Well the answer of both the above questions is YES.
India is a very vast country, so many different cultures, different people, different way of living, but one thing is common in all of them is their MYTHS about Menstrual Period, and overtime these myths becomes their Beliefs.
Common Myths :
- During menstruation, female’s body becomes impure, and that’s why she is not allowed to sit in common places, or on sofa. She will sit separately, or with mats over the beds.
- She is not suppose to use the same bed where his husband would sleep, or indirectly she is not suppose to have sex with the husband.
- She will not enter into the kitchen, or cook food, as she is impure.
- Not wash her hair for 4-5 days.
- She will not able to visit temples, or even can not remember god or recite God’s names.
These are collection of so many myths which I have seen in my surroundings, and I am sure you have also experienced the same things.
For breaking these myths, first of all, we have to understand the mechanism of menstrual cycle.
What is Menstrual Cycle ?
It is the regular natural change that occurs in a female reproductive system (specifically the uterus and ovaries) that makes pregnancy possible. (source : wikipedia)
- It is normally 28 days duration, but may vary from 22 days to 35 days.
- First 5 days : Menses / Bleeding Phase
- Next 10-12 days : Prolifrative Phase, where female hormones start developing the inner lining of uterus.
- Next 10-12 days : Secretory Phase, where again the females hormones developes further the inner lining of uterus, so that it becomes suitable to receive fertilized ovum. And when it does not receive that, than after approx 28 days, this thin membrane breaks, and all the blood and blood vessels in it breaks, and comes out of the female body, in the form of menstrual bleeding.
So the Answer of the above Myths are :
- She is as pure as Male, she can sit anywhere, can eat with anyone, as long as she can maintain her personal hygiene.
- If the couple is comfortable doing intercoarse during menstruation, than they can, no problem in that medically.
- As I say above, she is not impure because of her periods. Even Men can become impure physically if they do not take bath for days (which most man do 😜).
- She can wash anytime as per her wish.
- She can, as Gods can’t discriminate on the basis of periods, but Man can discriminate.
See how simply the myths can be broken, if we want to, as any cultural belief wants a strong desire to break itself.
Now next question comes,
How Man can play his role in this ?
At present Indian society is Male dominant society, and most of the rules made by him as well as forcely implemented by him.
So he is the one, who can encourage the ones in his surroundings to break these myths and come out of it, as this not only helps for the females, but on a bigger perspective will help our society and our country to become more healthy and prosperous.