Jan 10, 2009

What the ....

I recently came across a revolting practice while researching on content for my next post. I was too sickened and outraged to comment when I read it, so I'll put it up here for my readers.

A hostel in Madurai has been forcing students to maintain a public register of their menstrual cycle. This, apparently, is to prevent pre-marital sex and to ensure that teenage girls do not 'go astray'.

This crass invasion of girls' privacy has been taking place for years at the government hostel for poor and backward class students in the affluent and very urban Madurai. The register has columns for the exact dates of their cycle. Even slightly irregular dates invite snide remarks and harsh reprimands by the hostel warden.

"Making them write down their menstrual cycle dates creates mental torture. Most girls are not even able to tell their parents about these things. It is creating a lot of tension," said Jeeva, Regional Convenor, TN Child Rights Protection Network.

Defending the outrageous measure, the hostel warden says it is the best way to 'keep the girls under check' and prevent possible pre-marital sex. "I've only been continuing what my predecessors started. I am doing it with students' interest at heart," said Selvarani, warden, Adi Dravidar Students Hostel.

The girls revealed that the policing is done by the cook under the overall supervision of the warden. But while their records may be strictly monitored, their sanitation is not. The girls claim their hostel has just one bathroom but that is exclusively for the warden. The girls can enter it but only to clean it and not use it. Ironically the moral brigade is unconcerned about the fact that the girls have to bathe out in the open after dusk. From banning anything except sari and salwar-kameez-dupatta on college campuses to monitoring their menstrual cycles, primitive mindsets, it seems, are there to stay in our educational institutes as well.

Courtesy: "Reflections" (Dr. Bruno's blog) and NDTV


Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous..Is this the civilized way to keep eye on girl moral life...I hope somebody is there to talk against this,and let the warden understand what she is doing..I don't think these girls will have any self-esteem later in life..

Good work.Keep writing
Good day


Anonymous said...

This sounds like in some other century... Pathetic to say the least.

And what's funny is how does this check pre-marital sex???

Indian Home Maker said...

Surbhi, anything in this country is acceptable so long as the honor of the girl is protected.

It is possible that the parents are aware of this but don't object because this will keep their daughters virtuous.

It is so outrageous, I hope the press makes enough racket against it that it stops ....
And why does the warden need a bathroom more than the girls!?

Thanks for blogging about it Surbhi.

@lankr1ta said...

Does the warden not know that with good conctraception, sex does not result in pregnancy? And what proof do they have that the women are noting the "real" dates, do they ask for used pads as evidence?
Flippancy aside this is horrific. Where are our feminist groups protesting for this?

Goofy said...

This is horrifying. My God! Imagine the poor girls, teenagers are anyways shy, and just about learning to accept the fact they are becoming a woman. This is cruel, uncivilised, and absolutely unacceptable. Its wonderful that you wrote about this Surabhi, else would never have known.

Surbhi said...

I hope someone has managed to drill some sense into the warden's head. Have been trying to locate the original NDTV story. Don't even know how long ago it was reported. Can only hope its seen by as many people as possible, and that sick warden.
Thanks for the support and appreciation. Keep dropping in!

Surbhi said...

Just my question: how CAN it possibly check sex? Pregnancy, maybe. But sex?
Guess if the warden had as much sense to ask this to herself, she wouldn't be doing this in the first place.
As for it seeming like something out of another country, keep reading all the stuff I'll be writing about, as also all the blogs I follow. You're in for a nasty shock!
On a far happier note, I must say your babies are just too cute. Many cuddlies and kissies to them. Are they twins?

Surbhi said...

Thanks a lot for commenting! I hope (against hope) that the parents do come to their senses and get their girls out of there. And all this in an urban habitation!
And I just loved you JKG post!
Regarding the bathroom, the warden's so full of shit, you see! She def. needs it more than all the girls put together.

Surbhi said...

Thanks so much for dropping in, girl! If the warden had as much sense, she wouldn't be doing this in the first place. And like IHM said, for all we know it could be with the parents' consent.
Girl, you made me lose my breakfast with that 'used pads' comment! Ewww!
WE are the feminist group protesting, so lets all (inc. Mad Momma, Chandni, Roop, the gang) raise our voices!

Surbhi said...

Thanks for the support! Its just so inhumane. Whether the girl keeps her periods to herself or shouts out from the rooftops is nobody's business but hers. It is so damn private!
Keep dropping in and raise your voice against it.

Unpretentious Diva said...

Ohh yes we are struggling for sexual freedom too alongwith economical freedom.

Surbhi said...

Even before sexual freedom, it is important to recognise a woman as a sexual being. And at the least, as an individual.

Solilo said...


Are we still living in a civilized society? Who are these moral police all out to save girls getting impregnated? Isn't there a single woman among them who could raise voice against it?

Surbhi said...

The most unfortunate part is that the warden who's spearheading this outrageous practice is a woman!
Guess its upto us to make as much hue and cry as we can!

shail said...

Outrageous to say the least. I am really shocked reading this!

Surbhi said...

All of us are, so help spread the word.

Anonymous said...


Surbhi said...

You're not the only one outraged and shocked, my friend! This is sick, to say the least. I do hope the media creates a lot of noise. So if you know someone in media, NOW is the time to go to them.