Menstruation: A biological phenomenon and NOT a social stigma, Period

Proceedings of The The 3rd International Academic Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2019


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Menstruation: A biological phenomenon and NOT a social stigma, Period

Meenakshi Bhatt



Female Menstruation is a natural biological process, a manifestation of the female reproductive abilities, so significant that the existence and proliferation of mankind are dependent on it. However, its social impact in defining the way women were perceived and treated across generations worldwide is far more significant than its biological genesis.  The societal taboos related to menstruating women and their ostracization within their household has resulted in mental and physical agony for women since ages. With the passage of time, the scientific genesis of menstruation got obfuscated and obliterated in the dominant rule of patriarchal powers. Menstruation became subject of taboos instituted by religious patriarchs and individuals to oppress women and have control over their actions.  The irony remains that most of these practices are defined and adopted based on the convenience and beliefs of the community or even individuals with little or no religious or scientific evidence. The study throws light on the institution of menstrual taboos across the globe, primarily India, and its effect on the social and mental conditions of females. It also juxtaposes these practices against the well-established religious phenomenon of worshipping the menstruating goddess (Kamakhya) in North East India. It exposes the various ironies existing in our society and attempts to establish a narrative for the contemporary social relevance of menstrual practices and its future evolution in line with our social progression. It also advocates that amends should be made now so that women are not mocked, mistreated, or embarrassed for something as natural as menstruation.

Keywords: Kamakhya; Patriarchal; Religious; Taboos; Women.