I Am Fighting Against Menustral Taboo

I am a working software professional.I am the youngest daughter in my family.
My parents had three girl children.They never regretted for not having a son.
We were brought up with lot of care and love and all three of us got married .

I was 24 when i got married.Like all other youn women , i also entered into
new life with lot of positive hopes.But all my positive hopes got shattered in
3 weeks after my marriage.I understood how mean is the status of women in this society
in the name of culture and tradition.I realised it because i experienced it.

I am born in a hindu caste which claims to be a honour to be born in.I am
a brahmin by caste.

I am a kind of person who did not want to get married if a guy expects
dowry.Finally got married to a person who did not want dowry.

In the third week after my marriage , while me and my husband went for
a casual walk,a small talk got started.My husband expressed his dilemma
about how he should arrange for my office drop during my menustral periods as
i cannot go on his motor bike.(Usually,he drops and picks me up from office
on his bike as i was new to the residential locality).I was shocked and surprised.
Why should he think so much about this? was the question which pondered over my head.

Then i got to know from our dicsussion the tradition followed in their family:

1.A woman during her periods is not supposed to touch men for three days as they
are impure and will destroy the man's purity.
2.A woman during her periods is not supposed to touch anything in the house ( wood,leather and plastic can be touched :-) )
3.Most commonly followed one : she is not supposed to enter pooja room.
4.Not supposed to cook for him.
5.Not supposed to sleep on bed.
6.After taking bath,she is not supposed to leave water in the bucket.
7.If she uses the door mat,then it should not be used by others.

Brush,paste,clothes everything someone else should give by putting them on floor.
In short, a woman during her dates becomes untouchable for 3 days till she takes head bath with
turmeric powder.

I was stunned by these superstitious rules framed in the name of tradition.

I argued,cried,retaliated that i am not going to follow it.I told everyone in the house
that this is pure humiliation and being treated like an animal.

This became a big issue and everyone pointed out to be arrogant and adamant.

I tried explaining my husband that it is all blind superstition.He argued with me
saying these :

A woman during her menustral periods,blood flow in a woman is impure and causes bad thoughts
and vibrations prevail around her.
A woman during her period if directly sees into the eyes of a man,brings a lot of sin to herself.
So he is helping me to not make so many sins.

Even in case if we had kids,the infant is supposed to stay with me only for 3 days .I was shocked and asked him
"If as a woman i have to do 100% satisfactory job in taking up household responsibility,take care of him,take up all the bigger responsibilites
in life,on top of it bear physical pain and stress during my periods,and even take over the infant's responsibilty over me,then for what on earth he is for? "

Answer for this from him was...Thats it women in this society as per dharmas should bear all these.
As per manu dharma what he quoted was " Whatever good thing (punya) husband does will automatically 50% go to his wife.But converse
is not true.But whatever sin a wife does,50% goes to husband "

This is really what i did not expect from a young educated software professional husband.This was enough to shatter all my dreams of married life and break my heart.

He shouts at me saying i talk like this and compete with him in everything just because i am proud that i have a job and that i am earning.

My argument was:

If in normal days,when i go around with other women who may had their periods
and get on my husband's bike as routine pick up from office,he must have lost purity already.
Then why on earth he is acting as if he is born pure.

What a pity state for the women whose natural phenomenon of menustral cycles
without which there would not be a man,who is telling that a women during her periods is the
impure being in the name of culture and tradition.

My parents convinced me to follow it for the first time after marriage
as it was blown up to a big issue.

I tried 3 more times,but it was like killing myself would be better
instead of that humilitiation of character of a woman.

My husband feels it is quite normal tradition followed as his mother,sister and cousins
followed it till today without saying a word.And it is me who is overreacting,blowing out of proportion
to minor issue.

His ultimate answer was everthing in this world do not fall under human
reasoning and that this also falls under that category beyond reasoning and logical thinking.

Its been 10 months of my marriage,and i still continue to fight against this taboo
strongly because,without a woman there is no man.I am facing a lot of stress and pressure
because of it yet i stand out and continue saying that " I AM PROUD TO BE A WOMAN".

I still stay positive and wait for the day that my husband understands and realises that this is a superstition .
spurthi spurthi
2 Responses Mar 2, 2012

Wow, no offense but he's a jerk, they all are. The thing is, the only reason you go through the cycle is because you are the one who births the children. They should be thankful. Are children impure because they come from that? That is ridiculous.

Well thanks to Raja Ram Mohan Roy else he would have ended by telling you that, God forbid, in the tragic happening of his leaving this world before you be prepared for 'sati'. I pity such narrow minded people....sad that you got married into such a 'stupid' family.