A Surat influencer sparks controversy as she faces backlash for avoiding lunch with her daughter during menstruation. The contentious incident has triggered widespread criticism, shedding light on societal taboos and the need for open conversations around menstrual health. This article delves into the incident, exploring the public’s response and the broader implications for challenging stigmas associated with menstruation in contemporary society.
Instagram Influencer Sparks Controversy
Even within affluent Indian families, characterized by opulent lifestyles and luxury, women experience period exclusion. This involves barring menstruating women from communal areas such as dining spaces, kitchens, and temples, posing a significant obstacle to dismantling entrenched taboos and fostering inclusivity. Surprisingly, in ostensibly progressive households, menstruating women still confront stigma and compulsory isolation, highlighting the persistence of outdated practices even in seemingly advanced social settings.
In Surat, Rupal Mitul Shah, an Instagram influencer with nearly 300K followers, posted a video depicting a family meal. Notably, the entire family gathered around the dining table, while another girl, the influencer’s daughter, sat on the floor with her food due to her menstrual cycle. The video highlights the practice of period exclusion, shedding light on how even in influential households, stigmas persist, affecting the seating arrangements during family meals.
In the caption, she clarified that, in her family, women have long adhered to a rule of strictly refraining from person-to-person contact during their menstrual period.
After facing widespread criticism, the influencer deleted the video, yet it continues circulating across various online platforms. Many expressed disbelief that such taboos persist not only in rural areas but also within high-society families. Let’s have a look at some reactions from individuals online.
It's her daughter who is sitting on the floor and eating who looks mad af about it but the mother is so proud of it.
— Swati (@swatigarg20) December 3, 2023
The influencer has said it's her personal decision to follow her family's practices. If you dont understand the reason, try to learn up why it was being practiced instead of trying to show fake feminism & outrage on social media and trying to shame someone or a religion. 🤷♀️ pic.twitter.com/ivZoK4jFHw
— 𝝟𝝖𝝡𝝖𝝟S𝝜𝝞 Ter 🇮🇳🕉 (@sushdishaTer) December 5, 2023
some “influencer” has posted a reel of her family in a posh looking house sitting on the dining table & eating then the video cuts to her sitting on the floor a little away from them & eating her food. in the caption she mentions, it’s bcs she’s on her period. great culture.
— k (@krownnist) December 3, 2023
Bro???!!! The caption???? You're telling me you and your daughter "love to follow" a tradition that treats women as untouchables for ..a normal bodily function? And you're not gonna even TRY changing that?
— 🐋 ⁷ SAW YOONGI TWICE 😭🇵🇸 #JinDay (@snoozedaway) December 3, 2023
If following traditions, they should build a menstrual hut instead so that they can't even see each other.
— piirocetamol 🏳️🌈 (@piirocetamol) December 4, 2023
This seems so normalized in that household. Bizarre and disturbing. What other horrors have been normalized within those shiny walls…
— Sangita (@Sanginamby) December 4, 2023
So glad my family doesn’t have this kind of rituals and whenever I get to know all this I feel so blessed
— karishma (@kari_dabhi) December 4, 2023
Wrong on so many levels!
— dhruviii (@dhruviiiparmar) December 4, 2023
This is such an outdated custom. And beyond disgusting.
— Kay (@kaynair) December 4, 2023
As the influencer’s controversial video continues circulating online despite its deletion, the incident serves as a stark reminder of deeply rooted menstrual taboos prevailing in both affluent and rural settings. The public outcry underscores the urgent need for dismantling these age-old practices. It’s a call for society to engage in open conversations, fostering awareness and understanding around menstrual health. This incident stands as a catalyst for change, prompting reflections on the broader implications of societal norms and the collective journey toward inclusivity.
A taboo in India
In India, menstruation remains entrenched in taboos, extending across diverse socio-economic strata. This enduring stigma surrounding periods manifests in practices like period exclusion, where women face restrictions in communal spaces like kitchens and temples. Despite strides towards societal progress, these taboos persist, influencing behavior even in ostensibly advanced households. The reluctance to engage in open conversations contributes to the perpetuation of myths and misconceptions. Breaking this cycle demands active efforts to challenge outdated norms, fostering inclusivity and awareness. Initiatives promoting menstrual hygiene education and dismantling taboos play a crucial role in steering India towards a more enlightened perspective on menstruation.