The Period Conversation.
Chatting with a friend and she’s telling me how the hormonal stress during menstruation stretches a woman and yet she has to show up for personal and social responsibilities. And we’re saying how men are so removed from this experience because we don’t know what it’s like.
It’s true. The current reality is men grow up with little to no knowledge of reproductive health. We barely know how to support women around us during menstruation. I’m starting to see how there ought to be communal based support for women during this time.
I watched my mother carry a pregnancy for a whole nine months when I was 6/7. Her body went wild. Swollen legs, eating stones, constant puking, etc. Then the baby died at 5 months. Never seen that woman sad like that, holding her dead girl wailing to the heavens.
We (men) ought to do way much more. First by being emotionally present for and with girls and women around us. To understand their needs during menstruation since these things happen while they’re still part of community. Life does not stop, but it sadly almost does for them.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights are a huge component of community development in my thinking. And yet they’re directly tied to the political health of a nation. The longer the patriarchy reigns supreme, the more women & girls stay alienated, hence receiving poor services.
Since women constitute majority of the food producers globally, the harder our economies (especially in Africa) slow down, hence increasing chances of exploitation and violence because demand remains high. This is why feminism is so important in our time. The plight of women MUST be heard!
In all forms of development, we move less and lose more when women are behind. Equity ensures sustainability of progress for everyone.