I wanted to direct you to go watch the third and fourth episodes of Menstruation Monday on GSCDM and Undermyskin’s Social Channels (links will be provided below). As a part of my BWAP Advocacy I am working towards raising awareness towards Gender Based Violence specifically towards Menstruating Individuals.
What was covered in Episode #3?
There are countless varieties of the cultural traditions that surround menstruation, this can be premenstrual, at menarche, or through menstrual years. These can hold deep significant meaning for specific cultures, and we respect each culture.
However, when traditional cultures are perpetuating ideas of menstrual discrimination, stigma, taboo, and “impurity” then we MUST take active steps to unlearn these practices and associated beliefs as well as adapt/transform cultural practices that celebrate menstruation and the menstruator.
While traditions change slowly with time, it is imperative that we change traditions that are violent right now, because we do not have the time to wait as menstruators are either dying or imposed violent menstrual restrictions which impact their physical, mental, and spiritual health and social status.
Some examples of cultural practices around menarche are:
– Nepal: Gunyocholo: Menstrual practice performed before an individual’s menarche. This is considered to be a “coming of age” ritual. Gufa Rakhena: or Bahra tayegu – is the Newari tradition also performed before one’s first bleeding. The young menstruator is married to the sun god in her “purest” form.
– Ghana: swallowing of a fully boiled egg, and biting the egg is not allowed because it’s like killing your baby
– Turkey: slapped across their face to create a red cheek in order to remember the shame menstruation is for the rest of their lives
– Malaysia: to feel healthy menstruators are asked to drink raw egg with oil
– South India: menstruators are kept in a separate room where they don’t interact with men, then relatives come to visit with a bunch of gifts, and a party is thrown to honour the “coming of age”
– Phillippines: someone else is asked to throw a water of bucket over your head while you’re showering to wash all the “impurities” and “bad luck”.
We have the power to transform cultural practices to be such that we educate, empower, and support young menstruators so their relationship with their menses, sexual/reproductive health is positive, loving, and uplifting.
So what are we waiting for? The Change starts today. Sign our petition.
What was covered in Episode #4?
Menses does not just impact menstruators for the 5-7 days they menstruate, or their reproductive years ( years that they are menstruating and Able to produce children)
Menses impacts us before birth, during the pre-pubescent years, in the reproductive years, in pregnancy, in menopause, and sometimes even beyond death.
This means that the lack of dignity, the stigma, shame, taboo, and “ less than” ideals that impact menses impact menstruators directly all throughout their existence and thus indirectly impact non-menstruators and society at large.
When we are discriminating against menses, violating our human rights, and imposing violent restrictions and values, we are impacting every single aspect of ones life. Their social value. And their relationship with themselves, their menses, other menstruators, and non-menstruators.
To build a strong, empowered, educated, independent menstruator, they have to be granted their inalienable right to #DignifiedMenstruation
October is #Menopause Month, we will be celebrating Menopause Day next week October 18th, please join us to celebrate this significant transition in menstruators lives which deserves dignity like every other phase in our lives.
#DignifiedMenstruation accounts for every part of a menstruators life and DEMANDS dignity at every point.