Monday, December 20, 2004


Periods? Women have it, men fear it, and everyone pretends that it doesn't exist. What are some of the common myths regarding menses? How do you handle menstrual moodiness and deal with periodic pain? What does a model or a gymnast or a paraplegic woman do when she has her period?

Is it hard to think/talk about your period? Why is period considered such a shameful & dirty affair even when half the population of the world deals with it every month? Even society perpetuates this myth, I mean that's why sanitary pad advertisements are not allowed to appear on TV. Apparently wanita UMNO brought it up to Parliament (Oh my god, they're debating periods in Parliament!) and insisted that sanitary pad ads get banned on national TV because it is a private thing and something embarrassing for women. How embarrassing is getting your period?
I mean it's nature, a natural physical process of the female body, not some secret mysterious phenomena to be kept away in the X-files. We need to re-vision period with positive constructs/connotations and remember that many of the world's cultures do celebrate a girl's coming of age with rites and ceremonies that recognize, name and honor this important passage. Many of the taboos and negative associations stem directly from the fears of men and male-dominated religious and socio-cultural conditioning. Women are taught to be ashamed of their biological system as part of being the "weaker" sex. As more and more women speak out about this issue, it can not only be empowering to other women, it will also help change society's negative thinking about periods. Most importantly it will help everyone women and men to deal with this monthly occurrence and not shy away from it. Knowledge is empowerment and if men still think periods are this mysterious bleeding that they should not know anything about, I think it's about time, women start telling them what it is and making them envious of our reproductive power.

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