The beauty of Red.
@TowardsHarmony shared this video on twitter.
“And something changed
The goodness of red escaped from a crack
And then it became the colour of shame… of pain
I was around eleven when I saw the red river, flowing between my thighs…
I was frightened and confused…
I have blood cancer I thought…
I did not know this blood would become my lifelong adversary…
My life would now be full of don’ts.
Don’t walk like that
Don’t talk to boys,
Don’t dress like that,
Don’t think like that,
Don’t speak about those things!
Don’t go out late…
Spread awareness about menstruation and shatter myths around the subject.”
The breaking of Silence about menstruation would be a step towards questioning the disrespect, ignorance and society’s control over women’s bodies – specially women’s reproductive health.
Controlling women’s reproductive rights and sexual rights would be difficult without the power and authority of Silencing and Shaming.
This control facilitates
women little girl-children being seen as no more than future mothers of male heirs to carry forward their future spouse’s ancestral names (since women must have no names of their own)
Which is why this letter is so relevant:
I write this letter on behalf of all women who have or are touching the dreaded age of 30. Some of us come to you as part of our annual check ups, some of us come for minor irritations and questions while some of us come for questions related to our fertility and choices of motherhood.
…the first thing we are told is that our fertility is running out. The implication always is that most of us have given preference to career goals or some new age ideas and are delaying motherhood. These assumptions are made regardless of your knowledge of what is going on in our life, whether we have been coming to you for years or even if it is the first time we ever came to your clinic.
This assumption is just the starting point, …
In a country where sometimes even a well educated 20 something woman sometimes does not know fully well about sex, sometimes a woman just comes to you to get a clearer idea. And a friend who came to one of you regarding clarity, so that she could proceed with caution with her fiancé was given a morality lecture on the pre-marital sex and basically told her fiancé was probably only after one thing.
… We thought our grandmothers and those pesky aunties scared us the most about marriage and the impending deadline for it. However, the fear one visit to you puts in us is far worse.
…. if you show the way, there is a likelihood, the society might also consider a woman’s utility beyond her reproductive abilities.
Edited to ask: So, who is afraid of awareness about menstruation, and open letters to all Gynaecologists?
Those who are empowered by ignorance, shaming, blaming and silencing. Also those who feel having a Voice is shameless and immoral.
1. Women’s sexuality