Menstrual taboo outdated

  • Get News Alerts

I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.

Menstruation is a natural biological phenomenon that happens not only to human being but also with mammals like dog, elephant, bat etc. Modern science sees menstruation as a blessing when we are seeing it as a curse. According to Marcelle Pick (OB/GYN NP), a Women to Women Clinic in Maine, America, the benefit of Menstruation are that it slows the aging process, leads to healthy and satisfied sexual life, it acts as a sign of hormone balance, improves mood and appearance, reduces bloating, acts as natural cleanser, releases frustration and anger. While Nepali culture and various cultures in the Indian subcontinent consider menstruation as a sign of impurity, there are communities who believe that it is a blessing. Apache Indian Tribe welcome first period with four-days-long celebration. Likewise the Native American sees it as sacred phenomena which help spiritual growth.

If our community had understood the benefit and sacredness of menstruation, there would not be the need for any activists shouting loud that menstruation is a boon, not curse and stating is as an example of structural violence against women.

I have not seen any scriptures telling that Goddess Parbati stayed away from Shiva during her menstruation period, neither Goddess Laxmi stayed wary she’d touch Bishnu during her menstruation.

History has ample examples of many practices which started with good intention, but with time transformed into orthodox, superstitious practices. In the past, keeping women away during menstruation was a logical and very effective way to keep women separately from men, and not to let them go into kitchen, temple and water source since there were healthy sanitary pads like today.

Many activists claim that Hindu Dharma is the cause of structural violence against women in Nepal. They forget that Shakti (a form of femininity) is worshipped by Hindus. Hindu Dharma talks about tat tvam asi i.e. we are made up of same element, Purush (Masculine) and Prakriti (Feminine) are complement of each other, Matri devo vawa (Mother or feminine is god). Hence, the problem doesn’t exist in Hinduism, but in community’s inability to change age-old superstitions and malpractices.

The Supreme Court in 2005 banned Chaupadi Pratha that forces menstruating women to stay in sheds. But the practice still exists in various parts of far-west Nepal. This should end and all should join hands to end this violence against women.

(Adhikari is an undergraduate student of Law at Kathmandu School of Law)

Comments

Opinion

  • Why should we save the ethos of 2015 Nepali constitution? Why should we save the ethos of 2015 Nepali constitution?

    While Nepal should address voices that question the constitution, it should not undermine the document’s dignity and longevity if the country wants to establish a constitutional culture. No constitution can fulfill all wishes. The drafters of the present constitution should not feel guilty in not securing the consent of all citizens. If the constitution is not fundamentally discriminatory, it has chances to grow further.

    Bhushan Aryal

  • One Belt One Road: Prospects & Challenges One Belt One Road: Prospects & Challenges

    Nepal thus has to debate, discuss, analyze and then conclude the cost and benefits of the OBOR for its populace. The benefits of OBOR for Nepali economy are easy to understand, but the short, medium and long-term consequences are not simple, and thus require careful examination.

    Chintamani Mahapatra

Blog

  • Dreams and drains Dreams and drains

    A water-filled ditch looks quite benign until someone lands into it. It was a case of extreme apathy on the part of the perpetrators as the girl paid up with her life for their neglect.

    Hemant Arjyal

  • Govt apathy toward flood control Govt apathy toward flood control

    While some opine that, relief can be an option for providing an instant solution, the majority believes that Nepal needs a permanent solution to the problem. And the solution could be construction of dams and water reservoirs, which are the best instruments for flood control.

    Pooja Chaudhary

Readers Column

  • Traffic Police in Kathmandu

    As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.

  • Menstrual taboo outdated

    I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.

Popular

Recommended

Suchanapati