Do we Over React to Everything?

This has been lying in my drafts for long

IHM wrote a very interesting post along with an email from a 35 year old regarding condoms..

Please do read the comments in the post, each is better than the other…

My thoughts…

I think its plain silly that in India you are still embarrassed to buy condoms…I dont know who is more embarrassed, the pharmacist or the buyer….I remember seeing some old ads in DD about nirodh, or some thing (I cant recollect what) where the man goes into the pharmacy and goes ahem ahem and then he comes back without buying..then he gets a brand name and goes in again and just asks for the brand name and everyone is smiling at his choice or something like that…(There was such an ad na?)
I think in India, we create a big deal about everything, periods, sex, marriage, and everything…

I mean, lets look at things practically

Condom – necessary if you want to have protected sex, its the easiest thing to use when you dont want to use other birth control techniques and one of the few without side effects…and then in a country with the second largest population in the world, I think condoms should be the hottest selling commodity after milk and rice and wheat!!
Sex – Everyone  has it okie? I mean why create a big fuss about it…..I am not asking you to imagine people having sex, I am just stating its a fact of life…the earlier you accept it, the better its going to be…and more you hide it from your kids, the more they will be tempted to know about it…and sometimes for unwanted sources

Periods – All women have it…and no, I dont like it too much, despite of having them for more than 16 years now…and let me clear this myth

When I was a kid and had tummy aches, I was told, get married the pain will go away…it didnt

Then I was told, have a kid and the pain will go away – it still hasnt!

so for all you  young girls who read this blog, please do something better about the pain than getting married and having kids okie…its NOT a solution for tummy aches or back aches during periods (marriage has its other advantages though like a free financial management or free hugs and kisses given whenever you are down, etc etc..and oh oh Kids have their own advantages, but we are not getting into all that 🙂 )

So coming back to periods, we all are lucky to use sanitary napkins…seriously…there are millions across the globe who still are under unhygienic conditions…whats wrong in going and buying one…

Its funny that we create such a big fuss about buying sanitary napkins…my dad and brother have bought it for me, when I needed it…RD buys it for me now..he is not ashamed, he just buys it like he buys other medicines..infact once in the shop we had an argument when he told me that ‘this is the right brand for you’ and I am like ‘no its not’ and he is like ‘arey I buy every month na, why are you arguing’ and the ladies around stared as if he was a specimen from mars!

My dad was the one who told me about sex, how babies are born and what happens when I will start menstruating…why is that wrong…when I told my school friend that my appa told me this, she tells me ‘how is that possible, how can you be so free with your father’

What nonsense is that? when my cousin K used to have severe cramps, my bro used to get her meds, make her lie down and give her hot water to keep in the tummy…whats wrong with that??

and then of course there is this whole issue of sitting separately during periods…SnS  and RS  have done wonderful posts on that…

I mean what is the whole point?

Earlier on, I think this was the period where the women of the house got rest from the strenuous work which they did and so I can understand the need for rest…and again my mom’s cousin used to wait to become ‘dooram’ so that she had full three days to read as much as she wanted 🙂

my problem is not sitting separately, my problem is with creating a big hue and cry about it..dont enter the kitchen, sleep separately, have a bath in the toilet, wash your own clothes and patrams, dont touch anyone else in the house, etc etc etc…

I think its plain stupid..if you are asking someone to take rest because their body is giving out a lot of blood (which is not actually blood), I can totally understand you know…you are worried…but if you are stopping someone from behaving normally, and making them feel yucky, Gah to you!

I would never agree to it…I have been brought up in a household where my dad used to tell me that the woman is the purest when she is having her periods because the body is cleaning itself ….my mom never observed anything honestly except perhaps not lighting the lamp in the swami room..

Sometimes I feel the real problem is the lack of education….people who read this blog and are in their 20s or 30s, I would really want to know whether there was any sex education when you were in school…because my school didnt have it…the female reproductive system was taught separately to girls..all the more reason why the guys wanted to know what was happening..when you have sex education as a subject and treat it without secrets or sniggers, I think kids would be more receptive and perhaps treat their bodies and that of others with a lot more respect!

As usual my post is jumbled up with thoughts that threaten to flow out…..in short this is what I have to say 🙂

1. Sex Education – very important part of one’s education..and it needs to be age appropriate..dont treat a 15 year old like a 5 year old and teach stupid stuff like kids come out from mother’s stomach..they know about wombs..and if they dont, go ahead and teach them that!

