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Sacredness of Being a Woman

Wearing cloth pads started a transformation to accepting myself as sacred.

When I was growing up in America, I wanted to be a boy. It looked so fun! They got to run around and get dirty. They could swear and fart and people just shrugged it off, “Oh, they are just boys.” Where my mother made me wear a dress to school once a week (no school uniforms where I grew up). I always heard people say, “Don’t do that, it’s not ladylike” usually from my grandmothers mouth. In high school, the guys could stay out all night and they were seen as “cool”, but as soon as a girl would do that, she is seen as “reckless”.

But I had accepted my fate. I was a girl and always would be. My period was there to remind me of that, every month. And my period was definitely not my friend! Along with it came intense cramps that would cause me to vomit and faint. I once had to have someone physically carry me home from school, because I couldn’t walk. The first day was always the worst, laying in the fetal position with a heating pad covering my uterus, that just wouldn’t stop reminding me that I was a girl.

A friend in college introduced me to the menstrual cup. I didn’t think much about it before switching from my tampons. I didn’t really like tampons and all the money I had to spend on them. At that point, no pads had ever touched my underwear. I actually didn’t even know cloth pads existed.

Then I moved to India.14114950_1167087446668171_4139013175461197914_o

I found out the cup was not known to any of my neighbors and friends. They were actually afraid of it and said they would never use it.

I wanted to bring sustainable menstrual products to my friends and neighbors, but I didn’t know anything outside of the cup. So I began to research. While researching I found pads made out of different fabrics. I became very interested in learning how all of the different fabrics would work at absorbing blood. I tore up all my old clothes and went to the market and bought as many different fabrics as I could. Luckily I already knew how to sew and my friend let me use her sewing machine.

So I began to sew cloth pads. I tried different designs and patterns. For four cycles I wore nothing but the pads I was sewing. I also started sewing some for my friends and neighbors and the feedback was really positive!

When Shomota, the social enterprise I run out of Kolkata, was just starting; I was the go to tester for the new pads and I began to wish that I could bleed for more than 5 days a month.

Wait…What?

What was I thinking?

Who wants to bleed more than 5 days a month? Let alone at all.

I would have never wished that upon my worst enemy before I began wearing cloth pads. Cloth pads were changing the way I viewed my menstrual cycle. When I wore tampons and cups, I was trying to conceal my period. Conceal it out of view, conceal it out of sight. With the cloth pad, I could no longer conceal my period.

I could feel the blood flowing out onto the pad. Continually reminding me of the connection I have to the cycles of the universe. To the connection I have with every other menstruating woman on the planet. To the connection I have with the never ending death/life/death cycle.

The more I learned about these connections the more I began connecting to my own sacredness as a woman and because of that I learned to love my period, more and more each month. Cloth pads taught me how to love being a woman and I wouldn’t change it for anything now.

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1 Reply

  1. I am glad to read your story.. being a cup user (for over 10 years) my self, i never thought I would want to use cloth pads.. but I started using them few months ago and absolutely loved the experience. Its a shame that when ever I talk about to, most women have negative reactions and are not willing to wash. I hope after reading this, they will want to give it a try 🙂

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