“Shh! Shush!” Are these the first expressions that come to mind, when you think of periods? You are not alone.
I was shushed so often that I thought boys or even grown men would never have heard of menstruation. “How would they know, if no one is going to tell them. Right?” I thought. It sounds childish now, but it made perfect sense to my tween mind.
It came as shock, when I discovered that they knew. I was mad at a boy in my class and he remarked, “She must be on her period.” “Wait, What?” I couldn’t believe my ears. He was wrong, but that is not the point. He knew about periods! And that’s how I discovered that it wasn’t a secret of womanhood, but just a taboo subject.
What would happen if we talked openly about menstruation? I don’t think we will kill or harm any men! I remember reading an article about Periods and Sanitary Napkins by former actress Twinkle Khanna on the Times of India website. While she is several years older than me and spend her teens in a different country, her experiences reflected mine. I couldn’t believe the similarity of our experiences.
And I am not suggesting that we have to go shouting about it all the time. But we can surely make it less awkward and less uncomfortable to talk about. In fact, it is important to understand what is happening and most importantly, seek help when they need it. It will help ease the angst of several girls in their formative years. It will help understand what’s happening to them. Trust me, all young girls and boys have lot of questions. It would help to give them some answers. Let’s break the culture of silence and speak more openly and honestly about these taboo issues.
Vancha Verma, born in India, is a high school student in New Jersey. Fascinated and intrigued by technology, she loves to play with computer code. She worked as an intern at Spotify this summer. While working at a school in a Noida slum in 2012, she discovered the misinformation and stigma around female hygiene. She is hoping to develop education technology and tools that will adapt to the needs of underprivileged kids and adolescents.