Two days ago, a massive outrage broke after 68 female students were made to strip and show their underwear to prove that they were not menstruating. Now, a shameful remark made by a Bhuj seer is making the rounds of the internet, generating a storm of flak from people across the country.
Swami Krushnaswarup Dasji of Swaminarayan Bhuj Mandir, which runs the "period-shaming" Indian college in Bhuj, Gujarat, is in the news for all the wrong reasons after videos of his teachings have gone viral. The seer said, "A menstruating woman who cooks food for her husband will certainly be born as a 'kutri' (bitch)" and further backed his remark by referring to the Shastras.
For obvious reasons, the preacher's misogynistic remarks did not sit well with people who took to Twitter to condemn the teachings. While social media is buzzing with furious reactions from people who are pointing out the bigotry comments made by the spiritual leader, some facts appear to have been misplaced in the heat of the moment.
In this article, we are clarifying two widely misunderstood facts about menstruation in light of Yogi's derogatory remark and some people's response.
Menstruating women and cooking
A menstruating woman who cooks food for her husband will certainly be reborn as 'kutri' (bitch)."
If you eat food prepared by a menstruating woman even once, your next avatar will definitely be that of a 'balad' (ox)."
These remarks naturally ignited a storm of flak against the Bhuj seer, not just for the regressive comments but for the lack of scientific evidence to back preacher's claim.
According to Angirasa Smriti (Verse 37), Vashishta Dharma Sutras (5.6), and Sushruta Samhita (Sharirasthana 2.24), menstruating women must avoid physically tiring activities such as running, exercises and household activities such as cooking. The Ayurvedic texts indicate physical strain during menstruating can have an adverse effect on women's health.
Floating in period blood in the womb
In arguments, it is important to get the facts right even if you're on the right side of the dispute. While many users rightly pointed out the misogyny in the seer's preaching, some users even stated an incorrect fact while criticising the preacher's remarks.
But a moment of clarity in this heated discussion was provided by another Twitter user, which issues clarification on the comment about "floating in and using up nutrients from period blood in the womb."
"It's not the menstrual blood a womb is fed on during the gestation. The foetus derives nutrients from the normal bloodstream of the mother through the placental barrier. Menstrual blood is cervical mucus, vaginal secretions and endometrial tissue," Dr Suneem Khan explained on Twitter.