2. Periods – all females have it and there is nothing wrong in buying sanitary napkins..and no as far as I am concerned, there is nothing like a ‘happy’ period for me!

3. Condoms -safe, necessary and important in one’s life. Go ahead and buy that pack without any fuss okie?

====

Disclaimer : These are all my personal views, if I hurt someone’s sentiments, I am sorry.

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About R's Mom

Not-so-new-mom
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77 Responses to Do we Over React to Everything?

  1. Comfy says:

    – Condoms are not only the safest way to prevent pregnancy they also prevent transmitting of STDs. Not a big deal when you have one partner and you know for a fact that they don’t have any but that is not the case these days, is it? So yes RM, I agree, just ask for them.
    – I never even heard of women staying away from the kitchen etc till I was 18 or 19 I think. I can’t be more thankful to my Mom for letting me be normal.
    – No sex education either but we were taught about the male and female reproductive system together in one class. The guys were not asked to leave the room. Was uncomfortable then (social conditioning starts so early does it not?) but now looking back I am glad it was taught in a very matter of fact way.

    • R's Mom says:

      Totally agree Comfy…they are one of the safest ways to avoid STDs!

      your mom’s a rockstar…you have been very lucky!

      I think your school rocks!

  2. AT says:

    yeah I don’t know why periods, birth control etc are such a taboo…
    there was no sex education in our school, our teacher just skipped reproductive system… There was no discussion of sex education at home also…
    when I was 11 or 12 years old, my mom once mentioned about menstruation…I was actually scared..I cried that day in fear of this impending puberty…I started at 14 years old and was always feeling guilty over periods…kind of ashamed…because that was told to me, that it is bad blood, don’t touch Gods etc…

    if I knew then what I know now i.e. Periods alert women about various diseases…if anything is wrong in their body (hormonal or otherwise), first thing that gets affected is periods…we have monthly data about our body’s functions…whereas in men, it’s usually pretty late realization that something might be wrong…

    whenever the time comes, I’ll tell my daughter and son everything, as per their age….

    I don’t think your post is offensive 🙂

    • R's Mom says:

      Gosh! hugs AT…I feel bad that you were made to feel guilty and all that…its just a part of nature na!

      Loved when you said, I will tell my daughter and son everything..very very important

  3. Amitha Shetty says:

    Nice post RM. I think tumne har aurat ke mann ki baat bol di idhar. 🙂 Completely agree with you.

  4. Devi says:

    Totally relate to your thoughts and completely agree on all the points..very well written!!

  5. My Era says:

    Standing ovation on this wonderful post RM *clap* *clap* *clap*

  6. Shweta says:

    My Dadi ji (Grandmom) used to tell, In the early se bhi earlier days when there were no Sanitary napkins and panties, the ladies of the house were given a separate room to be in during their periods and they used to sit on a huge piece of old cloth so the whole house does not get dirty… so practices like no roaming around the house or entering the kitchen etc made sense.. following the same practices shows that we still live in stone ages..
    and this does not end here… there are so many things we still follow unknowingly..

    I read a story about a group of 6 monkeys who were locked in a room with just one ladder in the center and a bunch of bananas placed on its top every day.. so one of the monkeys tried to climb and fetch them, while he did it., water was showered on the rest of them, he looked at them and came down and the shower was stopped.. he tried a couple of more times and again the same thing happened.. the next time he tried to climb, all the monkeys started to beat him and water was not showered since he was not able to climb the ladder… so the bunch of banana was left there, none of them even trying to touch.. a few days later… one of the monkey was replaced by an ape.. he did the first natural thing of climbing the ladder and was beaten up by all the other monkeys… but the difference was he didn’t even know why he was beaten up.. next day another one of the monkey was replaced by one more ape.. and the same thing was repeated… After a couple of days.. there were all apes and no monkey in the room still none of them tried to have the bananas without even knowing the reason.. thats what we all do… to ourselves and each others.. pull down each other without even knowing why we shud be doing it in the first place… just because everyone does it.. it seems so natural.. !!

    • R's Mom says:

      yaa yaa yaa..RD told me this story (In some other context, I havent posted about it yet…I dont know whether I should or not) but thats exactlly what he said…we do stuff because everyone else does it!

      I agree earlier on because of lack of sanitary napkins and stuff, women were made to sit separately and all..but when you make them feel guilty about menstruating..thats when I think its wrong 😦

  7. Whoa! Take a deep breath! Relax! It looks like you wrote out the whole post in one breath!

    But, yes – I agree to everything you have written. It took me sometime to go and ask for the sanitary pads myself because of the stares I would get – now I go ask for those as well as the i-pill if I want! 😛 I think it also comes out of maturity only because of the taboo the society has with these things.

