifically it is not true at all and tampons are not associated with virginity in any way. It is so absurd and shameful that we give so much importance to virginity.
  10. Buying Sanitary pads is embarrassing- There is so much shame associated with menstruation that women, as well as men, are embarrassed to buy sanitary pads or tampons. Even medical shops give it in wrapped paper or brown or black bags. Women never ask a male member of the family to buy them pads or tampons. This is how we have built our society.

It made no sense to me while I was processing these as a child, but Now I am an adult, and I can understand that these taboos are deeply rooted in our culture. It will not go away until we, as an individual will start opposing it. I am hopeful for the younger generations that they will not pass on these stupid taboos to the next generations. And the older women are also somewhat responsible for this and if they will start speaking up about it.

I believe these taboos will go away because it needs to go away.

Feel free to drop a comment on what type of taboo around periods you have witnessed while growing up.

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20 Ideas To Celebrate Random Acts Of Kindness Day 2020

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How is that a day such as Valentine’s is glorified to an extent that the biggest hollywood celebrities engage in it so very eagerly but a day that is dedicated solely for the purpose of making the least bit difference and giving back to society barely makes it to the holiday calendar? 

Random Act of Kindness week starts on the 17th of february every year and gives you 7 sweet days to do something nice (for a friend, for the society or even for the environment) in a way that not just creates an impact, but multiplies your effort by driving people to do nice, be kind often and remember that deeds are superior if performed for the collective good of people. 

20 of the SIMPLEST Ideas to celebrate Random Act Of Kindness Week:

  1. Compliment a Stranger. A simple “Woah, cool sweater!” could literally make someone’s day, and you would lose nothing.
  2. Cook for someone who feeds you everyday (Ideally your mom/dad or cook). Every great cook is so used to feeding other people’s bellies everyday and deserves to be pampered with food too- the smile on this person’s face when you cook them a meal will make your day along with theirs.
  3. Lend a friend one of your favorite reads. It’s a great way of saying “Here’s a piece of me, thanks for existing” - without actually having to say it.
  4. Write a review. What are the 10 best places to get some kickass biryani? Or which are the most pet-friendly places to visit in your city? Any knowledge is great knowledge - get it up on the gram, or you know, on Glo. I’m sure you’ll at least help one person decide on his next outing. 
  5. Call a lonely relative and attempt to make them laugh.
  6. Donate Blood- thousands out there need blood. If you don’t know where to begin, look up https://scoophub.in/top-10-best-blood-donation-organizations-in-india/
  7. Repost your friend/following’s businesses to spread the word. If they get one extra follower because of you, you’ve succeeded.
  8. Pick up litter that you didn’t throw out.
  9. Spend a day at an old age home. Been there, done this and the joy on their faces will bring you happiness that’s truly unmatched.
  10. Send colouring books to children at an orphanage/ sick children at the hospital. Dunzo it (use a local delivery service) if you can't physically go there. 
  11. Take initiative to make breakfast and get your whole family together on the dining table. Make it a whole event. Indulging in family time is a wonderful act of kindness.

12. Leave your waiter a generous tip. 

13. Help a neighbour/friend clean their room. Or backyard.

14. Use your savings to fund a child’s education for a whole academic year. You’ll be surprised to know that it’s quite the pocket-friendly deed. 

Click to know just how easy it is: https://bit.ly/37BfaCw

15. Get a haircut. Donate your hair after: Way to turn an act of kindness into a cute makeover!

16. Be kind to the environment. Walk/Cycle/Carpool to work instead of taking a cab or an auto 

17. Make a kindness pledge/list- one that is flexible and can be practiced at least once every week. 

18. Pay for a co-worker’s lunch.

19. Do something kind for yourself. Read a book. Watch an old favorite movie. Eat healthy, gut-friendly foods. Write a letter to your future self. Take a leap you’ve been meaning to. 

20. Let people know of the day. Celebrate Kindness. 




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Super Bowl 2020: Extremity In The Name Of Culture?

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After a great game of an outstanding comeback by Kansas City Chiefs (Vs San Francisco 49ers) in Super Bowl LIV, the crowd seemed to be inclined towards debating a rather isolated issue than the game itself: Was the halftime performance by Hollywood’s beloved superstars Shakira and Jennifer Lopez obscene?

The two set the stage on fire and how! (Although, this might seem to have contradicted the opinion of the majority)

What the audience found and I quote “terribly disturbing”:

The broadcast featured the two stars in costumes showcasing their buttocks, pole dancing and grabbing their crotch multiple times on stage- all interpreted as ruthless objectification of women by two of the most influential women in the world. 

A famous reporter of the Golf Channel even went ahead and tweeted: “Stop dancing on a stripper pole on the biggest stage and then complain about how often we get sexualised.. The hypocrisy of wanting to not be seen as sex symbols but then wearing outfits and choosing overtly sexual choreography has me very confused” 

An audience full of young parents on the other hand had their own issues with regard to how something like THE Super Bowl, an event supposedly aired for all age groups to enjoy could have a performance such as this as if it were the 'new normal’.

The halftime show featuring Shakira and Jennifer Lopez seemed to garner more buzz than the game itself. (What!?) At some point, little children were showcased in cages- all seen as a political statement about President Trump’s immigration policy - but the whole pole dancing and stimulated sex gestures were viewed as most offensive. 

Prolife advocate Abby Johnson tweeted, “On the day of the highest rate of sex trafficking, the NFL says, ‘Hey, let’s have two women dance half naked and get a bunch of zoomed in crotch shots of them. That’s female empowerment!’ Do they have no clue that they just contributed to the commodification of women?” Even though a lot of folks said they loved the energy and called the two Latina’s performances “historic”, the popular opinion seems to have been this: misrepresentation of an entire culture on one of the biggest stages airing worldwide.  

The performance might have not appeared to be “family friendly” to a few but did it deserve a statement as harsh as “This exhibition was Pepsi showing young girls that sexual exploitation of women is OK”?



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