If men could menstruate, this is how little boys would react to their first period.

Please watch: The camp gyno (Being shared on facebook as the cutest ad ever)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XnzfRqkRxU#at=57

Some screen shots :

She gets her period before the others: Not horrified. Knows what’s happening. Is proud to be the first one.

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 11.10.14 AM

No shame, no fear, no disgust. Feels like a Queen Bee or Joan of Arc. Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 11.10.24 AM

Not just unashamed. She is ready to reap some benefits. Here the Camp Gyno is giving a demo.

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 11.10.38 AMTurns out little girls are NOT all sugar and spice and everything nice. They are human; capable of loving and being fascinated with themselves and their bodies and minds and successes and popularities and sometimes not knowing when they are going too far😆

Camp Gyno lets popularity go to her head.Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 11.11.10 AM

Reminded me of,

If Men Could Menstruateby Gloria Steinem

So what would happen if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?
Clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, worthy, masculine event:
Men would brag about how long and how much.
Young boys would talk about it as the envied beginning of manhood. Gifts, religious ceremonies, family dinners, and stag parties would mark the day.

Statistical surveys would show that men did better in sports and won more Olympic medals during their periods.
Generals, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation (“men-struation”) as proof that only men could serve God and country in combat (“You have to give blood to take blood”), occupy high political office (“Can women be properly fierce without a monthly cycle governed by the planet Mars?”), be priests, ministers, God Himself (“He gave this blood for our sins”), or rabbis (“Without a monthly purge of impurities, women are unclean”).

Can you imagine an ad like this on the Indian television – or maybe an ad that showed that growing up (for girls) was not something to be ashamed of, and also was not something that was everybody’s business?

Related Posts:

Some doors are different… they are closed for fifty percent of the population.

Should women go to this temple?

Sex Education has nothing to do with Blue Films.

Being untouchable during periods.

Nepal: Custom & Dangers of Isolation of Women During Menstruation

Have you heard about the menstrual cup?

63 thoughts on “If men could menstruate, this is how little boys would react to their first period.

  1. Loved it! Especially when she talks about how it went to her head🙂
    ‘The red badge of courage’ LOL.
    I also liked the fact that the kids were not ashamed to say vagina. Why hide something so natural?

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  2. Lovely Ad. A must have on Indian television, but I am sure it’ll be sent off air before its even on. Everything that’s to do with a female is a taboo here…including the female herself. Pity!😦

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    • No it is not. Did you forget 18 again cream and that fairness cream for the VJJ?
      Anything that is female and has significance for men is not a taboo, it is just women should not be comfortable and confident about their bodies that is a taboo.
      DG

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  3. I men had to menstruate there would be fully paid 3 day menstruation leave facility mandated in all Organizations. and they would be working rigorously in all research facilities for a way to stop menstruation form happening without causing harm!!!!

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  4. I’m getting a very strong “anti-men” vibe here – especially in the linked article with statements like: “Liberal males in every field would try to be kind. The fact that “these people” have no gift for measuring life, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.”

    Really? Is this the writer’s experience with liberal males? If so, I pity her paucity of experience.

    I have a caveat. I’ve been an avid reader of this blog for years now. Occasionally and sometimes more often, the tone is extremely hostile towards men – many of whom have never done anything to hurt women and who actively support women’s rights. Men like me for example. Posts like an earlier one bashing all men to the extent of creating incredibly biased and unfair divorce laws just drive it home.

    I understand the temptation to view “men” as a monolithic entity. I urge you to not give in to that temptation. If you group all men together and say “men do this”…then that’s hurtful to me. It might be easy to view men as the enemy since having an enemy makes the fight more concrete. I understand that. But it may help to be a little more targeted.

    Keep in mind that not all men are evil or are enemies of women.

    Sometimes I catch myself thinking “Screw it. Why should I advocate for women’s rights when my rights are not being take care of?” So far each time I’ve felt that I’ve carefully crushed that feeling under my heel because the issue of women’s rights is independent of what anyone says or does. Even if all the laws became biased, women’s right would still be important. But I must confess that sometimes it’s not easy.

