A bunch of students from BNU Lahore conducted a protest against the stigmatization of menstruation and the massive sharmindagi attached to it.
The protest was focused towards making people speak up about the normal functioning of the female body instead of treating it as a “dirty little secret” and brown-bagging whilst shopping for sanitary pads at grocery stores.
Students who organized the protest sought to break this very taboo in Pakistan.
They set up a wall that had 25 stick-on pads on it, each with important facts about periods and the various reasons why people deem it as “gross, weird, or wrong”.
Here are some of the most powerful messages:
“I’m not flawed or poorly made.”
“Periods are not inherently sexual.”
“Don’t ridicule her for having a stain.”
“The onset of Menstruation signals her transition into womanhood.”
“Don’t hide me.”
“Why am I more embarrassing to buy than a condom?”
“My biology is not gross.”
Speaking about the protest in a Facebook post, Mavera states: “No, I’m not some shameless libertine, but I don’t think I should feel shame for this, even though I do feel very very embarrassed and self conscious about this whole experience.”
Mavera also discusses how “several women contract diseases because they are not fully informed of hygienic practices when it comes to menstruation because very few people will actually discuss it“. The conversation is much needed.
The protest gathered traction on social media. with many extending support for the “gutsy” campaign.
The squeamish response to menstruation has been questioned internationally as well, be it Rupi Kaur’s instagram posts being censored for showing menstrual blood or women bleeding freely outside Houses of Parliament for a protest against tampon taxes.
It is encouraging to see the movement being pivoted by feminists and progressive Pakistani women and men.
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