Suparna, New Delhi- Taking it Inside
Puberty certainly was a bane. I was constantly gushing with excuses for my changing body and mind. One hormonally charged and menstrually vexed day I walked into my classroom in class 7 with a group of (most likely) hormonally charged boys giggling and looking devious. One of the boys, with whom I had been constantly confrontational on other fronts, turned towards me and in his best taunting voice jeered, "Watch out! It's going to get bloody!" I was still attempting to understand his cheek when he began to wave around my sanitary pad before my face as if it were a weapon from a crime scene. Not to mention that his smirk indicated that he had solved some crime because he obviously felt the need to search my bag for my heinous ability to menstruate. With the other boys leading him on, he went on to make dubious connections between my menstrual cycle and sexual promiscuity. I don't know how long I brooked his name-calling and remarks about how I was a slut for, but eventually I remember pushing him against the wall, pointing at his crotch and sincerely asking, "You know where it really hurts?" and kicking him. he held on to his testicular region a while before he could process my angry retort. I am not a physically aggressive person, and I don't know if I necessarily believe in responding in kind to those who feel bodies are meant to be manhandled, but I remember acting on instinct and knowing that I didn't walk away internalizing how I had felt.