    On my blog, DG wrote a comment saying: “It is a shame anytime any discussion comes up about doing right by women people especially men who have benefited from patriarchy for centuries create so much jargon and commotion that actual issue is lost.”

    http://www.bhagwad.com/blog/2013/rights-and-freedoms/indias-new-divorce-laws-the-dirty-secret-no-one-wants-to-talk-about.html/comment-page-1/#comment-18949

    And here’s the problem. I have not benefited from patriarchy!. I’m not centuries old. What happened in the past and what is done by other people is not my fault. So why take it out on me?

    My request is that you can make it easy for male readers with no cost to yourself or to women’s issues. Just have a care to not lump all of us together. I understand that there are lots of men who are completely atrocious and have no respect at all for women. I don’t deserve to be grouped together with them. I don’t deserve that.

    I know it’s your blog and you can write in any way you want. This is just the feedback of a loyal reader who shares the same goals as you. It’s a shame if I feel pushed away because of this.

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    • Bhagwad I linked the post as a courtesy because that’s where I found the ad shared on facebook – I do not subscribe to or have read what that post or the comments over there have to say.

      I saw the ad in an Indian context – where girls are cursed, blamed, isolated, not allowed to visit some places of worship etc for something that’s perfectly natural.

      I agree that men have not really benefited from patriarchy – in fact I don’t think Patriarchy or Feminism is men versus women.

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    • Bhagwad,

      I think there are quite a few posters here who have repeatedly said it is not men versus women and that not all men are the same (evil or whatever) just like all women are not the same. Some of us have also acknowledged the awesome men in our lives – our husbands, co-workers, neighbors, boyfriends, fathers, etc. I think IHM has a strong feminist voice that is very much needed. However, I do not see this blog as being anti-men. I love reading responses from you, Satish, Niketan, and a host of other guys. Here is one of my recent responses to a post –

      https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/please-help-how-do-i-prove-to-my-guy-friends-that-women-are-equal-to-men/#comments

      “……….You can’t put all men into one bucket and all women into another and then compare them. Among both men and women, people can be kind or mean, wise or foolish, compassionate or selfish. It really depends on the individual. ……”

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      • I agree IHM’s blog isn’t anti-men, but this post seems very off-key. Thanks though, I really enjoy reading your comments as well🙂

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    • Hmm. An anti-male stance is never the way to go. Anti-anything is not correct, but I think people, in the middle of being hurt over such statements, forget to examine exactly why someone who is oppressed would have those sentiments to begin with. Taking a look at the reasoning behind even the most anti sentiments can be enlightening. It’s wrong to dismiss people completely because of tone, especially when their grievances are legitimate and they simply don’t have the energy to express themselves in any other way.

      Blanket statements are lazy, easy to make, and examples of bad logic. But when a woman has only ever been exposed to male company who oppress her, and has not seen the wide world beyond that scope (and often does not even have the opportunity to), to tell her that she is wrong to make that blanket statement isn’t right. It’s all she’s ever known, and really, what it ends up doing is undermine her opinion even further. It would be better to not agree or disagree in such cases. Just let the person who is oppressed air out their grievances and then allow them to find out for themselves that not all people are like that.

      Also, to say that you have not benefited from patriarchy is somewhat of an incorrect statement to make. It’s not a kind system, but most men have, and will continue to benefit from it, even if they don’t express specifically pro-patriarchal sentiments. That’s the whole point of patriarchy, to give one group of people advantages simply for identifying as male.

      The only way to combat it is to be aware of the privileges you get and question why women don’t get those privileges too. Which is what you overwhelmingly do, which is a complete credit to your gender. A lot of men would simply accept things and not question them (why would they, it works out well on their end), but you don’t do that.🙂 It’s not because patriarchy doesn’t like you, but because you choose specifically not to benefit from a system that is so incredibly biased.

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        • @bhagwad

          One example would be access to public spaces in India at all hours without your safety or morals being called into question. The same access is denied to women just because they are women.

          This has nothing to do with the way you were raised at home, but it is the way people around you perceive you.

          That again does not mean that the solution is to ban men from public spaces. That would be unfair and anti-men. We cannot punish an entire section of society with a blanket rule like that. The solution would be to make it safer for EVERYONE to access public spaces at all times. The solution would be to identify the victims (who will happen to be women most of the times) and make it possible for them to seek a quick and legal recourse.

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        • 1) You probably get paid more than a woman with exactly your skills would (I can cite some studies if you like).

