Why the secrecy Ma'am?

A few college going girls once walked into a medicine store in a small town in Uttar Pradesh. They had recently moved into that town; were fresh out of junior college and now hostlers pursuing an engineering degree. It was their first time out of the confines of their homes. It was the first time they had come out to purchase a very essential item they would require every month of every year of their lives; well atleast for a long long time. They were there to buy Sanitary Napkins but what was the commotion all about? It was a pretty simple task wasn’t it? Nothing daunting! Just as they would buy medicines or even cosmetics; buying a Sanitary Napkin was the same. It wasn’t and still isn’t a rocket science. Then why were they pushing each other and shilly-shallying to even ask for that in the first place? Why the hesitation?

A girl on the eve of her marriage is pulled to a separate room by her aunt. The latter hesitantly begins speaking about Contraception and the precautions her niece would need to take to prevent any discomfort or unwanted pregnancy. But why the sudden outpour of information at the eleventh hour?

A woman walked into a clinic to visit a gynaecologist. It was her first visit to one as she had missed a period. Though she knew what that meant and she had even taken the pregnancy test at home. But she had to be sure. So she walked in and hesitantly related the cause of her visit. The doctor asked her when the last time she had ‘contact’ was. Someone asking you so openly about something so intimate even if a doctor brings a certain uneasiness and awkwardness among Indian girl; so she too shyly replied. The doctor then asked her to sit on the examination table to examine her. But as the doctor began the examination of her private parts the girl shrieked in disbelief. Why? It was because she didn’t know a gynaecologist examines one that way in such cases!

Yes these are typical instances of behaviours and experiences of Indian women. The idea of reputation and shame is misaligned in our society more so when it comes to women. As we grow up and enter ‘womanhood’ we are not taken to a gynaecologist to educate us about factors important for our health. We are never taught either in school or by our family members about ‘sex’. Yes the word we are supposed to refer as ‘You know what’ or not refer at all. Whatever little half baked knowledge we have comes from Google or our peers. Suddenly when we are about to be married we get a crash course on precautions and then on pregnancy are introduced into the world of gynaecologists. So the basic system itself is flawed which doesn’t as designed actually maintain the decorum of women. In reality it leads to uncertainty and problems to say the least.

There is a very familiar aphorism ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ which is very much pertinent when applied in context of Women’s Intimate issues and can actually be quite havoc making. It’s high time we widen our perspective and horizon. Why speak in hushed tones about something that is so vital?

This post is a part of the weekend blogging contest at BlogAdda.com in association with 18again.com

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