Anushka Dasgupta was on her way home from work last weekend when she unexpectedly got her period. No big deal, right? It’s happened to almost every woman at one time or another.
But apparently it was a big deal to everyone but Dasgupta. Multiple men gawked at her and women told her to pull her shirt down, mostly because she should be ashamed of her natural body function. Except she wasn’t ashamed, just upset.
“This post is for all the women who offered to help me hide my womanhood, I AM NOT ASHAMED,” she later wrote in a Facebook post. “I bleed every 28-35 days, it is painful at times, I get moody at times, but I walk into the kitchen and get myself some chocolate biscuits and I’m good to go for the next eight hours come hell or high water because I AM NOT ASHAMED.”
She also has a message for young people — especially women — who will inevitably experience something similar in their lives.
“To all the children who didn’t give a damn, DO NOT BE ASHAMED. There will be many bloodstains on pants, on skirts, on bedsheets, on cushion covers, on chairs, on tables, against the wall, and on the battlefield where YOU fight the stigma by NOT BEING ASHAMED,” she wrote. “Do not whisper when you utter the word ‘PERIODS’, do not subtly offer a woman a sanitary napkin, or a fresh change of clothes. ASK her if she needs one, TELL her she has stained her clothes, DO NOT HELP HER HIDE IT.”
The post has inspired a lot of reaction from women supporting her message. Dasgupta told BuzzFeed that by posting it, she hopes to “start constructive discussion around menstrual stigma.”
We need voices like hers, especially in a world where some women are forced to sleep outside during menstruation.
“I AM NOT ON MY *period*,” she wrote on her Facebook post. “I AM ON MY PERIOD.”