          2) You were probably served meals before women-folk at some point, in someone’s house.

          3) You probably got to be out playing longer than girls around you.

          4) You probably don’t get your bum pinched in public places.

          5) When you visit places or shops etc with your wife, people probably address you by default rather than your wife, acknowledging you.

          6) You probably were never told as a child something like ‘what will your MIL say if you do xyz’ as a way to control your choices.

          7) You have probably been able to dress as you like without your family/ friends/college authorities/strangers telling you not to wear what you’re wearing… to name a few.

          It’s just like I have benefit from the privileges of belonging to a higher caste in India whether I like it or not. Acknowledging privilege allows one to realise that the world does not look like our default world to everyone around us.

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        • The liberty to go wherever you want, whenever you want, wearing whatever you want. This, without people judging you and your morality and even without the fear of being raped for instance. Just an example🙂

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        • Bhagwad, when people look at you, they see an individual. They see a person with complexities, with choices, with thoughts, dreams, hopes, likes, dislikes. They look at you and they see shades of character, and they respect you for it.

          When people look at women, they do not see individuals with complexities. They see us in terms of singularities. They see us as one-dimensional. They discredit us, our thoughts, our voices, dreams, hopes, likes, dislikes based on the foolish belief that we are not individuals capable of intricacies just like men are. They make choices for us based on this belief. They attempt to control our lives based on this belief that we are not individuals and therefore must be dictated to.

          That how you get to benefit from patriarchy. When society looks at you, they see a human being. When society looks at me, they do not afford me the same respect. I have to fight to have my humanity recognized. You don’t.

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      • These are interesting examples. I’d like to draw a distinction between benefiting from patriarchy and things just being the way they should be. The freedom to wear whatever you want for example is there in western countries. That doesn’t mean that they have patriarchal systems in place. So if I as a man am not told what to wear, I count that as normal – not a benefit. And of course, women are very much the victims of patriarchy by random people when they are told what to wear.

        But I myself don’t count it as a benefit. Just a right.

        The same goes for many other “benefits”. Not getting my bum pinched isn’t a benefit and doesn’t come at the expense of any woman being mistreated.

        And just to be clear – I’m not in any way diminishing the horrible problems women face in everyday life. Few people are more vocal about it than I am. I’m just saying that it doesn’t benefit me any more than I expect.

        The solution as Clueless pointed out above is to ensure equal, normal, and decent treatment for everyone.

        As for some other examples…I can’t say I’ve experienced them. I’m a freelance writer and my gender has no impact on my rates. I can’t remember ever getting served before a woman deliberately. My wife usually hogs the limelight and I’m perfectly content to stay peacefully unnoticed most of the time.

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        • “That doesn’t mean that they have patriarchal systems in place.”

          ^ That’s also not true. I live in a Western country. Victim blaming, slut shaming, policing what women wear, all of that is very much alive here. It’s a different flavour of patriarchy, but it’s still very much present and quite damaging in its own respect. To be fair, the West has dismantled a lot of the more overt ways in which patriarchy operates that India is still working on, but it’s a mistake to assume that there isn’t a deeply entrenched misogyny in this society as well.

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        • “But I myself don’t count it as a benefit. Just a right.”

          The benefits men are afforded under the patriarchal system is that they get rights, period. Women are not given even that much. When one party is given basic human rights that another party is denied, how is that not beneficial to them? When one party is viewed as human beings but another party is not, how is that not a benefit to their lives? When one group of people are given the right to agency over their own lives, that another party is systematically denied, how does that not benefit them?

          But you’re right. Basic human rights should not be benefits, they should simply be common sense. But that doesn’t change the fact that in a patriarchal system, only men are viewed as human beings. And this benefits them in that it allows them far greater advantages and opportunities than what women get, based on nothing but gender.

          Dismantling patriarchy is a two fold battle. Not only do you have to normalize the idea that women are also human beings, you also have to normalize the idea that human rights are for everybody, not simply a select group of people.

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        • ” So if I as a man am not told what to wear, I count that as normal – not a benefit… But I myself don’t count it as a benefit. Just a right.”

