Sammy Nickalls
November 24, 2015 11:02 am

A countless number of women all over the world get their periods. It’s a fact of life, something that is necessary for the human race, and the reason we’re all here today. So why is there such a negative taboo surrounding menstruation? Indian college student Nikita Azad is aiming to dispel that taboo with her amazing social media campaign, #HappytoBleed.

Many Hindu temples don’t allow women who are menstruating to enter, as they’re considered to be “unclean.” But one Sabarimala temple doesn’t allow women of reproductive age to enter at all, and the temple has “long been a subject of controversy,” according to ABC.

“. . . women between the 10-50 age group are not allowed to enter Sabarimala,” reads the website. “. . . such women who try to enter Sabarimala will be prevented by (the) authorities.”

Matters only grew worse after the comments of Prayar Gopalakrishnan, new board member of a Sabarimala temple. Gopalakrishnan recently responded to a question about a woman’s right to enter the temple in the most awful way:

That’s right: Women are only allowed inside this temple when a magical machine is invented that can detect periods. Totally wrong on ALL levels. That’s exactly why Nikita Azad, 20, decided to stand up and speak out against Gopalakrishnan’s comments, as well as the stigma surrounding periods in general.

“Women are denied entry to the temple because of the belief that menstruation makes them impure,” reads the Facebook page of the campaign. “We have started #HappyToBleed as a form of resistance against patriarchal beliefs about menstruation, and chauvinist notions that consider women the property of men or society.”

Now, Indian women are taking to social media using the hashtag, posting pictures of themselves holding signs — some made of menstrual pads — with the slogan “Happy To Bleed.”

“More than 100 women have posted their photographs on Facebook holding banners and placards, with catchy slogans, and many more have shared these photos on their timelines,” Azad told BBC.

“. . . we don’t believe in religion that considers half the world impure,” Azad continued. “[It’s] not a temple-entry campaign. . . it’s a protest against patriarchy and gender discriminatory practices prevalent in our society.”

“We are using happy as a word to express sarcasm — as a satire, to taunt the authorities, the patriarchal forces which attach impurity with menstruation,” Azad told BBC. “It may be painful, but it’s perfectly normal to bleed and it does not make me impure.”

We could not be more in support of this amazing campaign. Periods are not dirty or shameful, and certainly nothing we should have to hide. They’re the reason why we’re all here, and to cast them off as something impure? Not OK. Thanks, Nikita, for standing up for what’s right.

(Images via Twitter, Facebook.)

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