On Blood and Shame

On Blood and Shame

I am so thrilled and honoured to have had a short narrative essay featured in sister-hood,  an online magazine that spotlights the voices of women of Muslim heritage. The essay explores shame and coming of age in Saudi Arabia as a young girl through the lens of the experience of my first period. An excerpt appears below. To read the piece in full at sister-hood.com, please click the link after the excerpt.

Where I come from, menstruation remains a topic too awkward or embarrassing to discuss in public or even in private. A topic that like the female body itself remains shrouded in secrecy. And stigma. And shame. So much stigma surrounds the female body and its bodily functions that the first time I bled on my first period, I was completely ignorant and unprepared, and as with most changes my body underwent in the early years of my adolescence, I felt overwhelmed with inexplicable shame. Continue Reading.

Image Credit: Tasmeem QScience, ‘Figure 2. Dancers wearing reinvented versions of Arabic “abaya”’