Students at Pakistan's Beaconhouse National University in Lahore have blotted their campus walls with 25 sanitary napkins to defiantly protest the shaming culture that surrounds menstruation on their campus. As part of a class assignment, students Mavera Rahim, Eman Suleman, Mehsum Basharat, Noor Fatima, Sherbaz Lehri and Asad Sheikh wrote inspirational, anti-shaming messages like:
"I'm not flawed or poorly made."
"This blood is not dirty"
"This shouldn't make you uncomfortable."
"This is not a campaign; this was merely an aesthetically-based protest as a class project," Rahim told the Express Tribune. "We chose this because Eman and I feel women face a lot of stigmatization and ridicule for menstruation, something they have no control over.”
Her full statement on the protest is pretty badass too:
Rahim said menstruating students are shamed so much that they have to hide their sanitary napkin purchases and tip-toe around the subject whenever it arises. While celebrating the female body is dope, she also raises an important and poignant point:
"Several women contract diseases because they are not fully informed of hygienic practices when it comes to menstruation because very few people will actually discuss it," she wrote. "Over centuries and across different cultures, people have approached menstruation differently, some celebrating it and some shaming menstruating women. Our idea was to break this taboo around the subject in our society."
The students' message struck a cord with several fellow campus and community members. Many of them are supporting the peaceful protest.
However, there were a few folks who found it a little distasteful:
And just in case you're still wondering why BNU students chose to address this topic in their assignment, take a look at this comment exchange on Rahim's original post:
Any more questions?