Women are wonderful creatures.
Not only do we give birth to other human beings, live longer, have higher IQ's, kick *ss in sports, science, tech, politics — whatever field of interest we damn well please — we can also walk around bleeding from our crotches seven days a month and remain completely intact. That's how awesome we are!
However, this last case in point leaves lots of people squirming.
Periods, albeit a perfectly natural biological process, have been long considered a taboo by our society that only recently started breaking out of the menstruation stigma. But not without victims.
Many young women have experienced the unpleasant act of period shaming in one way or another.
What's good is that most of them choose to fight back. Case in point — Anushka Dasgupta, a 16-year-old teen from Kolkata, India.
On January 17, Dasgupta posted a heated rant on her social media channels about her most recent experience with period shamers.
As Dasgupta explains in her post, she was heading home when one of those sudden "leakage" moments happened. You know, when the menstrual blood makes its way through your panties, creating an undesired stain on your clothes.
Yes, people. IT HAPPENS! No need to be grossed out.
However, as Dasgupta discovered, most people felt rather uneasy by the sight. Both men and women.
"There [was] nothing unusual about my evening except for the fact that multiple women walked up to me on my way home and asked me to pull my tee shirt down, most men ogled, all the kids I met didn't notice/care," she writes in her Facebook post.
"I came to know why I was the centre of attention for the better of my journey when a woman (well-meaning, I'm sure) offered me a sanitary napkin. I had stained my pants," Dasgupta explains.
Read the rest of Dasgupta's post below:
"So here I was, well past eight, standing alone at Esplanade with a massive red stain across my butt and a rather artistic red dot under the zipper of my pants.
This post is for all the women who offered to help me hide my womanhood, I AM NOT ASHAMED. I bleed every 28-35 days, it is painful at times, I get moody at times, but I walk into the kitchen and get myself some chocolate biscuits and I'm good to go for the next eight hours come hell or high water because I AM NOT ASHAMED.
This post is for all the men who ogled at me today, I AM NOT ASHAMED. Check out the big red blotch on my pants all you want, check out my butt, check out the way I move, come touch me if you dare, and I will show you that I AM NOT ASHAMED. I will take out a sanitary napkin and show you how it works while you can teach me how to pee in public (because clearly you're not ashamed, and neither am I).
To all the children who didn't give a damn, DO NOT BE ASHAMED. There will be many bloodstains on pants, on skirts, on bedsheets, on cushion covers, on chairs, on tables, against the wall, and on the battlefield where YOU fight the stigma by NOT BEING ASHAMED. Do not whisper when you utter the word "PERIODS", do not subtly offer a woman a sanitary napkin, or a fresh change of clothes. ASK her if she needs one, TELL her she has stained her clothes, DO NOT HELP HER HIDE IT.
I AM NOT ASHAMED.
I AM NOT ON MY *period*.
I AM ON MY PERIOD."
She agrees, however, that most of these people were oblivious to the fact that they are, indeed, period shaming.
"They were participating in the process of period-shaming by being ashamed of the fact that a fellow commuter had stained, showing me sympathy, whispering while offering me a sanitary napkin," Dasgupta told "Today."
And she has a point.
By being intimidated and trying to cover up such a normal biological processes as menstruation, we subconsciously further stigmatize it.