          But to women around you, it does look like a benefit. That’s the whole point of privilege. What is normal for you is not considered normal for other groups of people. What is a ‘right’ afforded to you is not a right afforded to everyone. Women in the west also face pressures on what they wear, victim blaming, the slut-whore dichotomy.. I mean women in the US are still fighting laws against autonomy over their own body and to have access to birth control and reproductive healthcare. Men have no such issues in Texas in obtaining viagra or condoms.

          “I’m a freelance writer and my gender has no impact on my rates.”

          Do you employers see your name before they hire you? Do they go to your site and see your picture? Then the subconscious effect is to offer you more pay than they would have offered a woman with exactly your CV. This is what studies show. You wouldn’t know that you’ve been paid more because you haven’t also applied as a woman – offered the same job – and then compared the pay. Studies have done that though http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/unofficial-prognosis/2012/09/23/study-shows-gender-bias-in-science-is-real-heres-why-it-matters/.

          I wouldn’t blame you individually for the existence of male privilege in patriarchy but I do consider it your individual responsibility to be aware of it.

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        • Speaking of pay, studies show that men and tall people both have this advantage of getting offered more pay by employers subconsciously. I am a short-ish woman. Screwed on two accounts! If I was a tall white man, I’d definitely be richer :D!

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        • Let me put in this way. Homosexuals in many countries don’t have the right to get married. I don’t think we could frame in such a way that we should say “Heterosexuals are benefiting from heterosexuarchy(!) or whatever”. The right to get married is a baseline – hardly a privilege. Homosexuals are in the fight to get the same rights as everyone else.

          I doubt if any gay person would point to a heterosexual couple and say – “You are benefiting from this”. The truth is the reverse – the poor homosexual people are being denied the basic rights of marriage.

          You may ask why this semantic difference is important. The reason is that when someone tells me I’m “benefiting” from patriarchy, the implicit meaning is that some woman somewhere is suffering because of it. That my comfort is built off the back of someone else. That’s hardly true. Of course I don’t get lewd glares in public, but that doesn’t mean that any woman is getting extra glares because of me.

          Keep in mind this whole thing came about when DG said (essentially) that men have been “benefiting” from patriarchy for so many years and now it’s time for them to suffer.

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        • Hmmn.. benefit means advantage. It doesn’t have to be at the cost of another (although one could argue that patriarchal male privilege sometimes is at the cost of females). Privilege is not as such about affirmative action/ reservations (if that comment was intended for me). Privilege is real in a non-egalitarian society by definition, what you want to do or don’t want to do about it is another matter altogether. I won’t go on about it because you are fully entitled to a different opinion, but male privilege in a patriarchy is about how society perceives you and hence cannot fully be negated by your individual egalitarian views.

          One way of putting it that I liked is “It is a status that is conferred by society to certain groups, not seized by individuals, which is why it can be difficult sometimes to see one’s own privilege.”

          (source: http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/11/faq-what-is-male-privilege/)

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        • “The reason is that when someone tells me I’m “benefiting” from patriarchy, the implicit meaning is that some woman somewhere is suffering because of it. That my comfort is built off the back of someone else. That’s hardly true.”

          But that’s precisely the truth. Patriarchy has always glorified the sacrifice and suffering of women for a greater male ideal. Women are taught from birth that their feelings and happiness are always secondary to that of men, that they must always make choices that keep the men in their lives happy. They are told that suffering is okay, because men and their needs are more important. “Don’t wear this, it will tempt the men in your life.” “Don’t be overly ambitious, your husband won’t like it if you neglect him and his family.” “Don’t eat before your husband, make sure he is fed first.” “Don’t act too intelligent, you might make him feel inferior.” Patriarchy uses this idea to disenfranchise women, always to benefit men both explicitly and implicitly.

          “Of course I don’t get lewd glares in public, but that doesn’t mean that any woman is getting extra glares because of me.”

          No, you don’t get lewd glares in public. What you get is the freedom to wear what you please without being subjected to too much staring and comments about your virtue. Furthermore, patriarchy gives you the ability to glare lewdly in public, and by extension, control the way in which women present themselves for your own needs. This control is the benefit that men get, and this control is given to them at the expense of female autonomy. The choice as to whether or not you use it does not take away from the fact that you still have this power.

