Red is color of life.
Red is love.
Red is passion.
Red is blood.
Red is fire.
Red is danger.
Red is rage.
Red is blush.
Red is valentine.
Red is birth.
Red is new beginnings and violent ends.
Red is feminine.
Red is life.
I woke up early, my gosh my back was aching like hell, something’s wrong. I went to bathroom and as soon as i pee, i notice the red color on my panties. I got my periods, another month. But the changes they brought to me are more than just biological.
Menstruation -The monthly hormonal roller coaster ride that happens to be part of every woman’s life, from the very day she reaches her puberty. The day she steps in the threshold of womanhood, now she is ceases to be a child, but becomes a young woman. Red indeed is the color of womanhood.
You see there are different meanings attached to menstruation to people, to communities, to religions; variety of myths, perceptions. But these communities don’t realize that some of these views ruins somebody’s childhood and future. Even after being a part of so called modern, progressive society full of advocates of women rights and freedom, periods are still considered as a taboo in Indian society! Girls suffer due to the restrictions put upon them, a mental torture that nobody understands.
Here’s an account of an ordinary 14 yrs old girl, living in the progressive Indian society-
“It is a cloudy night, even the birds aren’t awake, the sound of her swift footsteps is adding to frogs croaking in the nearby pond. She must be fast, she must complete her job before anyone’s awake and watches her. She is washing her clothes that are soaked in her periods stains. She must be fast, she makes sure that, its done before anyone discovers this, for its a shame.
Today she won’t go to school, even though she wants to attend classes and play with her friends. Today she won’t enter the kitchen as it may ‘pollute’ the kitchen. She can’t go to temple today. She can’t touch the pickle today. Today, she can’t go outside the four walls of her house for she’s menstruating, she needs to stay there only, like her life has stopped, its all static for today as well as next 5 days of her life. And it happens every months. Because she’s got periods. Because she’s young woman. Her innocent mind curses such a adulthood, that snatches away numerous such ‘5 days’ from her life. She hates her womanhood. She hates red. “
This is the story of every teenage girl, irrespective of social strata she belongs to. On one hand the society, tells that she’s a woman now and on other hand same society tells her its a shame and put restrictions on her? How can she enjoy her adulthood if such biased views are attached to feminism.
Menstruation is more than just a hormonal up side down in a girl’s life. Many of them have to leaves their wishes apart, all of their dreams are shattered. In India, school dropout rate is highest for girls after class 8th. Their dreams to study, to move ahead in life, to be something remains mere dreams due to menstruation, symbol of her feminism. The social perceptions, family pressure and lack of sensitivity towards periods in schools, forces many girls to stop their education and leave their dreams apart. Many girls suffer from diseases or even loose their lives due to lack of personal hygiene during menstruation, because of lack of awareness. Periods is something never talked about and due to it lives suffers.
But its not like that only girls from undeveloped sections of society suffers, same restrictions are also put upon the girls of higher classes.
Pain and suffering are independent of the social status one belongs to, the trauma faced, the tears and those mind pricking questions faced, are same for every girl.
I live in a society where my periods are considered a shame, a society that tells me not to cook, not to pray, not to study, not to play, not to roam, not to touch pickle, for something that is not at all in my control!
Menstruation is a biological process like respiration, circulation or digestion. You can’t control them or stop them, they’ll come as they do, but stopping somebody’s life, ruining somebody’s future is heck of nonsense!
When you think of letter ‘A’ a clear cut picture of a red juicy fruit strikes your temple. When you think of word ‘woman’ the picture formed is quite vivid and interesting. Many of us imagines our mom. The picture vary from person to person. But what i see is “nature”. Nature has the power to create, a power that makes her “mother nature”. Woman is nature,the creator, the source .Woman is red.
She suffers, but this suffering of her couldn’t be put to an end until we as a society, accept menstruation as a part of woman’s life more than just a symbol of her adulthood. It couldn’t be put to en end till we accept Red.
I can’t be denied of freedom, for my vagina is bleeding today! You can’t ruin my day. Its a natural process of life and need not to stop my life.
You tell her to be red, but never accept her as red, this is where the problem lies. And due to this we are tortured.