Even though we are living in the 21st century, menstruation is still associated with disgust, shame, and embarrassment.
And, this “period shaming” is common not only in parts of India but also across the world. It is still very common to suppress women to speak openly about periods or humiliate girls on periods and labeling periods a thing to hide.
One such disgusting incident happened with 14-year-old Maisie-Rae Adams when she asked for a toilet break during the class.
In Rednock School in Gloucester in England, not only the teacher refused to let her go to the toilet during the class but also asked her to ‘control her periods’.
And, what followed was heartbreaking. After being rebuked, Maisie was forced to storm out of the class as she raced to the bathroom. But when she returned, she wasn’t allowed to join the class.
Recalling the traumatic incident, she shared with Daily Mail –
“The class seemed to be in shock at what happened. I grabbed my pad and went to the toilet.
When I tried to come back into the classroom the teacher told me that my bag was in another room and I could not go back to class.”
Sadly, this wasn’t the first time that she was punished or humiliated for asking to go to the toilet while on her period at her school.
As Endometriosis runs in Maisie’s family, she shared that she suffers a heavy menstrual cycle that could be three periods a month, which is a condition prevalent in people suffering from Endometriosis.
Her 36-year-old mother, Kelly Adams said,
“When Maisie told me about it I felt so angry that I could cry.”
“Maisie felt humiliated and embarrassed and it is horrible what happened to her. She should never have had a detention for needing to go to the toilet during her period.”
However, when asked to comment on the situation, Head-teacher David Alexander said he cannot talk about individual students however he shared multiple ways that he believes his school is supportive of girls on periods.
He shared students are given time-out cards especially for periods and the school does allow students bathroom breaks if they’re on their periods.
He further shared:
“The situation is not as has been interpreted but I cannot go into details.
Clearly we will reflect on this so that we learn from it and improve.”
The people who are not disgusted by this incident are actually the people who are part of the problem.
This incident saddens us as we wonder till when our society would hold the stigma around periods.
At I FOR HER, we feel it is high time that we stop PERIOD SHAMING. We need a society where girls feel free to talk about mensuration and face no humiliation because of the biological cycle.
Do let us know what steps are you taking to stop PERIOD SHAMING and we may feature your story on our portal soon.