          I think, perhaps, that you’re attempting to make a distinction between men who explicitly use patriarchy for their own ends, and you yourself, who is a feminist and therefore fights against patriarchy. In other words, the men who choose to use that power, and you, who chooses not to use it. If this is the case (and please correct me if I’m wrong), I completely understand why it would be mind boggling to hear that you, as Bhagwad, are being aided by patriarchy. After all, you’re someone trying to actively dismantle it, how could you benefit from it?

          The ironic thing is, patriarchy doesn’t discriminate between men who are feminists and men who are not. It is advantageous to all of them, irrespective of what their own personal beliefs are. Just because an individual says, “I will not control women for my own personal desires.” does not remove the fact that they STILL have this power. That is the benefit of patriarchy. Whether you choose to use it or not does not take it away.

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        • A said:

          “The ironic thing is, patriarchy doesn’t discriminate between men who are feminists and men who are not. It is advantageous to all of them, irrespective of what their own personal beliefs are.”

          This, very much.

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    • How can you say, you as a man did not benefit from patriarchy? Please enumerate what loss you had to bear due to patriarchal bias in the Indian society?
      Were you ever asked to get home before sunset as it was unsafe on pretext of sexual assaults?
      Did you have to give up field sports just because there was no team of your gender to play in?
      Were you ever asked to stay quite and deport yourself in certain manner because you were bringing poor name to your gender?
      And so on…

      To benefit from patriarchy does not mean to have a cash or cheque written in your name, the benefits are subtle yet pronounced when seen in collectivity.

      The fact is men may individually suffer in patriarchy but collectively they gain. A small minority of men was and will always be standing up for the oppressed be it gender, caste or any kind of oppression.
      If you feel you are being thrown under the bus and you want to stop doing the right thing that is your choice and you are free to make that choice.
      DG has extensively written on how men are oppressed in patriarchy so please don’t nit pick on her sentences.
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/desi-sex-ratio-and-marriage-nirmala-1925-to-2011/
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/desi-parenting-cycle-of-generational-dysfunction/
      http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/desi-fathers-super-lesser-and-some-in-between/

      Peace,
      Desi Girl

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      • The problem DG is with your sense that “oh men have had it so good for centuries, so now they can’t complain”. I call that nonsense. I wasn’t born centuries ago and refuse to take any responsibility for stuff done either before I was born or even during my life to which I have not contributed. So you can’t throw that line at me. Put the blame where it belongs – on specific people who have done stuff. Not on “men” as a whole.

        As I’ve mentioned before, you’re confusing “Not losing anything” with “Benefiting”. No one is denying that women get a pretty shitty deal socially. Apart from ridiculous laws like those on marital rape, nothing is legally preventing women from taking advantage of as many opportunities as they want. They have the power. Whether or not they make use of that power is their choice. If someone is telling a woman to keep quiet because she’s “bringing a bad name to her gender”, nothing is stopping her from telling the other person to buzz off. I know women who have done it. My wife has done it!

        So no – as a man I have never taken advantage of patriarchy. Patriarchy is a negative effect and not a positive one. Women suffer because of it. These so called “benefits” you’re talking about is how life should be to start off with. I refuse to count living a normal life as a “benefit”. I have higher standards than that. Which makes it all the more important to fight for this “normal” life for women.

        We have a fundamental disagreement about the role of government in our lives. My stand is that the government should create equal laws, ensure law and order, and get out of the way. Nothing more.

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      • Another illustration:

        If you go out with a guy and he treats you normally without misbehaving, will you thank him? No! At least I hope you won’t. Because that’s expected. Being treated decently like a human being is not a “benefit”. It’s not some great award being bestowed on you. It’s the basic treatment you have the right to demand from any decent human being. So saying that men benefit by being “allowed” to stay out is a gross misunderstanding of what “benefit” means.

        If this is not what you meant when you said that I benefit from patriarchy, then I apologize. It would then be helpful if you explained exactly what you meant.

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    • Umm no, there is actually something called male privilege that you do benefit from. For e.g. walking down a street without someone trying to brush up against you. That doesn’t mean we hate you, but we will point out that men as a group benefit even if you as an individual haven’t done anything to contribute to it.

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  5. @Bhagwad – About this post – this post is not ‘against men’ – it only talks about how social rules and roles would have been if men could menstruate and women could not. It’s related to how women’s bodies and sexuality are seen as everybody’s business (but should not be seen or discussed), and men are expected to be proud of and to prove their manliness… Tony Porter in ‘A call to men’ talks about this:

    Here,

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  6. @Bhagwad, appreciate your sentiments.

