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Putting the "Men" in Menstruation



How often have we thought about menstruation as a female thing? How often have we neglected women, letting them be as they are on their periods, and as men, how often have we not bothered to even ask them how they are doing?


From time immemorial, menstruation has been a subject of taboo, with social and religious leaders all having their say in calling women “impure”, “dangerous”, “spirited”, and whatnot. However, in recent years, there has been a growing movement to raise awareness of menstruation and challenge the stigma that surrounds it. This movement has been led by women, but it has also been supported by men.


With regards to men playing their part in menstruation, there really are two forces at play.


Firstly, it might be a case of lack of awareness. Men may not understand what it is or why it happens. They may also be afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. At the same time, though, men may also just be ignorant, which is unacceptable. Being “uncomfortable” talking about periods is not okay. Because your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, and every girl you know goes through this. It is a natural process.


So what can men do to make menstruation a more inclusive process?


For starters, they can learn about the menstrual cycle, be patient and understanding, and provide emotional support. Men can also help out with practical tasks, such as running errands or taking care of children. We aren’t asking men to perform herculean tasks. No. It starts with being open, talking about periods, challenging sexist stereotypes, caring for your partner, being empathetic and understanding, etc. It isn’t too difficult. At all.


Men in Menstruation: Too much to expect


A natural bodily function

that happens to women every month,

a sign of fertility, the ability to conceive a child

truly something beautiful exists about this cycle.


With beauty comes pain, and with pain,

discomfort and embarrassment,

loneliness, being shunned from society, discriminated against

because of what goes on in your body.


Ironic isn’t it? The word menstruation has the one gender in it,

who never know what it feels like,

who will never go through this process ever,

while those who undergo the cycle monthly are left to deal with the pain,

both physical and emotional.


So what do men need to do?


I understand, some may feel uncomfortable,

awkward talking about it

Might not understand what it is

or why it happens


But it is important for men to learn,

to feel one-tenth of their partners’ pain

Emotional support, empathy, understanding,

is that really too much to expect?


 

Photo credits: Wix


Authored by Prahlad Madhu

Edited by Prahlad Madhu

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