Why Women Should Bring Their Periods ‘Out of the Closet’
Seemingly restrictive religious traditions thatِ regard menstruating women asِ unclean mayِ paradoxically build strong bonds betweenِ women, newِ research finds.
Women withِ strict religious traditions aroundِ their periods feel moreِ embarrassment andِ shame aboutِ menstruating.
But theirِ positive feelings suggest thatِ there’s anِ upside toِ havingِ everyoneِ know you’reِ havingِ your period.
The idea forِ the study cameِ when study researcher Nicki Dunnavant, nowِ a graduate student atِ the University ofِ Chicago, studied abroad inِ Nepal inِ 2008.
The firstِ morning staying withِ a family inِ a traditional village, sheِ woke upِ with herِ period.
So thatِ firstِ morning, Dunnavant said, sheِ hadِ to goِ up toِ herِ host mother andِ explain theِ situation.
Rules and restrictions
The experience madeِ herِ wonder ifِ women whoِ grow upِ inِ these religious traditions feel theِ sameِ way.
So uponِ returning toِ America, Dunnavant teamed upِ with Roberts toِ survey 340 women residing inِ the Rocky Mountain West, ranging inِ age fromِ 17 toِ 62, aboutِ their periods.
The online survey gauged women’s disgust andِ shame atِ their periods byِ askingِ if theyِ agreed withِ statements suchِ as, It isِ important toِ keepِ the period a secret, andِ A woman shouldِ feel ashamed ifِ she ‘leaks’ menstrual blood onِ herِ clothes.
The findings highlight thatِ attitudes towardِ periods areِ quite negative, evenِ among theِ secular, theِ researchers reported online Feb.
Turns out, American culture hasِ rules aboutِ proper periods, too, Roberts said.
We areِ obliged asِ Western women toِ sanitize andِ deodorize andِ wear white clothing andِ appear notِ to beِ a menstruating beingِ atِ all, sheِ said.