“Drink Hot Water”
As I write this post, I’m on my periods. Most of you all now know that I have Endometriosis and I’ve not been quiet about it. Mostly because I don’t want my sisters suffering in silence like I did for 12 years.
The menstrual cycle is regarded as a punishment and all the -ve’s. Yet it’s a beautiful thing. The pain just makes it yucky. Not to mention the chronic fatigue and depression that are symptoms of Endometriosis because of the immense pain levels I deal with. (On a daily basis. Its not just a bad period)
In Islam I am exempt from prayers and fasting when I’ve got my periods.
Not because I am unclean. (Huge misconception)
Because it is a discomfort for me to deal with my periods and the emotions and pain and even pray or fast.
I can literally stay in bed the whole day. Drinking hot chocolate and binging on snacks and if I was married they’d be nothing that my husband would tell me. In fact he’s supposed to take care of me at this time. Well he’s supposed to take care of me all the time but be extra attentive during my period time. I can decide not to work. Or clean the house. I mean. I’m in pain right? I am emotional right? I am bleeding right?
Before I became a Muslim I remember I had to force myself to do stuff even in decapitating pain.
I had to go to school, I had to work, I had to help clean the house, I had to, all the while dying inside and just wanting to drop dead.
I remember the days when the pain was just too much and my pain meds (Cause which pain meds work really?!) weren’t working and I would burst out in hot angry bitter tears.
Then collapse on the bed at night trying to sleep so that I could FORCE myself to do the “I had tos” the next day.
When I lived in Tanzania it was easy to skip a week of school, and the female teachers actually understood why I would.
Go back to when you were young and in highschool. Your periods come along and you feel ugh! What would you give to have taken a week off just to pamper yourself?! Right?
Even now we want that week off to pamper ourselves.
And this is where I come to what I really want to talk about.
There is a culture here in Kenya. A destructive culture to be honest and it will (has) destroy (destroyed) women and girls.
1. Period pain is never addressed.
“Kunywa maji moto”
“is that the excuse you’ll use? ”
“ah stop pretending it can’t be that bad”
“you’re so young stop complaining”
“pain is not an excuse”
“you’re a woman, get used to it”
” a panadol should work”
And I could continue with a whole book of the words WOMEN tell their daughters and sisters. (Because we are all sisters and daughters and mothers to each other)
Here is a link that you can read about the various reasons why pain occurs and why it should be addressed
2. The perception of periods and the whole menstrual cycle.
Females are being taught to hate it. That you see the blood and go “Arghhh!!!!!!!”
That’s wrong. Very wrong.
As females we must learn to LOVE THE VERY ESSENCE OF WHO WE ARE. Our menstrual cycle is who we are. Without it we would not be women.
3. Menstrual cycle and health is not discussed properly.
I’m sorry to burst all you females bubbles but that bill that Kenyatta signed… It’s not going to help any one.
If giving a girl a pad so that she can NOT MISS SCHOOL IS THE OBJECTIVE WE HAVE FAILED THE GIRLS.
We should be giving the girls pads BECAUSE SHE IS A HEALTHY WOMAN AND NEEDS THEM.
We should be giving girls pads because it is her RIGHT TO HAVE PADS.
We should be giving girls pads and DISCUSSING HEALTH ISSUES THAT COME WITH MENSTRUATION.
And. We shouldn’t at all be FORCING GIRLS WHO MAY HAVE MENSTRUAL DISORDERS TO GO TO SCHOOL.
Remember how I asked you if you would have liked a week off from school? And you probably said yes to yourself. Even now when you get your periods you’d like to take that week to pamper yourself?!
Then how come we can’t give the same option to girls across this country.
By jove we lose blood! Blood! Not to mention majority of us are in pain and the emotional rollercoaster that we are on.
For some of you reading this your daughters and sisters are either dropped or picked by the bus. And still they are in discomfort.
And that’s just probably 20% of the female population. (rough estimate)
The rest walk more than 3km to their schools and because pads are being distributed you think they can go to school. That they shouldn’t miss school?!
So why, oh why are we forcing ourselves as women to do things when we are menstruating?
Who said we have to??!
We need to catch up with the men?!
😂 😂 😂
I am a woman. I am not equal to a man.
Once a week every month I bleed.
Once a week every month a woman is bleeding.
Once a week every month a woman needs that week to love, celebrate and pamper herself.
And I honestly believe that school girls DESERVE a week off during their periods.
The world will still rotate.
N. B for those girls and women who do not have any menstrual dis-orders and the ones who do and feel like they can handle school go ahead and go to school. I wish some of us had your strength.