As the tides rise and fall,
Blood meanders through her desires,
Gushes forth through her soul,
Chains her to the caverns of myths and faith
And distances her from the divine.
Women and girls are often considered impure, contaminated, and dirty when they menstruate. Period-shaming is the gateway to the extreme forms of discrimination that millions of girls have experienced, and continue to experience across India. This is not limited to any one class or community. Girls face exclusion, segregation, restrictions on movements and diet. Even to this day the stigma persists–we get sanitary products wrapped in newspapers or hidden in black plastic bags, advertisements feature blue liquids to represent blood and are women are expected to use all sorts of code words instead of ‘period’.
Women’s place in the society from the gendered notions of child-bearing and rearing has undergone transformation in this rapidly changing global environment in recent years. Women in today’s world are single and independent, mothers and leaders, cis and queer, fearless and nurturing. The world is full of choices to be had and possibilities to be explored.
Kerala has seen amazing dialogues on menstruation and busting taboos in the year we left behind. Groups like The Red Cycle, Haiku, CodeRed and Happy To Bleed campaign have stepped forth to not bleed in silence. The Red Cycle has been challenging the taboos, social stigma and misconceptions around menstruation and is educating women and men on the biological process, importance of menstrual hygiene management, alternative menstrual hygiene practices and related environment issues. Taking this forward, this year, The Red Cycle plans on to create a space for conversations on menstruation in public.
In the day long festivity at Manaveeyam Veedhi 1, Thiruvananthapuram, we ‘Celebrate Menstruation’ in association with Sustainable Menstruation Kerala Collective on 8thMarch, 2017.
Throwing question marks at age old customs, searching for answers in a society that despises and is ashamed of menstrual blood, The Red Cycle in association with various colleges in Kozhikode city is organising the following events on 9th March, 2017.
Event name: Mudblood
Venue: MSW Department, St. Joseph’s College , Devagiri
Event name: Womenses
Venue: College Auditorium, Govt. Law College, Kozhikode
Event name: Bloody Talk
Venue: Dr. Jayaram Panickar Memorial Lecture Hall, Calicut Medical College.
In the 3 hours session we plan on screening much acclaimed documentary ‘Womenses’directed by Unnikrishnan Avala and an experimental short film, by young talents, named‘Kara’ followed by a panel discussion and interactive sessions with menstrual hygiene educators and activists .
Nikita Azad of Happy To Bleed (A nationwide campaign,which raised important and pertinent questions about the stigma around menstruation and women entry in Sabarimala Temple)
K Ajitha (Social activist committed towards women empowerment)
Unnikrishnan Avala (Director of Womenses)
Gopi Vijayakumar (Social worker who challenged the manufacturers of sanitary napkins in National Green Tribunal).
Be there as we think, talk and discuss menstruation and the taboos around it.
For Kozhikode event
Arjun Unnikrishnan (The Red Cycle): 8943211622, 8289860622
Karthika P (Haiku): 9497797752
For Thiruvananthapuram Event
Shradha Shreejaya (Sustainable Menstruation Kerala): 9159776349