“By shunning her when she [the wife] is awash in menstrual blood, he increases his wisdom, brilliant energy, strength, eyesight and long life.” [4:42] Manusmriti.
Offerings to Gods, in front of an untouchable, pigs, cocks, dogs, impotent man and a menstruating woman should not be performed. -Manusmriti
I am an Indian, Hindu woman. I come from an upper-middle-class business family. The fact that I am writing this blog to you in the English language is proof enough that I am an educated person.
But I am missing a penis, which makes me a woman and as nature would have it, I bleed from my vagina. How does it make a difference where I bleed from, my neck or my vagina? When I bleed from the latter, I automatically become untouchable.
It was just another morning. My mother called me and asked me to bring the pickle jars inside after they sat basking in the sun for a while. As I reached for the door, my mother called my name again and asked me in a whisper, “You aren’t on your period, right?” I said “No.” I don’t know how I felt in that moment. Angry, disgusted, hurt, dirty and everything else that makes you question your existence.
A few days later my maternal grandmother came home to spend a few days with us. It was a Thursday and my hair stuck to my head after my routine run. As I was about to step into the shower, my grandmother asked me if I was going to wash my head. Of course, I was going to and so I said “yes.” According to Hinduism, one shouldn’t be washing one’s hair on a Thursday. When I asked my grandmother what is the reason behind it she said that she didn’t know and she did not want to argue with me. Period.
But please try to beat the pickle anecdote…
According to Hinduism menstruating women should be sleeping on the floor outside the house and you might have read the other instructions written in the beginning of the post as well I am sure. My grandmother said, “During menstruations, women must not only NOT touch the pickle but not even go near it as the pickle will go bad and rot.” She narrated an incident saying that once when one of her own daughters was on her periods and she stood near the pickle jar with her shadow cast upon it, the pickle was thrown out as it went “bad”.
Some of us are still sleeping outside the house on the floor. Some of us have to stop going to school when our periods start. Some of us are still making excuses when we are going through period cramps. Some of us are not allowed to go near the pickle jars. Our childhood abruptly ends at the age of 11 and we directly transform into grown women (as we are told in a separate room by the other ladies in the house). At different levels, we are all, still in this day and age, being treated this way in India.
Hinduism, if not reformed, will remain one of the most hypocrite religion on earth! 9 days of worshipping the Goddesses twice a year and 347 days of abusing women in all possible forms from oral to physical to psychological! The sad thing is women impose restrictions on themselves and other women. We are our own enemies.
Help by buying a Prayer Pad…
I have reproduced some of my work as these postcards below which are for £6 each out of which 50% goes into buying sanitary products for girls in orphanages in my city. I will be writing personalised Vedic prayers for happiness, peace, love, success, knowledge or anything else that you want. You can address them to yourself or send them to a loved one. Get in touch with me to place an order on email@example.com