To Touch or not to Touch

Surprisingly after a really long time I came across this question – not in family but at the workplace! I couldnt believe my ears when a collegue said that she didnt want to share our food/touch us(me and my friend) because she was doing a vrat that day and fasting.And why didnt she want to touch? Because it was *that* time of the month for us!!

And that really shocked me. Here I am today wondering what I can do to ease the stomach cramps and the girl says this?! And then Im not even sure if she was just joking! Come on! A 20-something girl, working in an IT company means well educated, good exposure and THIS?!

Why? When I asked her what she does – she said that when she is at home she does sit out for 3 days and then doesnt eat with everyone-has her own set of vessels to eat with and no bath, no touching anything etc; And I was taken aback! In today’s times when technologies, medical sciences have evolved and we have moved away from so many unnecessary traditions and proved that this one too is baseless she is still so conditioned to do all this?

I can understand that this was a necessity years ago when women did hard labour (I will even today advocate rest for those labour women,given a choice-even to me!) and hygiene standards were non-existent. When a woman could not clean herself up because there were no facilities available. But with all the sanitary options, why the mental block to move ahead? Why still be in the same time warp instead of moving forward and showing that this monthly thing does not make us weaklings.When we can handle this month on month – we can take on everything else too! I mean – come on! How much of hormonal changes, physical stress we go through during those days and still how much women have progressed in all fields we still have people who choose to do this because “My mom wants me to do it”. Such is the condtioning.How disheartening.

Thankfully I had not many restrictions regarding this.Granny and Mom never made a big fuss out of it though I was banned from entering the Pooja Room. MIL never has even these thoughts. So in my own home I do what I want to but there are times that I suddenly think – If I were in mom’s house, she wouldnt like it. But she doesnt say anything to me now, neither does she say anything to my SIL. And I always thought if I ever have a daughter Im never going to impose all these on her-ever!

Oh! And what is the need to announce and advertise to the entire world that the girl has attained puberty?! Horrible! and how embarassing to the little girl who has just realised what is happening and needs some space for herself to come to terms with all the changes in her body? Why put a pandal and invite the world over while all she wants is probably to be left alone? In a society like ours when its a taboo to talk about sex, they prefer to announce the beginning of mentruation cycle?! What double standards are these?

Yes, tradition and culture are all important-festivals for joy and celebration, God and temples for trust and faith in some power that is beyond us (this is another long pending post) but not just blindly follow a repressive custom just because our grand mothers or great grand mothers did it – they did it for a reason and now when the reason doesnt exist we need to cease following the tradition too… What tradition is it if it doesnt respect a scientific natural requirement of the human body that doesnt allow women of mentruating age to go to temples, or even more – females in general… Of all the talk of respecting women and progressive culture, the actions are still so repressive. And Actions DO speak louder than just words – dont they?

Do we really want to pass on this kind of a confused culture to our children? We need to come out of the ‘culture cocoon’ and form a new tradition, improve where our actions prove that we respect the women for all that they are-including their PMSs and their much necessary monthly cycles. That each of our child irrespective of gender is given equal opportunities (ofcourse, there is more that goes into this) And yes,we need to start with re-conditioning our own minds.

PS: This was on my mind and SnS’s post triggered these words πŸ™‚ Thanks SnS!(And oh! please excuse the multiple uses of !! and the grammar/spelling mistakes if any-I havent reviewed it before publishing πŸ™‚ )


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