It is very rare that any member of the male society acknowledges and sympathizes with the monthly cycles women endure. From numerous memes surfacing to serious backlash against awareness campaigns about menstruation; men have done whatever it takes to push the issue under the rug. This time, the Censor Board also decided to side with them. Akshay Kumar starrer “Pad Man” has earned a no-show notice for itself and I believe that a vast majority of men feel relaxed in return.

Can We Please Stop This?

Menstruation, like all other bodily functions, is a natural biological phenomenon that happens more frequently than any of us would like to accept or state. Menstrual hygiene is a complimentary part of being a woman, one which has been seriously neglected.

Since women form almost 48% of the total Pakistani population, this highlights the need for menstrual hygiene awareness. Moreover, a meager part of this population has the privilege of opting for sanitary napkins. Most still resort to unhygienic means of managing their periods. What must not be overlooked is that not maintaining a hygiene protocol can result in serious effects in the later stages of life.

This boils down to the fact that menstruation, like other taboo female concerns (breast cancer), is a serious concern which needs to be addressed and acknowledged maturely.

What’s wrong with Pad Man?

While I do agree with the fact that menstruation is a highly personal matter, one which needs not to be disclosed to everyone; I am also of the belief that women in developed areas of the country are privileged. Most of us women who live in these areas go to good schools, have the luxury of good quality sanitary options available at their disposal.

But the problem is with the women in the rural areas. This is what Pad Man is about. The Indian Government imposed a tax on sanitary napkins, thereby increasing the burden on women for the maintenance of their hygiene. WRONG!

The protagonist in the movie, a real-life character, was empathetic enough to realize (through the difficulties his wife faced) about the problem of lack of menstrual hygiene. This genius was, then, able to develop a low cost and low market price napkin that women from every income bracket could afford. But he didn’t stop there. He went on to promote this low-cost production and to give a boost to the production rate.

So where’s the problem in this?

What “shameful content” is being publicized?

What is “Unislamic” in this?

But it’s against our culture and religion!

No, it’s not. Menstruation is a concern thoroughly discussed in religious scriptures. If you do a little research, you can find various narrations by Hazrat Ayesha (R.A) herself, discussing how she and the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) handled these phases for her.

Moving on to culture. Didn’t we ignore the concept of breast cancer for the sake of the sake of avoiding any awkward confrontations? And we all know how that did not go well. The issue became so widespread and common that we now publicly address the problem through gigantic billboard and roads sides with flexes to spread awareness about the matter.

The problem now remains in our mindsets. Men need to accept this as something which is normal and inevitable. Rather than dealing with it as something unacceptable and worthy of ostracization, we should rather make uniform attempts at making the lives of the women around us and in our country safer and better, just like these celebrities.

Lets now hope that our women will soon be able to enjoy a hygienic lifestyle.

Feature image via Pad Man (movie)