    Except this part, where it almost sounds like you are doing womankind a favour by advocating equal rights for them:

    ‘Sometimes I catch myself thinking “Screw it. Why should I advocate for women’s rights when my rights are not being take care of?” So far each time I’ve felt that I’ve carefully crushed that feeling under my heel because the issue of women’s rights is independent of what anyone says or does. Even if all the laws became biased, women’s right would still be important. But I must confess that sometimes it’s not easy.’

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    • I realize how it might sound that way. In fact, I was aware of it while writing my comment. But of course it’s not. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t fight for equal rights for everyone – homosexuals, animals and whatnot. Life is life.

      But I’m not perfect. Situations like this bring out the admittedly adversarial part of me and I have to take care to let my better nature prevail. What I do I do primarily for myself and for no one else.

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  7. Pingback: Change the way we see, Period(s) | The Era I lived in

  8. I’d also like to point out that many have said it’s not a “men vs women” issue. I have personally always believed this. I do not think that the rights of men and women is a zero sum game. And I know that most people reading this believe that as well.

    But don’t you see? Laws discriminating on the basis of gender are the very definition of “men vs women”. One cannot say that it’s not “men vs women” and at the same time lend support to a law that is specifically designed to make it so!

    Following up on my previous comment about advocating women’s rights, I don’t like the way it makes me feel – petty, vindictive and a hypocrite. I hate it. I also know better. But when one is being portrayed as an adversary, it’s difficult to stay neutral to say the least. While I will win this war with myself (a minor skirmish really!), there are plenty of men who won’t. It’s not reasonable to be surprised when after seeing such laws many men try and push back.

    I have no hesitation in saying that laws like these recent amendments to the divorce statutes have done more to contribute to hate against women in India than anything else in the past 50 years.

    You see society can discriminate, but the law should not.

    It’s not even difficult to make fair laws that are gender neutral. One suggestion that has repeatedly come up is to refer to “financially weaker” parties instead of “women”. That little thing makes all the difference. Now it’s too late. Laws are horribly difficult to amend and the damage is done.

    It is now by default a “men vs women” issue. And the fault I feel lies with well meaning people who didn’t raise their voices against the bill when it was being considered. It wasn’t a “men vs women” issue before. Now it is.

    I don’t know what kind of damage control is possible at this stage. It’s not too late if women bloggers (for example) themselves raise up their voices against it. So far that hasn’t happened, and I don’t see any indication of it happening now.

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    • “It is now by default a “men vs women” issue.”

      You hit the nail straight on the head here. Not only is the law very vague and awfully biased, but it’s also adding fuel to the fires of people who take big issue with women’s liberation irrespective of what it is. That’s another thing that worries me about this law big time. People who are against women exercising ANY form of agency, period, now have a perfect scapegoat to shut down any further legitimate, reasonable discussion. And the worst, most awful part is that a lot of people will never educate themselves further, they will easily believe what people tell them and what they want to believe.

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    • “One suggestion that has repeatedly come up is to refer to “financially weaker” parties instead of “women”.”

      I agree and I commented saying this myself on the relevant posts. The thing is though, your frustration here is a bit misplaced. Women themselves face gendered laws or inefficient laws being passed all the time because the law-making bodies do not represent the interests of equality. I think this law is sexist even against women since it’s assumes they’re always financially weaker! The posts on this blog were very much a debate as I saw them, not saying that it was correct, which seems fair enough to me.

      I understand your annoyance with the law because I feel it all the time, when Justice Verma recommendations are ignored, when marital rape specifically exempts ‘husbands’ and on and on.

      Coming to this post, I don’t think it is anti men. I read this post as how society perceives men opposed to women, not what men do to women. Society is made up of all of us, men and women. I understand where you’re coming from though.. and wonder if there might be some annoyance over the ‘biased-law’ that’s colouring your view here? You’re only human after all, as you said, so I don’t mean to sound accusatory.

      The other thing is that you do benefit from patriarchy, even if you don’t want to. That’s what privilege is like. We involuntarily benefit from our skin colour, our caste, our gender. This privilege is a huge obstacle for empathy because it is invisible. It is simply how the world has always been for you. While you as a man may benefit from male privilege, you did not create it so you are not to be blamed for it of course.

