The month of April slipped away from me. I have been meaning to write this post after doing some research for some time. I do admit, I had trouble with coming up with the name for this article. This next post focuses on going to school while menstruating. Over here in the United States of America, young woman and girls are encouraged to go to school even when they are menstruating, but in some parts of the world they are encouraged to stay home.
Early on in my research I came across an article about a twelve year old girl in India who had committed suicide in 2017 following period shaming. This young girl had just started to menstruate leading to her clothes being stained. Unfortunately, the teacher decided to point this out in front of her entire class. The humiliation and embarrassment this young girl felt caused her to take her own life.
When I was in middle school there is only one time where it comes to mind when a leak happened in a classroom. I remember my fellow classmate returning to school the next day. But, everyone in my grade knew what had happened. “So and so had her period all over her chair,” is what was said among my classmates for the rest of the school week. I remember I had a class in the same room that she was just in. The janitor was inside cleaning up the chair while my class entered. It wasn’t until lunch when everyone had found out what had happened. Everyone knew her name. I felt bad for her as having a leak in middle school was the worst thought on my mind. But, never the less she returned to school the next day and for the rest of the year.
The thought of being encouraged to miss a week of school because of a normal bodily function is horrifying to me. There is no reason a girl should be forced to feel ashamed because of her period, whether it leaks or not. When reading up on period shaming in India, there are some parts where young girls are dropping out of school because they can’t keep up with the work. They don’t receive past a middle school education because they fall behind. Education for women is something that has been fought in various countries across different eras. The right to an education is a birth right, nothing more nothing less.
Knowledge is power, a strong notion that has been shared for years. Young women and girls are being encouraged to not receive the knowledge they crave. Sadly, they are encouraged not to go to school. The thought that a young girl, even wearing a sanitary product, to be considered unclean and dirty among her classmates mortifies me. There is no reason a young woman and girl should feel ashamed to go to school, even when she is menstruating.