Book Review Non-fiction | Social Science | Essays | Stories | Support
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Period. End of Sentence.: A New Chapter in the Fight for Menstrual Justice sheds light on the stigmatization of menstruation. It’s time to break the silence around this natural process and educate people about it. Unfortunately, in many developing countries, menstruation is still considered taboo and discussing it openly is discouraged. This lack of education and access to menstrual products leaves women facing numerous challenges, including period poverty, and prevents them from fulfilling basic human needs.
Aaina was the smartest 14-year old girl in school and she was pretty too. Everyone wanted to be her friend especially boys. They would wait outside the girls hostel to get a glimpse of her. They would often follow her on the streets, some of them would walk in groups behind her and call her names, some on bicycles would stop and ask her if she wanted a ride, some would compliment her, “Aaj toh mast lag rahi ho!” If she looked at a guy mistakenly, then he would assume that she likes him and go to the extent of writing love letters and then would wrap them around stones and throw at her hostel room’s window.
The girls in school did not want to be with her or around her because they felt she was attracting unnecessary attention and some envied her for her looks. She did not know whom to complain, or what to do. Aaina did not ask for any of this she was embarrassed, frightened, ashamed, and started hating the way she looked. But she did not give up, there was a fire burning inside her. She had a burning desire to fix these problems, a desire to make women feel safe when they leave their homes without having the fear of being harmed by men. She wanted to protect women and fight for the rights that they equally deserve.
Today on International Podcast day, I would like to bring to your attention this amazingly amazing podcast that I am currently listening to called, “Womaning in India with Mahima Vashisht” on the Seen and the Unseen with Amit Verma.
I cannot sleep, Is it my troubled mind, that is keeping me awake all night? Or is it the moonlight from my window? I try long and hard – To go back to a peaceful world of dreams, Where the night is dark and the sleep is deep. But lately I’ve been up all night! Tossing and turning, Taking deep breaths, Reading books, Listening to meditative music to put me back to sleep… Why isn’t anything helping? What is it that I’ve been thinking? Am I anxious or just excited? What am I waiting for, Or rather who am I waiting for? No, stop it! Stop thinking. I need my sleep. Let’s try going back to sleep. Night night!
I am a woman, I am not really sure what to say. I have had ups and downs in my life, I have been asked to sacrifice. Sometimes I do it willing, sometimes forcefully.
I have not been allowed to wear clothes of my choice, I have been asked to dress appropriately for my safety, I obliged. Well, yes I am not physically strong, I cannot fight a gang of morons. So, I covered up and walked with my head down because who wants to be an object of illicit desire.
Growing up, I have been asked to dress well, wear make-up, act like a girl and look pretty to meet the standards of beauty, set by whom? I still wonder. I don’t want my skin to glitter and shine, I want to be in my PJs and read books of my choice.
I care for myself I know how things work in the male-dominated work places. I have a voice which is sometimes heard and often times ignored. But, I am not lame to scream and shout, I am wise I will find better ways to get things done the way I want.
I have been asked to come home early no later than 7 PM because the night is dark and full of terrors. Hungry men lurking around dark alleys ready to pounce on a girl who’s alone, who may or may not be dressed provocatively. I have heard stories, watched the news, I am scared too and so I do as I am asked to do.
Some women ask me, “Do you know how to cook? How will you feed your man?” When I replied no, they laughed at me, so I laughed too. I did learn cooking though, to feed myself and the ones in need. Nobody told me how rewarding and therapeutic cooking could be.
When men made their moves on me and I did not jive to their vibe, they called me names. But, it did not affect me as I knew already that they could never respect my standards and boundaries.
I am in my 30s, I am asked when I am having babies? I understand you are curious and these are questions for my well-being, but reproduction is not a role that every woman needs to play. In a world that’s populated and polluted by human beings, do we really need more babies?
There are some things that sometimes women need to do. Not because somebody has asked us to, but because we are smart enough to understand how the world works. Sometimes the messages passed on to women are wrong. We have not been treated equally, but we know the right from wrong. We are patient, we are relentless, we are fighters, we are strong. Living through life like everyone else, we do not ask for more or less, because we know that we are the best.