    We WERE taught the reproductive organs together as a class and we had a doctor come in and teach us about mentruation though it was only for the girls. Sex education?! Naaah! Nothing was even heard about it.

    PS: Thanks for the mention, though I have moved from there now 😀

  8. summerscript says:

    We do overreact to so many things!! Sigh!!!
    P. S. You have a wonderful family. God Bless you and your family RM!

  9. The sex ed in our school was sponsored by Whisper. Which means, all of us girls were shepherded into a room, given a questionnaire about periods (one famous question was what colour panties do you wear when you have your period…I mean, why do they want to know?! A bunch of us wrote ‘multicolour’), and shown how to wear a pad. That’s it. If you were an alien visiting Earth, you’d think having sex means bleeding every month. Phew.

  10. I wonder if it would qualify as sex education but we did get to attend a two-hour long lecture by two well-known gynaecologists of our city on ‘sexual health’ in Class 9th. I went to an all-girls school so I guess it was easier.They did touch upon the topic of sexual intercourse but it was very basic–I don’t remember learning anything I did not already know 😉
    Great post, RM.

  11. uma says:

    True..true all true…It’s all too much fuss..one thing just leads to the other..and no I don’t think education is a solution because education itself needs a big overhauling. The whole mental conditioning needs a overhaul.
    p.s. I did a post too on puberty issues.
    Gr8 post, RM!

  12. shail says:

    Super post RM! 🙂

  13. Smitha says:

    Agree, agree agree with all your points!!

    As for sex ed, ours was one of the few schools which actually had sex ed. It was non-segregated, taken by a doctor. It was beautifully handled. At the end of tje class, we were given chits to write down our questions, and they were collected and answered. And because nobody knew who asked what question, people did come up with queries. I has even posted about it, long back.

    I think sex ed helps, when handled sensitively and practically.

  14. NBose says:

    U are correct RM….”SEX” word is such a taboo here….be it sex education or protected sex…..No, there was no formal sex education in my school…we had a chapter in our Bio book for reproductive system which our teacher marked as a self study chapter(!!!!)….i still remember when the promotional team for Sanitary napkins used to come to our school we girls ( it was co-ed) were asked to carry our school bags to auditorium so that the free sample can be sneaked inside(!!!)

    In big cities these supermarts have made it easier to buy condoms or sanitary napkins however in small cities the scenario is same as it was a decade back…..let me tell u something funny….last week I was in my hometown (Allahabad) and went to a shop to buy Sanitary napkins …I saw my brand kept on a higher shelf and asked for it…shopkeeper said “Abhi khatam ho gaya hai…I said wo to rakha hai why are u not giving me…..he said actually black poly bag khatam ho gaya hai….and it was so obvious for him that without a black poly bag in which u can hide the stuff no female would buy it !!!!!

    U know even my dad was the first person to tell me abt periods and how babies born….but hesitated to tell any of my friends that my dad told me this, in case they become judgmental for my dad( this is what i thought that time… 🙂 )

    Might be more education and awareness would relax the scenario…..

    • R's Mom says:

      Gosh isnt that awful..what are you teaching young girls..that talking about sanitary napkins is taboo 😦

      I cant believe the shopkeeper told you that…but honestly, even I have faced that in Baroda!!

      Hugs to your dad 🙂

  15. Sudha says:

    Clap Hands for R’s Mom 🙂 !!!!Commendable post..Anything that is against common sense and logical reasoning should be stood against..

  16. lifesong says:

    Good post RM. I think sex education should begin at home by answering our kids questions in an age appropriate way rather than avoiding or shying away from them. Only if we treat these things as normal, we can expect that at least the next generation will stop over reacting to these things.

  17. Great post RM. I do remember the ad you are talking about ..the condom ad. You’d think in order to promote birth control and STIs, they would have more ads on condoms that are sensible!

    As for periods, I never ever understood the big deal around buying sanitary napkins and why they had to be wrapped in paper! I still remember a friend of mine in college telling me she’d gone to her local pharmacy to buy sanitary napkins and they didn’t have paper to wrap it in and were aghast when she said she didn’t care and would just carry it the way it was. The store keeper made her wait and tried to go and find some paper because apparently it wouldn’t look good to carry it! She had an argument with him about how she didn’t care that people knew she got periods! And luckily in my family there was no stupid separation and stuff when you got your period. Like your mum, my mum just didn’t light the lamp. On the other hand, a friend of mine couldn’t enter the kitchen and her mum wouldn’t either. Go figure.

