Why Periods are So Stigmatized

I’m sure many of the men and women reading this understand that menstruation is viewed so poorly. However for those of you who do not I’ll paint a brief picture for you. Women feel the need to hide the materials they use to keep the blood from disrupting their lives or ruining their clothing. Commercials advertising products such as tampons and pads emphasize on how discreet their product is (which is fine), but they also make “Mother Nature” in this case an enemy who girls must try to conquer.

However, while those may not have a perfect ideal they’re not the real problem. Women are insulted for trying to voice their opinions and for being “too emotional”. Wonderful and needed ideas and opinions are discarded because “They’re just PMSing.” That shouldn’t be an insult. Would it seem legitimate to dismiss someone’s thoughts because they have a headache or stomach ache? Does anybody ever dismiss a man for being moody? No.

So why do people do this? The answer is tradition. The Bible and Qur’an are popular religious texts that have been around for a very long time. They greatly influenced majority of the population and these morals in these texts continue to be passed down, even by people who aren’t religious. If you don’t believe me then ask yourself why there’s still a moral standard for women to abstain from sexual activities in a modern world where we are independent people.

Now, back onto the matter of the subject. Religious texts encourage such terrible treatment of women who are menstruating.

Leviticus 15:19-31

When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean for seven days, and if you touch her, you must take a bath, but you remain unclean until evening. Anything that she rests on or sits on is also unclean, and if you touch either of these, you must wash your clothes and take a bath, but you still remain unclean until evening. Any man who has sex with her during this time becomes unclean for seven days, and anything he rests on is also unclean.

 Any woman who has a flow of blood outside her regular monthly period is unclean until it stops, just as she is during her monthly period. Anything that she rests on or sits on during this time is also unclean, just as it would be during her period. If you touch either of these, you must wash your clothes and take a bath, but you still remain unclean until evening. When any of you are unclean, you must stay away from the rest of the community of Israel. Otherwise, my sacred tent will become unclean, and the whole nation will die.

Seven days after the woman gets well, she will be considered clean. On the eighth day, she must bring either two doves or two pigeons to the front of my sacred tent and give them to a priest. He will offer one of the birds as a sacrifice for sin and the other as a sacrifice to please me; then I will consider the woman completely clean.

Qur’an 2:222

And they ask you about menstruation. Say, “It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you. Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.”

According to the Bible and Qur’an the appropriate way to treat women a fourth of the month is to separate yourselves from them, consider them and everything they touch unclean and they need to repent for a COMPLETELY NATURAL part of life that means they can have kids. Plus it’s a nice touch how a nation will die if women aren’t excluded from living their lives a fourth of the time.

There’s historical texts that convey the same messages as well. Luckily things aren’t as bad now as they were hundreds of years ago, but that doesn’t mean the problem shouldn’t be addressed. Women of all colors and sizes are hurt by others invalidating their feelings and thoughts all because of some blood.

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