Exclusive: ‘The Male Feminist’ Ep 1: Shruti Haasan Has A Solution To Shatter Period Stigma. We’re Taking Notes!
Menstruation is just like any other natural process in a human body, except that it is unique only to women’s bodies. And for centuries periods were shrouded in mystery. But now with scientific advancement, the masses are aware of how natural it is. Yet, it is still treated as a taboo and something to be talked about only in hushed tones. But it’s high time we get over this stigma and the best way for this is to simply talk about it more. This message has been eloquently expressed by the beloved actress Shruti Haasan on the first episode of The Male Feminist. Watch the first episode here.
How Was Shruti Haasan’s Experience With Periods?
On the show, she talked about how she faces unusually painful cramps because of a common condition called Dysmenorrhoea, and because of this condition her flow was very heavy and she would throw up and faint. Everyone in her school knew when Shruti Haasan was on her period because those 4-days every alternate month were a living hell for her. But, she does believe that in a way, her whole school knowing about her periods “in a beautiful way removed the stigma (attached) to it”.
She further mentioned, “It removed the stigma because on those days even my male friends and my teachers would understand my situation. Taking care of women during their periods became a given.” This is an example of how being vocal about anything can neutralize it and this is what we need to do in the case of periods, we need to remove the stigma that is attached to them.
She also tells us how in the film industry people don’t automatically “get it” and she has to explicitly say that she is in pain. Whereas in her school even her male friends were aware enough to understand it without her having to say it. This shows how little awareness there is about periods and thus people are less prone to understand the pain of a woman and her condition. The only solution to this ignorance is for the women to stop being shy and try to hide their pain but instead, be vocal and confident about their situation. This is the first step towards a more period-aware society.
In the first episode of The Male Feminist. Shruti Haasan also talked about a major issue related to periods, i.e. attachment of a sense of inadequacy or failure if you are not able to manage your pain. She rightly says “we don’t want to be jumping in white pants” and that is the ultimate truth, all women out there would love to just sit comfortably and even cry a little bit just like Shruti Hassan said.
It is very natural for someone to be in pain during their period, your uterus is literally breaking down its walls. And to make them feel like a failure for feeling and expressing that pain is just another reason why we need to make people better understand menstruation.
Menstrual education and awareness are what we need. But most importantly we need women like Shruti Haasan who, instead of feeling embarrassed or shy about their period, are brutally vocal about it. Let people know when you are not at your best because of something so natural. No one expects a man to hide his pain when kicked in his balls, why is there such expectation when it comes to a woman’s uterus?
Also Read: ‘The Male Feminist’ Ep 1: Shruti Haasan Reveals What Feminism Means To Her, Says She Wants To Be A ‘Positive Female Force’
Shruti Haasan is right, talking about periods is the first step. It’s time to take the first step and stop hiding your pain from the male members of your family, stop exchanging pads like something illegal. Let’s all stand tall and get a dialogue going like we are on The Male Feminist. Sounds like a good plan, huh?
Mehak Walia is an author and journalist who is addicted to psychology, true crime, Netflix, sarcasm, and makeup!