    And for period pain — I went on the pill here.I used to get horrible period pain…would throw up etc and have to take a day off every month! It was horrible! Now it’s predictable and doesn’t hurt.

    • R's Mom says:

      Gosh that shopkeeper was so weird!!

      Hugs on the period pains…my cousin K had the same problems 😦 infact she even has it now AFTER a kid!!!

  18. 1. Sex education: we had a seminar every year starting at 7th standard to teach the girls about female reproductive parts and menstruation(I too had already learned about it from my dad 🙂 )

    Then for the 9th and 10th std, we had proper sex education explaining the process and contraception and it’s importance to girls and boys alike in the same hall. We would not talk to each other for the next 2 days 😛

    2. Periods: woh sab chod, did you know that there is a temple in india which stays shut 3 days in a month because the Goddess is believed to be on her period? Tee hee hee. Crazy lot we are no?

    3. I agree completely 🙂

  19. Great post, RM! Keep them coming! 🙂 🙂

  20. garima says:

    I studied in all girls school and I remember the class on monthly periods was conducted by P&G.They conducted a small lecture and gave each student a book on mensturational cycle which had all myth and facts which people normally associate with periods.That was really informative book and cleared many doubts.
    For sex education we had a lady gynec come to our school .She was suppose to take classes for 2 hours for 3 days.After first class she was not allowed to come probably the teachers thought it was not right.Had they allowed the doc to conduct the class it would have really helped everyone.

    Nice post RM ,I really liked your views and big applause to all the men in your family for being so supprtive to you in your not so ‘happy’ days!!!

  21. Shruti says:

    Super post like shail says! .. and don’t forget ipill & preg tests.. what a taboo around that too..
    As kids it was very normal at home.. My dad n mom both were pretty open about things.. no taboo around ( Thank god) Hubby was initially a confused lot cos his mom does a lot of hush hush and sitting out things.. he doesn’t have sisters.. but now hez very comfy about going and buying stuff for me and so am I for him..
    Our school too the guys were asked to walk out and it was taught to us in isolation.. my mom was aghast! LOL.

    • R's Mom says:

      I Pill is not really something that should be sold over the counters..I read that somewhere…I took an I Pill once and my periods got extended for over 60 days…thought I was pregs and hence went to the gynac who told me that a cyst may have formed etc etc and adviced me against using I Pills just like that…but I do understand that its a wonderful solution for someone who gets caught in the moment and then doesnt want to take a chance!

      Preg tests – yes..total taboo…its crazy na

      Yayay for your parents..they are super cool

  22. Smita says:

    I wrote a long post & then my system hanged 😦
    When I had read the Title of the post I thought you have written about the IHM inicident, isn’t that an example of overreaction?? 😀
    I have written about the period ka kissa here http://books-life-n-more.blogspot.in/2008/09/art-of-embarassing-others.html
    That aside, we Indians are a bunch of hypocrites. Ghar ke andar kucch and bahar kucch! We specialise in judging people but never bother to check out the mirror. We specialise in being followers but never bother to question what we are being asked to follow. I dunno when we will mature as a society.
    I loved your post & totally agree with every point that you have written.
    A wonderful post!

  23. Not only during periods… at the time of delivery…as well…mother & the child are treated as untouchable…they are given a secluded place to be stayed for 45 days ..not allowed to go out of the room.. nobody should go & touch them..Whatever clothes/rajai/kambal/bedsheet they are using these days.. will be thrown after the completion of 45 days…mother is not allowed to take the bath for 21 days… even if mobile is taken inside that special room.. it should be “shuddh” by gangajal & then re-used..These type of customs are still prevalent..& it’s disheartening to see these… Very -very sad…
    I am sorry RM, it was not much relevant to your post.. but it just came up to my mind after reading ur post.
    sex ed: nothing in school… elder sis told me abt periods… rest education given by my hubby 🙂

    • R's Mom says:

      Well about the baby and child for 40 days…I think the whole idea in old days was the lack of immediate medical availability..so they were kept separate to avoid infection to the baby who is likely to get infected in the first 40 days…the mother was also kept separate mainly to give her rest after the delivery and also since initially the baby definitely needs the mother around for feeding purposes..I think that was the logic behind the idea of separation…but no bath for 21 days..errr…I think thats horrible 😦

      loved our last line hahahahahah

  24. Bikram says:

    🙂 what can i say

  25. anisnest says:

    Ah RM you have a great family yaar seriously.. God bless all of them.. Happy period? Is there one like that? I am here still suffering with the cramps and backpains.. Sighh..
    Can’t agree more on your points RM.. every point is so so so true..

  26. Sangitha says:

    Shall be at the top end of your readership for a couple more months. And yes, I had sex ed. In small town South India, a nun told us all about it. Go figure! 😀

    Ditto on husband and father buying napkins.

    I think sex ed is required. And a good start. Of course a lot more has to change – wrote a post on it some time ago – http://lifeandtimesinbangalore.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/the-s-word/. So am shamelessly plugging my blog and not repeating the stuff.

  27. Writerzblock says:

    Loved this post R’s mom. I so completely agree with you. ‘get married the pain will go away… those were the EXACT same words my doctor used when I was a teenager. No scientific explanation whatsoever. The pain still persists!!

    And like you, I don’t mind the 3 days of ‘rest’ but I don’t want it forced down my throat. Infact I hate seeing modern women do this to their daughters. I know someone who is very educated, sensible, smart… but who makes her teenage daughter sit/eat/drink separately on ‘those days’. Ridiculous, don’t you think?

    I can understand if the older generation refuses to change. But our generation should be more sensible!!

    Great post!

    • R's Mom says:

      Awwww! hugs hugs hugs on the pain…I can so relate to it 😦

      Exactly I dont mind the 3 days rest but dont force it down my throat..perfectly said

  28. Amazing post Babe and I can’t stop agree to your points.

    I will share an incident don’t laugh at us ok? We were newly married and flying to South Africa and if you compare the prices you could buy lot of condoms for the same price in India. So R went to a shop and took all the condoms available there and he went to bill. The shopkeepers face was priceless. And after we got home we felt it wasn’t enough ..Crazy I know..And we shopped at Airport. Lucky that no one opened our suitcase for customs , otherwise imagine we with so many condoms. We would have been in prison for importing condoms.

  29. hitchy says:

    Our society is seriously adamant on accepting most obvious things and hence… sigh…

  30. hitchy says:

    I meant not accepting most obvious things ! :-/

  31. Swaram says:

    Baah! I hv heard enuf abt this and paid bk well too. Thankfully for me, there has been no taboo in the family.
    Dad used to buy napkins for Mom almost always and when I used to tag along and ask him about it, he told me exactly what they were. Su now buys it for me whenever I want and we don’t carry it wrapped in that deadly black polythene cover- Gosh! What is it really for?
    We hd a sex-ed class and some amazing doctors taught us well. Ofcos, boys were hiding below the benches and some girls hid their faces, but we still had them!

    And our awesome bio teacher – she taught us everything including telling us to tell our MIL only her son decided the sex of the baby in case we had questions raised at us anytime LOL 😛

  32. It was my dad and now my husband who gets the napkins for me. I could relate to the incident you described with RD on buying the right ones.. because my dad does that all the time.. he was not ashamed of it nor we were to ask him to buy us napkins for *those 3 days* he would find out which one could be more comfortable for us and always got us the best ones.. (I dont think I would’ve done all that analysis ) Husband does that now.
    Though coming from a brahmin community – living together with grandparents who are so orthodox and old minded, my mom did her best to support us.. I totally totally agree with you on the sitting separately for those 3 days.. I have suffered through this for a good 2 years due to my grandma.. 😦 I can write an entire post on this.. but my mom is a darling.. she let us be normal in the absence of grandma 🙂 🙂 Your post has again triggered me with some thoughts 🙂 I will do a post soon!

  33. Pingback: Times I wish I was born somewhere else….. « From the Editions of Green Boochi

  34. Totally agree with all the points that you have made here. We do make a lot of fuss over things like periods, sex, condoms, etc. which are basic things in life – just like cooking, cleaning and bathing.

    My dad used to buy sanitary napkins for me when I was younger, and the husband buys them now. We do discuss the different brands available – and I don’t think it is a big deal. I do not follow any restrictions during my periods except for not going to temples when I have them – I somehow do not feel comfortable with that. Social conditioning, I guess.

    No, we did not have proper sex education in school. We had a chapter in biology on male and female reproductive organs, and I remember the teacher asking us to ‘omit’ those chapters. We were told that no questions would be asked in the exam from those chapters, and so we did not need to read them. However, the teacher did gloss over a few concepts from those chapters, much to our discomfort!

    I wish we were taught about our bodies and sex in a much more practical and sensible way. That way, kids wouldn’t have to resort to other means like TV, books, friends or the internet.

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