A menstrual taboo is any social taboo concerned with the menstruation. In some of the societies it involves the menstruation being perceived as very unclean or embarrassing, inhibiting even the mention of menstruation whether in the public or in the private (among their friends, in the household, or with the men). Many traditional religions consider the very process of menstruation is ritually unclean, although the anthropologists point out that the concepts ‘sacred’ and ‘unclean’ may be intimately connected.
Here are few astonishing myths about mensuration still prevail in modern world
Sharks Will Attack Women on Their Periods
While the women may be “riding crimson tide,” there’s no need to worry about the shark attacks if woman wants to actually go in ocean. There’s no data to support the menstruation attracts sharks. So for everyone out there thinking the menstruation attracts sharks, think again before you blame periods.
Period blood is dirty blood
Period blood isn’t rejected the body fluids or body’s way of flushing out toxins. Think of it as evolved the vaginal secretion — there’s little bit of blood, uterine tissue, mucus lining, and bacteria.
But it doesn’t change whether or not we can have the sex, and it doesn’t mean conditions are less than ideal down there.
the Period blood is very different from the blood that moves continuously through veins. In fact, it’s less concentrated blood. It has the fewer blood cells than ordinary blood.
Women Will Contaminate Food
In parts of the rural India, there is myth that women cannot water plants or cook during period because their “uncleanliness” will spoil food. In study done in random school in rural India, 55 percent of the girls surveyed believed they could not cook or enter kitchen during and 4 days after menstruation or food would be sour.
Showering Will Cause Infertility
A women in the Kabul goes to doctor to check her health during maternity. Without healthy menstrual cycles, the cleanliness and properly managing the periods women can risk the infections that cause infertility.
In Afghanistan, word “gazag” means to become infertile. It’s said (in old Afghan tradition) that during week a woman has her period she cannot wash or even shower. You’re probably thinking this is very gross. It is. And it’s more than that–it’s a major risk for the infection.
In many places, including the Afghanistan, it’s common for the women to use the cloth sanitary napkins. The benefit here is that it’s relatively inexpensive and renewable way to manage the periods. The downside is women are often ashamed to hang clean cloth used during the menstruation outside with other laundry. So women hide and wear the sanitary napkins for too long which causes the infections deadly to reproductive health. This can all be fixed if the social taboos over periods are eliminated.
Periods Are Debilitating For Women
Imagine someone telling you to miss the work every month even if you don’t feel sick. Menstrual leave is thing, and this one is more controversial than some. Several countries in the Asia, like South Korea, China, Japan, and Indonesia have the laws providing the women sick leave during their period. The debate here is whether the menstrual leave for women is a form of the discrimination or a medical necessity.
Periods taboos are more debilitating than the menstrual cycles themselves. Lack of access to the sanitary napkins, and knowledge on managing the periods for girls and women is debilitating. But, the periods themselves are rarely a cause for necessary sick leave.
Yes, every woman experiences the menstrual cycles differently, but only 20 percent of women report the severe pain during periods. The other 80% of women reported no debilitating symptoms or the pain. With proper supplies and knowledge on how to manage the periods, girls and women can be empowered to accomplish any task any time of month.
Girls Cannot Participate in Class
The chaupadi tradition is practice in rural parts of Nepal where the women are literally put in the isolation during their period. Again reason stems back to “being unclean.” Women cannot be in the classrooms with other students while the menstruating.
The myth goes back to belief that woman’s uncleanliness will anger Hindu goddesses. Dispelling the traditional myths like the chaupadi where about 16 percent of women in the Nepal are forced from their homes into the isolation is the task that will take effort, the education and the awareness.
Women Can’t Prepare Sushi
According to cultural belief held by some the sushi chefs in Japan, such as Jiro Ono–a famous sushi chef with the restaurants in the Tokyo, Ginza, and Chūō, the women cannot be the sushi chefs because of the menstrual cycles. The myth here is that menstruation causes an “imbalance in the taste” and therefore the sushi cannot possibly be properly prepared by a woman.
Women Can’t Enter Holy Temples
This myth exists in the parts of the world ranging from the Bali and India to Nepal. Women are believed to be very “unclean” while they are menstruating and are thus not allowed to enter the “clean” and the holy places like the temples. This is a form of the gender inequality that limits the women from same human rights like the freedom to practice religion that the men have access to.
the Girls and women menstruating are not unclean. They are normal, natural, and healthy. The myth that the women cannot enter the temples and holy ground is culturally controversial, and sensitive issue. When the women are treated differently because of the naturally occurring body cycle it creates the shame, the taboos, and the humiliation towards the periods that is deeply embedded into our society. And that is the only thing that’s ridiculous.
Women Have “Cooties” That Make Men “Sick”
In the India and parts of the Nepal (in alignment with the chaupadi tradition in Nepal). women cannot interact with or touch the men because the men will become sick by touching an “unclean” woman. Some 20% of girls in the rural India believe they should not talk to male member of the family during menstruation.
And 40% of the girls in India learn about the menstruation from their mothers. So, if external education is not provided the traditions will persist.
Menstruation Is a Disease in Iran
Longstanding stigmatization in the Iran has caused a staggering 48% of girls to believe that the menstruation is a disease, according to UNICEF study.
But there is the hope.
A 2012 study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed that when the young Iranian girls were given the menstrual education, the results showed more than half of them started bathing when they had the periods, while others busted erroneous misconception.
Pads Need To Be Kept the Unseen and Apart From Other Trash, or Could Lead To Cancer
Traditional beliefs in the Bolivia misinform young women and girls that disposal of their menstrual pads with other garbage could lead to the sickness or cancer, according to UNICEF. Because there’s still so much humiliation around topic, many are told to keep their pads far away from rest of the trash and are often led to collecting them in their bags during school day until they get home.
The organization investigated about 10 schools in the Bolivia and identified that two main challenges the menstruating girls face include the feelings of the shame and limited access to the private bathrooms. For this reason, UNICEF has implemented the massive menstrual education program in hopes of increasing the access to the proper menstrual products and sanitation facilities.
Period taboos are not only the crazy and ridiculous but they are huge obstacle holding the women back in many ways. It’s hard to believe these myths still exist all over world today. But they do, and they need to be busted.
Awareness and the education, especially for the people in rural and developing countries, is necessary to empower the girls and women everywhere. Together we can create better world where the girls believe periods are powerful not shameful.
The good news is there are the people making a difference each day when it comes to eliminating the period taboos. (source)
For more related articles click below: