Can Comics Help in Busting Menstrual Taboos?
The paper looks at the significance of comics in busting menstrual taboos, creating menstrual awareness and in initiating period conversations. This is explicated through a study of Menstrupedia Comic, an Indian comic on menstruation, developed by Aditi Gupta and Tuhin Paul. The necessity and significance of Menstrupedia is brought out through a discussion on the grim ‘menstrual situation’ and the presence of shocking beliefs and practices with regard to menstruation, particularly in the Indian context. A review of studies carried out in this field, statistical data and reports of studies sponsored by various organizations shed light on the contemporary level of menstrual taboo, awareness and hygiene. The persistence of menstrual etiquette also restricts the conversations and dialogues surrounding menstruation. All these point to the necessity of healthy menstrual dialogues and in spreading period positivity. A discussion of menstruation, a topic that is either deemed as too trivial for discussion or tabooed off as something to be hushed about, through the medium of comics helps in deconstructing the social myths surrounding this normal bodily event. Comics, given their multi-modality, visual spectacle and lucid narrative style, prove to be highly effective in dealing with such topics and in reaching out to a wider audience. Menstrupedia, with its accurate scientific knowledge and graphic portrayal effectively deconstructs the patriarchal perception of menstruation and shatters the silence surrounding periods. With fun and play, it disseminates scientific facts of the menstrual cycle and teaches young girls on healthy practices in relation to menstruation.
Copyright (c) 2022 Rosemaria Regy Mathew, S. Balasundari
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