A misogynistic comment by a Congress MP from Kerala, MM Hassan, has generated much furore. At a public function on Monday, Hassan, who is the interim president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), said, “Menstruation is impure and during this period women should not enter temples. There is a scientific reason behind the instruction that women should enter during this period.”
“It should not be given other interpretations. During this period, Muslim women do not observe fast. My opinion is that women should not go to temple, mosque or church when their body is impure,” added Hassan, a graduate in law.
With this comment, Hassan showed that he deems the process contributing to reproduction an ‘impurity’ of the body. He is not the only politician who has made such a comment about menstruation and is grossly judgmental.
Comments like this only add fuel to the Sabrimalai temple controversy where the temple trustee wants a machine to be installed that regulates women within the reproductive age who want to go inside the temple.
“I menstruate every month just like any other girl, it is something painful and at the same time a symbol of strength. There is nothing impure about my period blood and it certainly does not make me impure,” says Paayal
Right after Hassan’s comments on menstruation, a controversy erupted, forcing him to justify his viewpoint. And he tried to justify it by saying that this is not his personal opinion and that it’s a social situation that’s been existing for ages in the country.
“My remark about impurity is not my opinion… I only said (about) the social condition prevailing in the society,” he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
“Muslim and Hindu women during their menstruation period, on their own, used to keep away from places of worship. This is the social situation that exists in the society. I only explained this when a participant asked a question in this regard at the seminar,” he added.
Modern age women are strongly opposing his views on menstruation being impure. “I have lived my life believing that menstruation is the reason we’re all alive on this planet and I won’t let a minister tarnish my viewpoint,” said 19-year-old Tanisha Singh who is studying history honours from Delhi University.
Echoing Tanisha’s comment, another girl said that such thoughts as the minister’s not only provoke orthodox misconceptions but also are a reality check that even in this day and age, people are uneducated about a woman’s body.
“I menstruate every month just like any other girl, it is something painful and at the same time a symbol of strength. There is nothing impure about my period blood and it certainly does not make me impure. I know that myths have surrounded our culture for decades and there have been many restrictions on women. But now is the time to change all of that and start taking menstruation as just an indicator of a woman being healthy rather than construing such innately old school ideas,” said Paayal Aggarwal from Faridabad, who is a new graduate awaiting results for her next course.
We cannot agree more with these modern day women who aren’t bothered by the societal image of menstruation but are totally comfortable in their own skin.