I just came across a two posts talking about religion and superstition. More specifically, they talked about the rituals a woman is forced to go through when she has her period. A third, radically different post, caught my attention for the boldness with which it put forward a not-so-fashionable-any-more point of view. The first two argue that since periods are a natural part of a woman’s life, there must be no difference in her behaviour or treatment during those dreaded days. The third says she actually enjoys being treated like a queen and getting the men to do all the work. These represent diametrically opposed viewpoints. I would prefer to take a middle ground.
First things first, I agree that a woman must be treated with the same dignity whether she has her period or not. I also agree that seclusion or segregation is ridiculous and must not be practised anywhere. Where I beg to differ is on the religion issue. Each of us has a certain belief, or lack of it, in God. If I believe that God’s abode will be defiled by my going there, who the hell are you to force me to go? We are talking about something very basic: the right to freedom of expression. I believe in something. And nobody has any business questioning it. My mother would not let me anywhere near her Puja Room during those three days. So be it. Why should I enter it just to make a point? If you really believe in God, you would worship him, even in toilet if need be. How does your entering a puja room change anything? Your mother, or anyone else for that matter, has a right to believe what they want. Just who are these so-called “educated” and “enlightened” women to call my belief bullshit?
Let’s get one thing straight. Education means accepting another’s beliefs with an open mind. It means being willing to accept that they are entitled to their opinion without having to justify it to you. Why is my belief that I am too impure to enter a temple during those three days being judged on? Imp’s Mom is being extremely uncharitable, not to mention judgemental when she says,
“Just when I had thought that every woman hated these stupid traditions and will not allow it to continue with her daughter, this lady made me sit up. Here is the proof that an educated modern woman enjoys and find no wrong with the isolation.”
I am sorry Imp’s Mom, but you have no business telling me I am behaving in a manner unbecoming of an “educated” woman. What I believe is my business. As long I don’t force my beliefs down your throat, you shouldn’t be complaining. Also, a note to those who complain about their mothers. As long as you live with your parents, in their house, it is their wish that matters. If it is so important to enter the puja room on those days, you are free to do so in your own house, where nobody has any right to stop you. You may dislike the restrictions people, and society place on you. But, remember you are as bad as them the minute you start being judgemental about things as sensitive and personal as religion. Venting one’s feelings is one thing. Launching personal attacks against X, Y or Z for the views they hold is quite another. It’s time “educated” and “modern ” women learnt the real meaning of the word “modern”.