Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“Happy to bleed”: this group response to period shaming is inspired

period.jpg

A campaign designed to remove shame from menstruation is sweeping social media in India, after misogynistic comments made by a temple chief sparked outrage.

The ‘Happy to Bleed’ campaign was launched as a protest, after an Indian temple chief said that women would only be allowed to enter a shrine after he had invented a machine that detects when women are ‘pure’ – i.e. not on their periods.

Temple chief, Prayar Gopalakrishnan, told reporters that: “A time will come when people will ask if all women should be disallowed from entering the temple throughout the year.

“These days there are machines that can scan bodies and check for weapons,” he says.

“There will be a day when a machine is invented to scan if it is the ‘right time’ for a woman to enter the temple. When that machine is invented, we will talk about letting women inside.”

period

The Happy to Bleed campaign was launched on Saturday by college student, Nikita Azad, who was enraged by the sexist comments.

Azad created a Facebook page, encouraging women to hold placards or sanitary napkins with the message “Happy to Bleed” and to share the images on their newsfeeds.

period

On her Facebook protest page, Azad says the temple chief's comments have “reinforced misogyny and strengthened myths that revolve around women.”

“Happy to Bleed is a counter campaign launched against menstrual taboos and sexism that women are subject to through it,” she continues.

“It acknowledges menstruation as a natural activity which doesn’t need curtains to hide behind.”

period

Azad also writes that the campaign is a “protest against patriarchy and gender discriminatory practices prevalent in our society.”

According to the BBC, menstruation is traditionally a taboo subject in India, and in the Hindu religion, menstruating women are regarded as unclean, and are not permitted to touch any idols or enter the kitchen, until they are no longer bleeding.

period

Many Hindu temples around the world display prominent signs warning menstruating women not to enter.

However, the temple in question, the Sabarimala in Kerala, refuses entry to any women of reproductive age (from 10-50 years of age).

On the temple’s website, a warning reads that “such women who try to enter Sabarimala will be prevented by [the] authorities" from entering the temple.

period

The “Happy To Bleed” campaign has since gone viral on social media and the hashtag #HappyToBleed is trending on Twitter, with people sending in messages of support to the Facebook page.

Others, however, have voiced concern that they are never entirely ‘happy’ to bleed, since periods aren’t really a walk in the park.

But Azad has responsed, telling the BBC that “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.”

“It may be painful, but it's perfectly normal to bleed and it does not make me impure,” she says.

Related

ThinkstockPhotos-467037208.jpg

Women protest tampon tax by bleeding through trousers by Parliament

Ireland abortion law protest.jpg

Women tweet Irish PM about their periods in bid to legalise abortion

abortion yeast.jpg

See this woman's ingenious ploy for breaking up anti-abortion protest

ThinkstockPhotos-187281784 (1).jpg

Report: thousands of Texas women are attemping home abortions

period-bad-blood.jpg

Taylor Swift's 'Bad Blood' is now a brilliant tampon tax parody

gynaecologists.jpg

Lie back and relax: conquering our fear of the gynaecologist

tamponfriends.jpg

Forever Friendship Tampons are the new BFF bracelets

ThinkstockPhotos-153820167.jpg

Supporters raise more than £1,400 for woman fined for stealing tampons

CSaEw3BWwAE3jrb.jpg

The brilliant responses to the luxury tax on sanitary products

Comments

More

Witches are casting a spell on Donald Trump at midnight tonight

It’s set to be “the largest mass binding spell in history”.

by Moya Crockett
24 Feb 2017

This new yoga class is all about the healing power of gin

Empty your mind… and your glass

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

Best friends build community of tiny houses so they can live together

Welcome to bestie row…

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

Behold Ikea's incredible flat-pack indoor garden

Bring the outdoors in

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Feb 2017

Successful women “give up” on the idea of work-life balance, says CEO

Grace Bonney, founder of DesignSponge, says that the idea of a work-life balance is “not rooted in reality”.

by Moya Crockett
24 Feb 2017

Woman becomes internet sensation for documenting life as a third wheel

"Love makes the world go round. Unless you're me."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Feb 2017

First Dates is offering us all free food to sit in the background

Couples and singles can both apply

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

The Netflix gems to binge-watch based on your favourite TV shows

These are the unmissable Netflix TV shows you need to know about...

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

Inside Nepal’s forced marriage revolt

When love and tradition collide

by Corinne Redfern
23 Feb 2017

Demi Lovato on her mental health documentary: “I’m bipolar and proud”

The singer opened up about her new mental illness documentary to Ellen DeGeneres.

by Moya Crockett
23 Feb 2017