Please JOIN US as we march across the streets of Delhi University, from Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station through the various colleges to Kamla Nagar.
March with us as we put out the message loud and clear that:
With blood stains on our skirts, holding pads, cloths, tampons, condoms, contraceptive pills and many other ‘secrets’ that we want to scream to the world, we plan to go marching, marching down hostile streets, past the pharmacies and the authorities, past the temples and the kitchens, past the markets and the classrooms, showing the blood on our skirts for the messy business that it is!
When some students in Jamia put up a few pads around campus with feminist messages on them, they had not anticipated that it would earn them such a vehement backlash and also a show cause notice from the administration. Since then, students in DU and other universities in the country have picked up the initiative and have seen posters being torn down at JNU, pads being removed in DU and people responding with disgust at the sight of pads on public walls everywhere (and this is just paint!). We have also heard of the story where women workers in a factory in Kochi were forced strip-searched by two female supervisors in a bid to find out who might have committed the unpardonable crime of leaving a used sanitary pad in the bathroom. in It is absurd that something that half the population deals with every month should evoke such a response and be allowed so little space in public imagination and discourse.
We are told that sexual and reproductive issues must be kept ‘private’, must be dealt within the confines of our bathrooms and homes. Isn’t that exactly what society told us about domestic violence as well? Through this march, we hope to push further the message that #padsagainstsexism campaign has put forward, especially in a context where not only does menstruation taboo exist but also only a small section of society even has access to pads or tampons.
With such marches, we hope to create, demand and claim spaces where we can have those difficult conversations and learn about our ashudh bodies and our sexual selves, where we can dismantle the taboos that shame us and regulate our lives.