Menstrual taboo outdated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

  • Effect of monetary policy on risk, stability and financial crises Effect of monetary policy on risk, stability and financial crises

    The crisis of 2008–09 has reignited a new interest in understanding money and credit fluctuations in the macro economy, and the crucial roles they could play in the amplification, propagation, and generation of shocks both in normal times and, even more so, in times of financial distress. This may reopen a number of fundamental fault lines in modern macroeconomic thinking between theories that treat the financial system as irrelevant, or, at least, not central to the understanding of economic outcomes, and those that reserve a central role for financial intermediation.

    Anup Paudel

  • Air pollution control measures for Kathmandu Valley Air pollution control measures for Kathmandu Valley

    According to the World Air Quality Index website, Air quality index of Ratnapark, Kathmandu was 158 on April 22 which is unhealthy. This means children and people with respiratory diseases should avoid outdoor exertion at this pollution level. If this quantity increases to more than 300, air quality level is considered as hazardous which means everyone should avoid outdoor exertion.

    Karna Dahal

Blog

  • The return trip The return trip

    It took us over five hours, drenched in rain, walking through treacherous ratomato sluggishly. It should not have taken more than two hours in a normal day. It was the cruellest irony that no sooner did we reach Panchkhal and sat at the Pipal Chautari to rest, than the bus we had left behind, arrived with people in the bus bursting with laughter on seeing us.

    Hemant Arjyal

  • Prospects for Nepali talents in the Diaspora Prospects for Nepali talents in the Diaspora

    When Indu, a Nepali American teen studying in Virginia, asked Panta whether she could inspire Nepali youngsters into music industry and convince their parents to consider Nepali music as a path to professionalism, the female heartthrob of Nepali music could not fully convince her.

    Sukriti Sharma

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