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Taking the Sanitary Napkin to Public Spaces

There is a new wave of menstrual activism, flowing (pun intended) all the way from Germany to Jamia. 

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India
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Those days of the month – this metaphor for menstruation is as worn as the term last night to describe sex.

But there is a new wave of menstrual activism, flowing (pun intended) all the way from Germany to Jamia. And they want to make sanitary napkins and menstruation a part of the daily conversation.

Period Talk

It started in Germany, when Elonë Kastrati began her project Pads Against Sexism on 8th March – International Women’s Day. She and her sister Nora stuck sanitary pads onto public spaces, directing onlookers’ gaze onto hard hitting messages. The pictures have been shared on Tumblr over 1 million times. The hashtag padsagainstsexism has been trending on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

There is a new wave of menstrual activism, flowing (pun intended) all the way from Germany to Jamia. 
Elonë Kastrati holding a sanitary napkin. Photo: Instagram/elona_x
There is a new wave of menstrual activism, flowing (pun intended) all the way from Germany to Jamia. 
One of the messages on a public space in Germany. Photo: Instagram/elona_x

Jamia Wave

Some students in the capital’s Jamia Milia Islamia too, decided to initiate the campaign in their campus last week. This, they did, to raise a voice against attacks on a woman’s  character.

There is a new wave of menstrual activism, flowing (pun intended) all the way from Germany to Jamia. 
Members of a biking club holding sanitary napkins carrying messages in New Delhi. Photo: Facebook/PadsAgainstSexism
There is a new wave of menstrual activism, flowing (pun intended) all the way from Germany to Jamia. 
Photo: Facebook/Pads Against Sexism - Delhi

The group of students, who wish to remain anonymous are planning to expand their campaign to market places and metro stations.

There is a new wave of menstrual activism, flowing (pun intended) all the way from Germany to Jamia. 
Photo: Facebook/Pads Against Sexism - Delhi

But not everyone has taken it well. The college authorities of Jamia Millia Islamia pulled the message down as soon as they came to know of it, according to Times of India. People also expressed discomfort at the blatant display of an otherwise private utility.

American feminist Gloria Steinem had summed up this derision for menstruation in a humorous essay, If Men Could Menstruate. She asked, as to what would happen, if suddenly, men could menstruate in the place of women?

The answer, to her, was clear - menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event; men would brag about how long and how much!

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  New Delhi   Menstruation   Feminism 

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