Sabarimala Will Only Let Women in If a Menstruation Detector Is Invented. Outrage Ensues
Our country has gotten creative around period taboos over the years. And our dear self-righteous upholders of morality continue to retain and promote archaic, and downright offensive, beliefs surrounding it. A large chunk of people still believe menstruating women shouldn't be allowed to enter a temple or participate in any religious activity during 'that time of the month,' and it's disheartening to know that a majority of the country's decision makers uphold the opinion.
The newest addition to the list of period shamers is the recently appointed Travancore Devaswom Board President, Prayar Gopalakrishnan, who gave his unsolicited two cents about the sacred Sabarimala temple and the admission of women into it. For years, the Sabarimala temple has mostly been a boys-only zone and, as per the temple's decision makers, this is how it's going to be for at least a few decades to come.
Prayar Gopalakrishnan recently addressed reporters at the Kollam Press Club saying, "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. 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."
While we're still trying to control our uterus from making us commit murder (because, you know, weapons-period: tomato-tomahto), we can't help the giant facepalm that is involuntarily giving us a headache right now. Not only does this absurdity expose the archaic sexist belief of a majority of men (and women) in this country, it also brings to light how anything to do with orthodox religious beliefs is, and always will be, detrimental to the well-being of women, and will more often than not belittle and exclude them.
Menstruation is a normal bodily function, and is as natural as digestion, breathing, eating, and so on. For years, women have been apologetic about menstruating, and have gone the extra mile in order to 'not offend' the likes of those who do not socially approve of menstruation (black polythene, discreet pads, stain removers, the list goes on). And despite the fact that every month women take extra efforts to hide the fact that they have a vagina, people like Mr. Prayar feel they have every right to spew hate with no trace of any consequences.
But amidst all the religious ugliness that emanated from this episode, it also invited massive backlash which proved that blatant misogyny will not be taken lightly anymore. After the controversial dumbassery, the bigoted Prayar got his due after a counter campaign, 'Happy to Bleed,' was launched on Facebook.
'Happy to Bleed' front page:
After the campaign took off, a number of women responded with pictures and slogans with the caption 'happy to bleed,' countering the ridiculous assumption that women are somehow 'impure' when they bleed.
While it is heartening to see the response this revolting idiocy inspired, it is alarming to know that half the country's population still upholds this belief that has absolutely no scientific basis.
In the larger scheme of things, this goes beyond mere religious bigotry, and is more about a woman's equal right to public spaces. And if religion is devoid of reason, we choose to reject it rather than be humiliated by it.
It is also ironic that Mr. Prayar is talking of machines in the year 1915. Oh wait, it's 2015.
Learn more about the campaign here .