How teachers can help bust period pain myths?

“Good morning children. Today I am going to share with you a story about myself.” said my teacher one morning.

“As a woman, God has gifted me special qualities.” we all listened intently as she continued. “The gift to become a mother, the gift to love my children unconditionally. Like me, your mothers too have the gift of these special qualities !”

Then she made a startling revelation. “I bleed once every month.” she said, and then took a pause which added to the drama.

“Don’t be afraid my children. It’s a normal body function for all mothers to bleed once every month.”

She then took out a chart and had a very intimate and frank conversation on menstruation and sex-education with the entire class.

“It’s not gross. It’s not dirty. And it definitely doesn’t make you impure,” she said.

Then she drew a temple, a kitchen and a pickle jar on the board. “Many parents, grand parents & families don’t understand menstruation correctly.” she told, as she turned around.

“Don’t go to the temple my child!”

“Stay away from the kitchen my child.”

“You shouldn’t be touching the pickle!”

“You might hear this from people within your family. Don’t believe them. Periods are your power.”

When a girl, who had already had her first period, asked why periods were painful, our teacher said, “It’s God’s way of preparing you for motherhood.”

This was how I learnt about periods. My teacher was my inspiration. The deep respect I had for her never made me question her subject knowledge. Like many other girls, I too grew up not knowing that periods are normal, period pain is not.

Today, many years later, when my 12 year old daughter showed me the 3 #WhySufferSilently leaflets and spoke about periods, I was very content. Her teacher is her inspiration, and I realised why.