Thiruvanathapuram: Sabarimala Temple Board's controversial decision to install machines to test menstruating women has sparked outrage over social networking sites, triggering a campaign called 'Happy to Bleed' to protest the move.
According to reports, the campaign launched by a group of youngsters urges women "to hold placards/sanitary napkins/charts reading Happy To Bleed" and post the pictures on their profiles or the campaign page "to oppose the shame game played by patriarchal society since ages."
The unique protest is said to be garnering unequivocal support on its Facebook page.
The ‘Happy To Bleed’ campaign was launched after Travancore Devaswom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan recently said that women should be allowed in the Sabarimala Temple only after the invention of a machine to ‘check the purity of women.’
A girl named Nikita Azad is said to be spearheading the Facebook campaign, which was launched on November 21.
“Devaswom chief of Sabrimala temple, Kerala has given a sexist statement that once purity checking machines are invented, that check whether it is “right time” or not, (whether women are menstruating or not) are invented, he will think about letting women enter. By this statement, he has reinforced misogyny and strengthened myths that revolve around women,” says a statement posted on ''Happy To Bleed Facebook'' page.
“Happy To Bleed is a counter campaign launched against menstrual taboos, and sexism that women are subject to through it. It acknowledges menstruation as a natural activity which doesn’t need curtains to hide behind,” the statement adds.
In response to a question about women’s entry into the temple, Gopalakrishnan had stated in Kollam on November 14 that, “A time will come when people will ask if all women should be disallowed from entering the temple throughout the year. These days there are machines that can scan bodies and check for weapons. There will be a day when a machine is invented to scan if it is the ‘right time’ (not menstruating) for a woman to enter the temple. When that machine is invented, we will talk about letting women inside.”
Nikita had also written an open letter to Gopalakrishnan, stating the gender issues implicit in his “dilemma”.
The campaign, which has been receiving good response from women, has gone viral on social media with hashtag #HappyToBleed, which is trending on Twitter.