“A taboo is a vehement prohibition of an action based on the belief that such behavior is either too sacred or too accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake, under threat of supernatural punishment. Such prohibitions are present in virtually all societies”, explains Wikipedia. There are so many taboos circling around in our day to day activities. A few have got so much embedded into our life styles that we almost have forgotten they are just taboos and do not really make sense in the day to day world. Though we have seen an era of technological advancements, humans still have a lot of superstition bossing them every day. It is even more annoying when it is a menstrual taboo, which is the taboo related to menstruation in women.
The menstrual taboos are not only spread across the world, they are spread across most of the religions in the world. Each religion has its own way of disapproving the menstruating women’s prayers. A few religions consider the blood from menstruation unclean for the surroundings. Women are not allowed inside worship places, not allowed to offer prayers or touch anything around them. In a few places, women do not enter the house when menstruating and are given separate room inside the house until the periods is over. A few other religions throughout the history have accepted the menstruating women in places of worship. Though interpreted wrongly by the society, when observed closely, the intent behind prohibiting the menstruating women to take part in society or household could have been to allow them to rest comfortably without being disturbed by any taxing chores at home.
There are a lot more common misconceptions about menstruation. The taboos have kept many people from knowledge they deserve to get. In villages, the young girls, because of what they were told, think that menstruating creates negativity. There is a social belief that the topic is not to be discussed in open. Even the word “bleed” causes discomfort to the listeners. The advertisements about sanitary napkins show bleeding as a matter of shame. Years before, a few social activists and feminists stood against such portrays of women. The taboos are so prevalent that even buying sanitary pads at a shop becomes embarrassing.
But it is high time people came forward and talked about periods openly. It is imperative to let the young girls know what is happening within them and why they are bleeding. It is also important to teach how to be hygienic during periods. “Almost a third of women and girls had known nothing about periods, and over 70% thought menstrual blood was dirty”, said a survey carried out by the UN’s sanitation agency WSSCC.It is time to get rid of the long held misinterpretations about the menstruation and teach the future generation the science behind the menstruation. This might play a major role in making the menstrual taboos fade away quickly at least in the generations to come.