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Men in Kerala Feel the Pain of Menstruation

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
October 2022
Men in Kerala Feel the Pain of Menstruation

If any men aren’t sympathetic about the monthly menstrual cramps that women endure, they may need to speak to Faheem Rahman, a 26-year-old man in Kerala.

“It was a horrible experience,” Rahman told The New York Times. “I could not concentrate on anything around me for as long as the cramps lasted.”

How did he experience the cramps? Through a simulator that Sandra Sunny, an aspiring lawyer in Kochi, designed as part of a campaign to reduce the social stigma connected to menstruation in India and provide more effective hygiene products to women.

The simulator sends an electric current through wires clamped below a man’s navel. It feels like a vibration at first, but when the intensity is increased, the induced cramps cause men to cry out in pain.

“I have so much more respect for my mother, for my sisters,” Rahman said. “It’s hard for them, that much I know.”

The campaign, based in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, is called Cup of Life. Women are encouraged to use cost-effective and reusable cups, made of latex rubber or silicone, rather than sanitary pads. Dr. Akhil Manuel, a medical officer at National Health Mission in Ernakulam, conceived the idea of promoting menstrual cups.

He also wanted to “normalize social conversations around virginity and menstruation.”

More of ChaiTime here:

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips, and more.]

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