Black bag? Why?

How does it feel when you start observing that all of a sudden, some routine things have become problematic in an ‘I-dare-you-to-change-me’ way?

I feel amazed that my eyes have not yet ascended into my head, despite the extensive eye-rolling I have been doing lately.

Black
is undeniably a very charming colour, if you can actually see its beauty. But there is something about it that pricks my eyes everytime I go out to buy a pack of sanitary napkins. Or is it something else?
I remember this one time I went for this act of indecency, to a nearby general store because I had to get some kitchen stuff too. I got all the purchases together, paid the bill and asked the shopkeeper to pack everything in a polybag. (I would have asked for a paperbag if I didn’t know the shop well enough to know that there wouldn’t be one).
“Chhotu andar se ek-do kaali wali polythene le aa”, commanded the shopkeeper to his helper, while packing the other things in a white polybag and I guess I might have stared the shopkeeper long enough for him to think me as crazy. I do that very often. Why go through the extra trouble of getting a black polybag for an innocent pack of sanitary napkins?
It is not the colour ‘black’, nor it is the negativity we assume to have been associated with the colour, but it is the strict distinction we observe and the stigma associated with the simple biological process of menstruation. This is just one of the imageries of that, of meagre importance perhaps.

Women are expected to keep quiet and be reserved when it comes to menstruation, as if it is something to be ashamed of, while it is a process as natural as breathing or eating, the only difference being that it is absent in men and perhaps that is why, someone thought it to be appropriate to not talk about it and keep women from talking about it. Because, quoting Aristotle, “Women are deformed men”.

21st century and high time that we start perceiving women as ‘women’ and not ‘non-men’. Shall we?

 – Deepti Nair

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24 thoughts on “Black bag? Why?

      • Exactly! It is kinda normal that guys are looking at you weird when you’re buying things… like you are some kind of weirdo for buying that. Well guys here’s the news, I’m a woman. I have menstruation. I can bleed for 7 days in month and suffer terrible pain and I’m still alive. What’s your super power? Sadly, little girls when they get their first period are ashamed because of this exact reason.

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      • There’s an ever sadder part to this. Little girls are trained and conditioned by women (mothers, grandmothers etc) instilling this idea that they have to be secretive about their sexuality and anything involving their vaginas. We may not realise this but somehow, we have internalised patriarchy and we advocate it too sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A good post…!! This reality exist in our society…In fact I have seen ladies are made to live in separate rooms during their mensuration cycle.. I don’t understand why people are ashamed of it and are reserved about it.. Anyways good writing efforts by you.. 👍👍

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  2. I am so happy you posted this.
    Somebody needed to speak up. It’s absolutely unbelievable how anything related to menstruation it sex is considered taboo in the Indian society.(I’m assuming you’re an Indian?)
    We girls are expected to hide it when we get our period and I personally find that abominable. Really proud of you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I jut came across your blog and I love how you are not afraid of talking about these subjects THAT NEED TO BE DISCUSSED. ❤️ I don’t know why girls are taught to keep menstration such a big secret. It is a natural process, just as natural as breathing or eating- and it is certainly not something to be ashamed of!

    Liked by 2 people

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