• Nandar

I am growing, period.


What is it like to be a woman?

I asked with my big eyes

As she held me in her lap

Patting my head, my grandma told me

that being a woman is an art of giving up yourself.

Your dreams, your passion, your education won’t be important

Coz you won’t belong to yourself, anymore.

You will know if you become one

when you are too tired of being yourself

while searching for a place to call yours.

I was 14 when I first bleed

There is no adjective to express

When my vagina is shielded with blood

Entering womanhood makes me happy

shy, nervous, sweaty, and a little crazy

That day, my mother wore a beautiful gloomy face

Telling me that bleeding is a sin

That will come like a disease every month

She sent me away.

To my new red tent.

Closing the doors

Leaving my hands

I was there alone.

Confused and resentful

“My dear daughter, it is our culture” was her note to my isolation.

When all I needed was

A hug

A dignity


To be human.

To my mother and my grandmother,

I know you taught to me disgust my body and period

Without wanting me to hate my womanhood.

But it is hard for me to love myself

When I see you serving for patriarchy

And calling your body disgraceful during the period

How can I end the generational hatred toward woman’s bodies?

It feels like destroying our own house

After spending years to build it.

This is what patriarchy makes me feel every day

Every time, I try to unlearn something from you

I lost parts of what you have built-in me

I am trying to create a new definition of womanhood

To pass onto my son, daughter, and sisters

Now, when I bleed

I don’t bleed for patriarchy

I bleed for womanhood.

For happiness

For exploration

And I am learning to love my body.

little by little.

Written by: Nandar