Saturday, 27 August 2016


Do you know I unclean and embarrassing, isn't it (that’s how the Trust of the Haji Ali Dargah described it)! What will God say? This dirty contaminated impure woman …how dare she even think about coming into my house, tainting it with her filthy blood, even her shadow soils my pure house. 

Seriously? Let’s here for a moment assume hypothetically that the power above or God as we like to term him or her is in fact a male. Is that how God actually would feel about his own creation, his daughters, his wives, his mothers, his sisters…dirty, impure, and contaminated? Isn’t it because of this biological truism that, please don’t forget women have no control over, that the marvel of creation and birth in reality happens. 

But all you get to hear about from the same sons and husbands you have given birth to and carried in your womb for 9 months that you are unclean and impure. Who are these so called protectors of God and religion to pass a judgement such as this?  Over centuries women have lived in seclusion during menstruation, similar taboos related to touching food, not entering religious place, etc. have been documented world over.

With all the hullabulloo over this I decided to research this topic. Why does the “superstition”, “taboo” actually exist? I realised that the subject is not what it really seems on the surface. The cultural practices surrounding menstruation have their roots in science and shockingly in the fact that they were originally never meant to suppress or demean women.  There is a positive side of the story and it is obvious that none of the menstrual practices came into being because women are impure or unholy. Do visit the below given links to read up more about this.


It is only when we twist the whole meaning of the practices that were meant for and made to revere and venerate women that we reach an impasse as we are at now. People who don’t comprehend the actual meaning of these rituals have made a mockery of the whole matter and used it to redefine the role of women in society.

These practices and rituals cannot be used to subdue women and deny them their most basic and fundamental rights. The mind set has to change and change drastically. And why give the other gender the strength and power to allow us or disallow women to do something or not do something. Women also need to make their lives uncomplicated and not consider themselves the lesser gender. Women need to support and respect each other and most importantly realise they do not require validation from men to define who they are.

Women have been brought up with strong negative mental conditioning, self-doubts and fears. This has led to several crimes against women: shame of being a woman, no liberty or choice, female foeticide, dowry harassment and murder, honour killing, rape, molestation, domestic abuse. Even day to day women are hassled in a very subtle manner by confused men who want the women in their life to be strong and independent but resent their strength and independence at the same time.

It is also time to stop associating women with their virginity, physical appearance, relationship status and motherhood. Inflated glorification of the importance of a woman’s so called honour puts women at further risk of abuse and harassment (mostly but not restricted to sexual crimes).

Gaining entry into the inner sanctums of places of worship, of temples and dargahs maybe the first step for women to stand up and have their say against discrimination and suppression but just as a friend said today it is not enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment