It is 2020 and India is still treating mestruating women like they are cursed, dirty and bearers of bad luck. For a nation that aspires to be a $3 trillion economy, its women still have to continue to fight for their very basic rights. A few weeks ago, a Hindu religious leader said that menstruating women cooking for their husbands will be born as 'kutri' in the next birth. Last month, a hostel warden in Gujarat checked the underwear of students to see if whether they are on their period. And now, another incident gets added to the seemingly never-ending shameful list--Housekeepers at a theatre in Kolkata refused to let a menstruating woman use the washroom because she was menstruating. Clearly, we have a long way to go before the stigma around something as natural as the cycle of menstruation gets lifted.
According to media reports, a woman who had gone to watch a movie at Hatibagan cinema hall along with her husband was denied entry into the washroom. Allegedly, the housekeepers told her that she should use a washroom outside the premises of the theatre as she would 'soil the floor' of the washroom that had just been cleaned since she was on her period. Outraged, the woman later approached the police along with her husband in order to lodge a complaint.
After the complaint was filed, the manager of the theatre apologised to the couple. "The hall staffers claimed that she tried to use the entry gate to come out of the hall and they requested her to use the exit gate instead. The woman then told that she was on her period. She was then asked by one of the housekeepers to not use the washroom but another one outside," said the manager. He also claimed that the entire incident escalated due to a series of misunderstandings. Well, we don't really understand what the 'misunderstanding' is here!
Moreover, it wasn't just the staffers that subjected the couple to trauma, but the locals too, passed inappropriate remarks during the couple's argument.
It's time we stopped stigmatising menstruation--let's create an open dialogue by talking about it is to young girls AND boys. Let's stop selling pads in black plastic bags. It's time normalised this very human bodily function!
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