For something that is natural and sometimes unwanted by women, periods carry a heavy stigma. Though it is natural and it's something that all women will experience, talking about periods is a big no-no. You can't talk about how bad your stomach hurts, what your flow is like and there are some who still wish we would hide boxes of pads or tampons at the register so they don't see what we're dealing with. After all, it's seen as private and not something to be shared.
What's harder is when women are meant to feel ashamed for when their period happens too...like during Ramadan.
Ramadan is a month of fasting for the Muslim community to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran. They do not eat or drink from sun up to sun down for the month and pray frequently.
And while having your period should never be a shameful thing, Muslim women are often looked down upon, despite being exempt from fasting and praying during their periods, for eating publicly during the holy month. They are asked to eat in private, should they need to eat, and not be a beacon of shame upon their religion by eating in public during fasting hours.
In a 2016 Huff Post article, Muslim researcher Donna Auston pointed out that she thinks a great deal of the stigma comes from others seeing women who are menstruating, and therefore exempt, as weak. "Some say that not fasting during your period is this gift from God, but the reality is that not fasting is associated with weakness or inability," she says.
Now other women on Twitter are standing up against the stigma of having their periods during Ramadan:
damn it’s so sad we become brainwashed into thinking we should be so ashamed of our periods we have to fake pray
— sabitch (@chubbythicc) May 30, 2018
i swear if it was guys getting periods they wouldn’t ban eating in public during Ramadan. https://t.co/cDpZ18DSHb
— fatma (@fatma1uae) May 28, 2018
— Erin 🍑🌈 (@stanakmu_) May 23, 2018
While religious practices absolutely need to be respected, it's important for women to be able to practice their faith while still making sure they don't pass out from lack of sustenance while on their period, and not feel ashamed for doing so. No one should ever feel ashamed for something natural and it's so inspiring that women are talking about this issue within their faith communities.