Menstruation myths in society and religion - Unpopular Thoughts

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Menstruation myths in society and religion

Bleeding women often are discriminated in families due to myths and ‘illogical’ reasoning.
You will not believe the kind of myths are prevalent about menstruation even in so called ‘educated’ families.
‘Don’t touch the pickle while menstruating- this I also heard when I was young from my grandmother, as my mother is thankfully ‘very progressive’ when it comes to the myths.
If you travel across the hill areas of India, the cultural diversity is beautiful, yet every culture has some sort of discrimination against the women.
Girls are even not allowed to enter in the kitchen during menstruation.
In India even mere mention of the topic has been a taboo in the past and even to this date the cultural and social influences appear to be a hurdle for advancement of knowledge on the subject.
The unawareness discourages woman and somehow she feels guilty and as a sinner for being a woman due to religious and social myths.
What does Veda say about Menstruation?
The origin of this myth dates back to the Vedic times and is often been linked to Indra's slaying of Vritras. For, it has been declared in the Veda that guilt, of killing a brahmana-murder, appears every month as menstrual flow as women had taken upon themselves a part of Indra's guilt.
Further, in the Hindu faith, women are prohibited from participating in normal life while menstruating.
She must be “purified” before she is allowed to return to her family and day to day chores of her life.
What does the Islam say about menstruation?
Even after marriage, there are limitations: a man should not have intercourse during his wife's menstruation and afterbirth periods. (Reference)
Research has shown that reproductive health in Pakistan is influenced by cultural and religious values, mostly from the predominantly Islamic faith, and local traditions. Often these beliefs are misconceptions and myths resulting from the deliberate withholding of information about menstruation for girls prior to their first period, as a means of protecting their chastity.
This in turn negatively impacts their physical and emotional health.

Can I have sex during my period? and If I do can I get pregnant?
It’s perfectly safe to have sex during your period. In fact, having an orgasm may help relieve menstrual cramps. However, if some women go through pain, they can avoid it. The fact is, there is no ‘universal rule’ that one should not have sex during periods.
If a woman is using a tampon, she should remove it before anything is inserted into her vagina during sex. Otherwise the tampon and its string could get pushed up too deep in the vagina for the woman to get it out herself.
It’s possible (although rare) for a woman to get pregnant during her period. A woman has a good chance of becoming pregnant from unprotected vaginal intercourse during the six days that end in ovulation.
She’s less likely to become pregnant from unprotected intercourse in the day or two following ovulations, but it’s possible. Ovulation usually occurs about 14 days before the start of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Sperm can live up to seven days.
In very short cycles — less than 22 days — it’s possible for live sperm from sex during menstruation to still be in a woman’s reproductive tract when ovulation occurs.
What does the Bible say about menstruation?
The bible goes into detail about how a woman on her period is unclean. Her uncleanliness doesn’t stop with her body. It goes infectious that anything she touches while on her period is unclean.
 Like an extreme form of cooties, anyone who touches an object she has touched also becomes unclean for a day.
More absurdity was added that if a man has sex with a menstruating woman, he’s unclean for seven days.
No doubt women were not allowed to work, and were held at home.
Once her period is over, the woman still has work to do. She has to give a sin offering to atone for the impurity. The holy scripture against make you as a sinner, and when a girl gets her period when she is between 11 years to 14, do you even realize that how much guilt she feels without doing anything?
I do not think people took this matter seriously, it lowers the self-esteem by being labelled as a sinner by the holy text. This is sickness seriously.
What is menstruation?
Menstruation is the natural part of the reproductive cycle in which blood from the uterus exits through the vagina. It is a natural process that first occurs in girls usually between the age of 11 and 14 years and is one of the indicators of the onset of puberty among them.
Despite being a phenomenon unique to girls, this has always been surrounded by secrecy and myths in many societies.
However, scientifically it is known that the actual cause of menstruation is ovulation followed by missed chance of pregnancy that results in bleeding from the endometrial vessels and is followed by preparation of the next cycle.
Therefore, there seems no reason for this notion to persist that menstruating women are “impure.”
Prominent Myths related to the menstruation
Ladies if you are being told the following, make the checklist that it is a myth
-         Period blood makes you ‘dirty’
-         Period blood spreads cancer - Traditional beliefs in Bolivia misinform young women and girls that the disposal of their menstrual pads with other garbage could lead to sickness or cancer, according to UNICEF. Because there’s still so much humiliation around the topic, many are told to keep their pads far away from the rest of the trash and are often led to collecting them in their bags during the school day until they get home.
-         Shark attacks you when you are on periods
-         The food will be contaminated if you touch it during periods and India women suffer due to this
-         Showering will cause you infertility
-         Girls can’t practice in class as practiced in Nepal
-         You can not touch the pickle in India
-         You can not have sex in Muslim Nations
-         You are a sinner and impure that’s why you are getting periods.
-         You can not enter in holy shrines, and this is often practiced in Nepal and India
-         You are sick as this is a prevalent myth in Iran

Periods are natural and part of your life. Primitive literature, they wrote it without proper understanding of science. Believing in religious text or not believing in text is totally up to you, but don’t compromise with health.
Understand your body and respect it. Menstruation does not make you impure, they make you capable of producing the next generation.
The bottom line is period taboos are not only crazy and ridiculous but they are a huge obstacle holding women back in many ways.

It’s hard to believe these myths still exist all over the world today. But they do, and they need to be busted.
Awareness and education, especially for people in rural and developing countries, is necessary to empower girls and women everywhere. Together we can create a better world where girls believe periods are powerful not shameful.

Disclaimer
This post intends to hurt your sentiments to the point that you wake up and stand for humanity.  In case, if you are extremely wounded, please treat her nice. Thank you!



References

For Bible
For myths
https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/8-crazy-cultural-myths-about-periods/
For Islam
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstruation_in_Islam

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