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Here's why and how you should talk to the men in your life about periods

Here's why and how you should talk to the men in your life about periods

The embarrassment associated with menstruation won't go away unless we openly talk about it, even with the men in our lives.

Written by Naz Haider |Updated : June 2, 2017 2:17 PM IST

Men and menstruation don't often gel together. Some men get it -- who understands what menstruation is, who understands that a woman's body is in pain during her period, that her hormones are haywire and that she is in a weird state of mind; but not everyone is like that. Most men dread the term 'PMS' (premenstrual syndrome) as if it turns the girl/s in their lives into psychopaths crying bloody murder. And the women also seem to have not done a good job in sensitising the men about what menstruation is and what happens to a women's body. A lot of women are apprehensive about discussing anything menstrual with men, even if the man is as close to them as their husband. And this is not done. Men need to know about menstruation so that it can be out in the open and it does not continue to be a taboo subject. Half the world's population experiences this, so it's only logical to discuss it. If you are looking for pointers, here are some tips on how you can speak to the various men in your life:

  • Father: Talking to your father about menstruation is probably the most awkward of all, but it shouldn't be. Given his age, and experience your father probably knows more about menstruation that you give him credit. I have friends who ask their dads to get them sanitary napkins and talk about period with no embarrassment whatsoever. While you may not need to go out of your way to discuss menstruation with your father, don't try to overly hide it. Next time you go back home early because of period cramps, tell him exactly that.
  • Brother: Your brother can be more on the same page about menstruation. Don't hide your sanitary napkins from him, let him get it for you if need be. Talk about periods openly and stop him if he makes period jokes. Some girl some day he will be involved with will thank you.
  • Boyfriend/ husband: Talking to your partner about period should be the easiest. They should know about your cycles, how your flow is and what you do about it. Given the intimate relationship you share with your partner, it wouldn't be too much to expect them to know your period dates.
  • Son: If you want to sensitise men about menstruation, start young. Teach your son about the human body and how the male and female body is different. Teach them what's the function of each part, even the uterus and ovaries. When talking to your son, make sure you keep the information age appropriate.
  • Colleagues/ boss: How do you carry your pad when you need to visit the washroom? In a pouch, in your jeans pocket, folded and wrapped in your hand, you take your bag to the loo? How many times have you seen a woman hold a pad like she would hold, say a comb or lipstick, and walk to the washroom? Why hide the fact that you need to use a female hygiene product? Don't try and hide the fact that you are on your period. If your cramps are so bad that you can't sit in office, tell that to your boss, even if it's a man. Do you also hide your sanitary pad while going to the loo?

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