The Insidious reach of discrimination against menstruation is so extensive that it is almost unimaginable. Like a spider with eight legs, the evil, negative value given to menstruation and the individuals who menstruate reach into all the different aspects of one’s life, from one leg in the physical body, one in the social value, and one in the mental and emotional value. These all contribute to ones inherent value of self and how the society views themselves.
In early-mid September, A innocent young girl ( name unknown) in Kenya lost her life due to the many legs of menstrual discrimination and its impact on her inherent value to herself and to society. She killed herself after she was shamed and mentally /emotionally harassed by her school teacher, called “dirty”, after getting her first menses during school and physically isolated from her learning environment due to soiling her clothes with blood.
This was a tragedy. But more than that it was murder. Murder by the teacher who has internalized the discriminatory principles of menstruation, who has subjected her student to shame and isolated her to ‘teach” her that she is “dirty” because she is menstruating. Murder by the hands of a society that supports these ideals. At this young age of puberty, her mental state is forming and developing and at this critical stage of many changes in her body, she is subjected to shame, stigma, isolation ( physical or mental), this is what led to her murder.
It was a murder by the lack of dignity.
We fight on for #dignifiedmenstruation because it is not the simple lack of menstrual products or clean toilets or lack of hygienic practices that caused this murder. It is the result of the lack of dignity given to this young life that was just proceeding through a natural processes. It is the lack of dignity that kills thousands of lives just like this one.