You know what? Periods suck enough with their whole package of breakouts, sugar cravings, and intense cramps, add to that the regular Ramadan restrictions, and I really don’t need a cultural stigma to fuck me over too. Again, it sucks. Does anyone else ask God at every Iftar why they were born female and thus have to menstruate?
Obviously, menstruating relieves us of our rigid religious duties, including prayer – normally – and fasting too during Ramadan, many people think it’s something to look forward to, except most of us dread it, actually, we’re very indignant about it, I’ll tell you why, just you wait for a sec. These religious duties are rituals, our periods are seen as an impurity that obstructs us from these rituals. Now, here’s the bomb, Muslims who ignore, degrade, neglect, or otherwise mistreat women who’re menstruating are not actually practicing Islamic values as much as they are the reenforced cultural stigmas. Now, the obvious question is, where is the line between religion and culture, right? Well, it’s a wide blurry thing, almost not a line but a gradient of ideas and behaviors and emotions. Anyway, not an anthropology lesson, we’re here to talk about the dreaded period of hell. Here goes:
1- Enty Betakly? Yadoobak Teksary Seyamek Bas
I mean, we love our parents, but no. Just, no. Basic biology says: period = low iron levels + intense exhaustion, right? That’s besides the crazy cravings, feeling like someone is holding a saw to your uterus, and that killer headache…among other things. So, no, I will not “a7es 3ala dammy” and only drink water when my body is begging me to stay hydrated and to eat well because it is exhausting itself. Also, no offense intended, but if God gave me leave to eat and drink because it is an act of mercy on his part, who are you to tell me not to? Who are you to shame me for it?
2- Shh, Mat2oleesh Ennek Msh Sayma
Also, instructions to pretend to have been fasting at every 3ozooma because not doing so is shameful even though I am religiously obliged to not fast AND technically dearest parents, that is called lying and lying is haram, so according to the given rules of Islam, this just makes no sense. So what if there are males around? It’s not like they don’t know females menstruate.
3- Afashtek Betakly!
Shoghl 3eyal. Also. Brothers. We’re also encouraged to hide (early on) our periods from our male siblings, and since we also bring up males to be egoistic, entitled, assholes (most of em anyway), we end up mafdoo7een in the house. Being caught eating and getting called out on it when it is our right and our obligation, then being shamed for it to the point where we are then ashamed of ourselves and our bodies? That is beyond sick, juvenile, and shitty.
4- OH SHIT, FINALS
La, begad la, ya3ni, msh hakhabby enny bamoot mel waga3 w mehtaga a hydrate and to eat to sustain myself while having an internal meltdown because I think I will fail at life and never graduate and worry about being ashamed because there are males taking these exams with me. I will walk into the exam room with at least a heat pad, it’s exercising the least of my rights. Have mercy on our poor minds, bodies, and souls please. fucking please.
If you haven’t noticed, there are no four reasons, there’s only one reason: we dread our Ramadan period because there’s no escaping the ingrained shame. The problem lies within – as usual – our stunning lack of education, our crappy cultural stigmas, and our rampant misogyny. This Ramadan, I am owning my period, I refuse to remain ashamed, I refuse to put myself and my health at risk to fulfill some sickening cultural rule. It is my right. I am so incredibly tired of having to hide something that is a very normal part of me. I do not have to compromise shit for a taboo. You really shouldn’t either.