Twinkle Khanna successfully brought the topic of menstruation into the spotlight when she produced her first film, PadMan. And today, on Menstrual Hygiene Day, she launched another film titled, First Period, across her social media platforms. While we're all for spreading awareness on a subject that should be spoken about freely, we do have some conflicting thoughts about this short film. Even more so, since our favourite Mrs Funnybones, usually echoes our thoughts when she speaks her mind on the topic of women's issues.
What would the world be like if men and boys had periods? Watch this film by @MozezSingh that highlights unequal power relations and challenges all norms. #NoMoreLimits @dasraindia Watch the film: ‘First Period: An MHM Story’ youtu.be/rP29MdVhpCg Link in bio as well
Directed by Mozes Singh (of Zubaan fame), the short film portrays a young boy's first period in an all-male world. We all remember the confusion, panic, loss of confidence and even a bit of unnecessary shame that we all felt when we got our period for the first time. It's a memory that every woman will always remember. Young Ayush also experiences similar feelings at the beginning of the film when he wakes up on a regular school morning, only to realise that he's gotten his period for the first time.
What follows is all the men in his house, from his dad to his uncle and grandfather comforting him that this is absolutely normal, it's nothing to be worried about and it happens to all of us. Even when Ayush reluctantly gets to school, he's met with comforting acceptance and openness from his classmates and teacher, who also helps him dispose of his sanitary napkin hygienically.
While we do agree that the topic should be met with this level of openness and comfort, rather than it still being the taboo subject that it is, we can't help but raise the question, must we always drag men into the equation in order to gain acceptance? Is the fact that 50% of the population menstruates not enough for it to not be a taboo?
A video portraying a girl getting her period for the first time, highlighting what she would normally experience, both emotionally and physically is what we wish should have been done. With her relatives comforting her and talking about it openly instead of hushed whispers. And yes, with her father and other male relatives also being accepting, honest and creating an open and positive environment for the young girl. This is the need of the hour! Not a fictional universe where men bleed every month - though we gotta admit, that would be awesome, and everything ends hunky dory with the boy scoring a winning goal.
If the aim is to raise awareness for the betterment of women - and God knows we need it, we only wish Twinkle Khanna would have backed a film portraying a real world where girls have periods and men and women alike are understanding, open and encouraging. After all, that is the world we should all be aiming for - a world where menstruation matters... to all of us.