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Piyali Dasgupta
29 May 2017 . 1 min read

Don’t Hide Your Sanitary Pad, It’s Not A Gun


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Yes this is true! These are glaring truths about menstrual health in urban India, circa 2017. These are all researched and documented notions surrounding menstrual health and it is time to bust these with new ways.

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A miniscule number of Indian menstruating women use pads. Tampons, cups, period panties, liners are unheard of and available sparsely even in urban India.

Old rags seem to be the most commonly used thing. Women and men find buying sanitary an awkward, embarrassing, disgusting or a giggle inducing event.

Yes, it doesn’t matter what is your gender, everyone must know why and how it works. It is utterly ridiculous why it is still such a dogmatic topic to discuss it openly.

  • Talk about it at your dining table, class and work desk like I do about the weather, new restaurants and your kids.

  • Father, brother, friend, boyfriend, husband, colleague or son; talk to them about your menstrual cycle, challenges, pain, discomfort.

  • Introduce your friends to better, hygienic, safer and more comfortable ways of menstrual management.

  • Talk and teach boys and girls about menstrual health, at a pre - puberty age without making it a hush hush topic and never exclude the boys.

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  • Stop hiding your sanitary napkin, tampon or cup behind your sleeve, cover it up in newspaper and carry it slyly hiding it behind your clothes while you stealthily walk up to the toilet. No you are not a criminal. This is plain biology and essential to your body mechanism.

  • Carry it like any other mundane, inanimate and every day object? Let it be visible at home, school, college or work.

Menstrual health needs to be discussed openly and it is doesn’t make a woman filthy or tainted. It is not a curse or a shame.

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Researcher IPSOS shared shocking findings of a recent survey on menstruation undertaken in key metros in India.

The shocking revelations included 91% urban women residing in Bangalore do not wash their hair during periods, 68% urban women from Bangalore don't water the plants during their periods, 65% urban women from South India don't go outside during their periods, as said in Times of India.

Father, brother, friend, boyfriend, husband, colleague or son; ask them to support you during your periods. Ask them to go buy your sanitary pad, tampon, cup etc. next time from the chemist shop. Remove the shame around it.  If you are in pain ask them for that back rub and feet massage. Involve them in your household chores. Ask your colleague to give you his chair if you are feeling dizzy and weak. But tell him the reason clearly, without feeling ashamed or embarrassed.

Image result for women in periods cartoon stigma

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If you happen to spot your clothes accidentally, it is not a sin. If you don’t have access to fresh set of clothes that very moment, let it show. Let it be normal, real and don’t mire it in indignity. Carry on with your day the usual way. Stop spending rest of the hours trying to hide it.


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Piyali Dasgupta
A writer and an educator with expertise in experiential learning,capacity building, counselling & content development. A feminist, wit addict and time/life traveler. She loves trees, water bodies, vintage,cooking and arts

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Responses

  • Anonymous
    yes, I work in an office full of women and I STILL feel I have to hide my pad
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