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Attitudes towards Menstruation – Notes from Assam: Priyanka Chakrabarty

This is a Guest Post by PRIYANKA CHAKRABARTY 

GOOD NEWS, GOOD NEWS…They are blessed with a child! Oh, what child, boy or girl? This is the most common response that new parents will encounter, one that indicates what people find most interesting about a new birth. We examine its genital parts and then say, it is a boy or girl. During this time, the difference between male and female is only the biological difference of sex,  of the presence of the penis or the vagina. Gradually the child is ‘socialised’ (read normalised) into a ‘woman’ or a ‘man’.

One of the key aspects of a girl’s socialization is her introduction to the bodily process of menstruation. Superficially, and as a purely biological process, menstruation is the discharge of blood from the vagina. This is widely considered to be the ‘development’ of the female body and after the start of menstruation, a girl is believed to have attained womanhood –attained puberty. Continue reading Attitudes towards Menstruation – Notes from Assam: Priyanka Chakrabarty