Smriti Irani’s bold stance on periods: A step towards shattering stigmas (2024)

The impact of Irani’s statement extends beyond political rhetoric. It permeates various facets of women’s lives, touching upon issues that range from workplace discrimination to educational challenges and healthcare disparities.

As a journalist, I’ve often found myself navigating the contours of societal norms, delving into topics that evoke discomfort or challenge ingrained biases. Smriti Irani’s recent declaration, “Periods are not a handicap,” serves as a poignant reminder that, even in the 21st century, we grapple with archaic beliefs surrounding menstruation.

One glaring aspect of this archaism is the way sanitary pads are often shrouded in discreet black packets. This discreet packaging, ostensibly to maintain privacy, inadvertently perpetuates the idea that menstruation is something to be concealed, a topic so sensitive that even the packaging must be discreet. Irani’s words pierce through this unnecessary secrecy, prompting us to question why a natural bodily function requires such covert treatment.

The concealment of sanitary pads symbolizes the larger issue at hand — the reluctance of society to openly acknowledge and discuss menstruation. It inadvertently feeds into the narrative that periods are unspeakable, fostering an environment where women feel compelled to hide a basic aspect of their reproductive health. Irani’s stance encourages us to challenge this norm, urging society to embrace open conversations about menstruation without the veils of secrecy.

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The prohibition on women sleeping on beds or entering temples during their periods is another glaring example of how deeply rooted superstitions continue to dictate women’s lives. These age-old practices not only limit women’s freedom but also reinforce the idea that menstruation is impure or unholy. Smriti Irani’s vocal stance disrupts this narrative, advocating for a more inclusive and rational perspective that recognizes the menstrual cycle as a natural physiological process.

In a society that still grapples with these taboos, Irani’s words act as a beacon of change. They encourage us to question the legitimacy of traditions that restrict women based on their reproductive cycles. It’s a call to dismantle the invisible chains that bind women to outdated norms and hinder their ability to live their lives unapologetically.

Irani’s straightforward stance is not just a political statement but a personal vindication of the struggles women face when it comes to embracing their bodies.

That’s not all – Workplaces, often rife with unspoken biases, sometimes treat menstruation as a taboo subject. Irani’s declaration challenges these workplace norms, encouraging a more open dialogue that acknowledges the biological reality without attaching unnecessary limitations. It’s a call for workplaces to recognize that a woman’s capabilities extend beyond the calendar dates.

In educational settings, where girls have historically faced discrimination due to menstruation-related taboos, Irani’s words serve as a rallying cry for change. The acknowledgment that periods do not hinder academic pursuits is a welcome departure from the age-old beliefs that have stifled the potential of countless young girls.

On the healthcare front, where discussions about women’s reproductive health are often confined to clinical spaces, Irani’s statement resonates with the need to destigmatize the conversation around menstruation. It’s a reminder that our bodies, and the natural processes they undergo, should not be hidden away or treated as a source of shame.

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Smriti Irani’s words extend beyond the political realm; they touch upon the very fabric of our daily lives as women. They invite us to challenge societal norms, break free from the shackles of stigma, and embrace our bodies with pride. As women, we deserve a world that recognizes our strength beyond the limitations imposed by age-old taboos. Irani’s statement is not just a political stance; it’s a declaration that echoes in the hearts of women striving for a more inclusive and understanding world—one where periods are not seen as a handicap but celebrated as a natural part of the beautiful tapestry of womanhood.

I recognize the power of words in shaping perceptions and challenging societal norms. Irani’s statement challenges us to use our words to break the silence surrounding menstruation. It prompts us to shed light on the shadows that have for too long dictated how women experience their bodies. The call to action is clear: let’s bring menstruation out of the shadows, challenge the archaic norms, and foster a society where women can embrace their bodies without fear or shame.

Smriti Irani’s bold stance on periods: A step towards shattering stigmas (2024)
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