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  9. The premise of this post is totally counter-factual. Boys also go through lots of confusion and shame with the bodily changes taking place during adolescence. I certainly did. On top of that, while mothers usually talk about these things with daughters, and help them with the logistics of dealing with periods, boys typically have no adult guiding them through this, with information coming only through peers and ending up confusing even further. Remember, boys also go through the embarrassing problem involving soiling of the pants during this time. I clearly remember how much distressed I was about it and thought something was terribly wrong, apart from having no idea of how to hide and deal with the logistics.

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  10. I think that was a wonderful post you did. That was a cute ad and it made it not a scary thing for little girls. I think every girl should watch it. We need to teach women and young girls who are becoming women to be proud of their bodies and not ashamed. Women menstruate because it is preparing their bodies for childbirth, and childbirth is the most miraculous thing on Earth. It is the most powerful thing a woman can experience and she feels so proud of her body’s capabilities.
    A girl/woman being strong, powerful and confident in her body and her own strength has nothing to do with men at all.

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  11. “Young boys would talk about it as the envied beginning of manhood. ”

    we certainly have similar things -ie. nightfall..I had it when i was 14..No idea what it was, totally embarrassed.
    for sure, we never celebrate the moment, but was ashamed to wet the pants, and hide these from everybody, including family members..
    forget about “Gifts, religious ceremonies, family dinners, and stag parties ”

    So, please stop making stupid assumptions..
    sure I agree there shouldn’t be anything dirty about periods,..

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  12. I’ve just realized that this is starting to resemble a discussion on reservations! Since that’s been pretty strongly hashed out before and people have fairly set views on that, their impressions on this latest issue will probably flow from those. Some people believe in reservations. Others do not. Seems to be a philosophical difference.

    Though I feel this issue is a more powerful one because a person is being directly affected and not merely losing the chance to compete for a seat etc.

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    • How is this like reservations? Genuinely curious.
      In education and employment, reservations demand a certain representation. How is asking to be able compete fairly/making the process free from bias like that?
      As for legal issues, I concede you have a point. However, I want to highlight that while men have to deal with unfair laws regarding property and dowry harrassment, women have to contend with things like the two-finger test and absence of punishment for marital rape.
      Even the degree of the unfairness of unfair laws is unfair to women🙂

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      • Generally the idea of creating laws to compensate for “social injustice”. The specific benefiting of one group at the expense of another in order to “even things out”. My view is that laws should be blind to social realities. It must provide equal laws, strict law and order and let society work itself out.

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      • Education and employment demand representation only in terms of the people who are capable. If we want all strata of society represented, then we have to work at the grassroots to make sure that people become capable. Not hand over jobs and university seats without even making sure they will be able to handle it. If someone does not have access to decent basic education, handing over an engineering seat to them does not suddenly make them capable. Making them an IAS officer does not help anyone. I agree that financial aid should be given to deserving candidates, but instead of bringing them up to par, we are just lowering standards to ensure they get in.

        Regarding unfair laws, yes there are horribly unfair laws that women have to deal with. We have to then reform these laws. Creating unfair laws for men does not balance it out. It just makes more laws unfair.

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        • At the same time those who score the most marks may or may not not always be the most suitable for the jobs or seats in academic institutions that they acquire based on those marks.

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  13. Pingback: No Decent Person Benefits from Patriarchy « Expressions – Bhagwad Jal Park

  14. I loved the ad.

    The first line about white skin in Gloria’s article caught my attention. Well, clearly Gloria has not lived in China/korea/japan. White skin superiority is not a hangover of white people claiming superiority, it has been the case for ages even before imperialism.

    I am not sure I agree with her article completly. If men menstruated, it could easily have swung the other way and women could have been mistreating men for centuries also right? Women, as much as men are capable of misusing power and abusing the weaker.

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  15. Pingback: Periods | Boiling Wok

  16. Pingback: Who is afraid of awareness about menstruation, and open letters to all Gynaecologists? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  17. Pingback: “This is how we all do it. We find a corner in the house, where the others can’t see, and then dry them.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  18. Pingback: ‘a majority of people. societies. and communities shun this natural process. some are more comfortable with the pornification of women.’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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