I got period for the first time at a relatively young age, 11 years old. I had heard about women getting menstruation from some subjects I got at school. (I went to Islamic elementary school, so I got some Islamic subjects, such as fiqh, tauhid, etc.) However, I didn’t know a lot about it, except that women are considered dirty when getting menstruation so that after the menstruation is over, they must take full shower to clean themselves, so that they become clean again and they are ready to do some Islamic teachings; such as praying five times a day, fasting, and reciting Alquran.
When the first time I got it, I got very shocked. One morning when I woke up, and prepared myself to pray Subuh (one pray done by Muslim in the early morning, before the sun rises), my mom came to me and prohibited me to do it. It made me very nervous and worried coz before that, my parents usually did on the way around, they would scold me if I didn’t pray. Why the hell on the way around then? Then my mom told me the reason. “You got what is called as menstruation. You are not supposed to pray.” Still, it didn’t really make me relieved.
Realizing blood suddenly came out of my private area absolutely made me very uncomfortable. Knowing that not many classmates of mine had experienced it (except some who were older than I was), made me more insecure. I was bloody embarrassed if my classmates knew about it. On the same day when I want back from school, the housemaid in my house said to me, “you must watch out now that you already get menstruation.” With a very serious facial expression. She really made me scared with that. Why do I have to watch out myself? What’s wrong with me with this so-called menstruation that made some blood coming out of my body while I didn’t feel anything wrong inside? Wearing sanitary napkin inside my panties of course made my movement uncomfortable.
Later on, I found out why that housemaid said such a thing to me. A girl who has got menstruation can get pregnant if she happens to get laid, and to get pregnant out of wedlock is something very embarrassing in Indonesia. And since that housemaid was not an educated person, she couldn’t explain it to me logically but scared me. And my mom didn’t know how worried and nervous I was at that time.
To avoid similar uncomfortable things happened to Angie, I talked a lot about this: menstruation is something that will always happen to women, it happens naturally, no need to be panicky, just accept it naturally too of course, coz there is nothing wrong actually, just monthly cycle inside women’s bodies.
My complaint is: when it is something natural, and there is oftentimes possibility for women to suffer from stomachache when they get menstruation, why many people make some unwise policy related to jobs especially where the policy just make women more marginalized?
e.g.: women are not supposed to be a leader coz they get period every month. The reason is: how if something very urgent happens and the leader needs to do something to handle it while at that time the female leader get stomachache due to menstruation.
Guys, we don’t choose to be born as creatures to get period and consequently we get stomachache sometimes. Why should you punish us with that so-called policy?
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