The film “Pad Man” is a great story about a difficult crusade. Essentially, the person who endeavoured to bring sanitary towels to all Indian woman suffered physically and emotionally, lost his spouse and was shunned….though he did not regularly bleed.

This is how women have been suffering since the dawn of creation, when their superiority above males was recognised by the original star, in being tasked with the difficult, physically demanding, emotionally draining, intellectually challenging task of procreation, the life-long burden of the populating of planet earth. Giving birth is rightly called ‘labour.’  

Finally, in this, the 21st recorded century, a big bucks film has been made about menstruation, bringing it from the blood-soaked petticoats of the labourers, the blood-soured sweat-shop mill floors of Industrial Revolution colonial Britain and the isolated blood-caked mud huts of shame, and onto the Big Screen and popular entertainment. Ironically, however, it is a male who stars in this blockbuster. It is a male who is the champion and the hero, the superman flying to save womanhood on his bicycle, in a cape of wadded cotton. It is called “PAD MAN.” The catchy refrain of the sound-track is “man man man man man man.” Women bleed, men take the kudos.

Same with Malala Yusafzai, the young girl shot in the head (by a man amongst men) for her educational thirst. She bled, but nevertheless, she persisted. She recovered and became an international ambassador for the right and freedom of girl children to go to school. She has continued to be educated and is writing……but the name of her story? Putting the man first, it is called “HE Named Me Malala”

……and nobody complained. We still accept that a man can come first, even in our own stories……

Isabel Healy

Isabel Healy

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