Am I Impure?

Hemaxi Mistry

I like to believe that being born a girl is a gift. During the first twelve years of my life, I had no clue of what was coming. One fine day, like most girls, I too go my period.I had many questions throughout my life. The day I had my periods,my family celebrated this by preparing a Shira,which was a celebration of fertility in my community. At the same time, many restrictions were imposed on me.

Suddenly I had become “impure”. I could not pray or cook food. And, when I tried reasoning, the answer was that everyone had to follow these rules. I had a lot of cramps and could take pain killers only when my mother allowed me to.

Talking about periods to other people was awkward and the years seemed to pass by. But,when I entered the 11th grade,I learned about sexual reproduction in humans. I came to know why girls menstruate and understood the importance of the menstrual cycle.

Did God even make these rules that we’re forced to follow? Or am I really “impure”?I tried to find out more from other girls during my college years and they were all as naive as me.

But the confusion still remained in the back of my mind, until my daughter turned 12. I was not sure if I should impose these rules on her and if I did, what will I answer to her when she asks me why? So I had to figure out the correct answers for her.

I read many blogs of how women in different countries are living according to many man made rules, such as to being left isolated during their periods. Women all over the world have started to get an education. They know about the menstrual cycle and how to cope with it.

Who are we to decide what is good for her during menstruation? Our role should be to empower them and let them decide what is right and wrong for themselves.

Nowadays, women run marathons while on their period. So, why not remove this mentality of bringing women down for something as natural as menstruating?



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