07 september, 2017

Mentabukan Menstruasi

India girl kills herself over 'menstruation shaming'

31 August 2017, India

A 12-year-old schoolgirl from southern India has killed herself after a teacher allegedly humiliated her over a blood stain from menstruation.
In a suicide note, she accused the teacher of "torturing" her.
Although the girl did not mention period shaming in her letter, the mother says her daughter was asked to leave the class because of the stain.
Menstruation is taboo in parts of rural India. Women are traditionally believed to be impure during their periods.
Police say they have registered a case of suicide and are investigating. The incident took place early on Sunday in Tirunelveli district in the state of Tamil Nadu.
"I do not know why my teacher is making complaints against me. I still can't understand why they are harassing and torturing me like this," the student said in her suicide note.
It began: "Amma [mother], please forgive me."
Her mother accused the teacher of having beaten her daughter in the past for not doing her homework.
''My daughter got her periods while she was in school last Saturday," her mother told BBC Tamil. "When she informed the teacher, she was given a duster cloth to use as a pad.
"The teacher made my daughter stand outside the class. How can a 12-year-old withstand such humiliation?" she asked.
The girl killed herself a day later.
The school told the BBC it was co-operating with police.

Sumber: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-41107982


Hallo semua!
Berita memilukan datang dari seorang gadis berusia 12 tahun dari India Selatan yang mengakhiri hidupnya setelah dipermalukan oleh seorang guru saat ia menstruasi. Gadis itu adalah adik, teman, anak dan saudari kita. Gadis itu adalah kita.
Siapa yang mendengar berita tersebut sudah pasti akan marah, kesal, jengkel dan tidak habis pikir, seperti aku. Aku tahu betul rasanya mendapat perlakuan serupa di usia-usia tersebut.

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Aku termasuk diantara mereka yang mengalami menstruasi di usia lebih awal, yakni sepuluh tahun. Aku adalah salah seorang diantara anak perempuan yang tidak mendapatkan informasi soal pubertas; apa yang harus dilakukan dan bagaimana menghadapi masa-masa pubertas. Segala informasi seakan datang terlambat padaku.
Hal ini membuatku ‘salah’ memperlakukan tubuhku sehingga aku tidak pernah nyaman saat menstruasi tiba, misalnya. Hal ini jauh berbeda ketika aku sudah dewasa.
Aku risih menggunakan pembalut, bahkan aku pernah salah memakainya. Ketidaknyamananku menggunakan pembalut menyebabkan cara berjalanku yang aneh, dan aku lebih sering duduk, membatasi gerak tubuh untuk beraktivitas sebab takut darah menstruasi menembus hingga ke celana atau rokku.
Di kalangan sebayaku, menstruasi dianggap tabu, sesuatu yang kotor, memalukan bahkan mungkin menjijikkan. Aku ingat betul saat aku dan teman-teman harus berbisik-bisik atau menggunakan kata lain untuk menyebut “menstruasi”. Kami seperti malu mengakui kalau diri kami sedang menstruasi. Mungkin kami malu karena dianggap dewasa terlalu dini (?), selain karena memang menstruasi adalah hal yang tabu untuk dibicarakan.
Sekolahku ketika itu adalah sekolah dasar berbasis agama Islam, di mana ibadah berjamaah dan membaca Alquran menjadi kegiatan yang rutin dilakukan. Ada kalanya bagi siswi perempuan tidak mengikuti kegiatan tersebut karena sedang menstruasi atau haid.
Saat tidak ikut sholat berjamaah atau mengaji bersama, kadang aku harus pura-pura ikut membaca Alquran agar tidak disangka sedang haid. Entah kenapa aku malu jika teman-teman, khususnya laki-laki, tahu bahwa aku sedang haid.
Belum lagi kalau sampai darah haid menembus pakaian. Malunya akan minta ampun!

Kupikir-pikir setelah sekian tahun ini, puncak dari segala situasi yang tidak nyaman itu terjadi saat aku kelas satu SMP. Tahun kedua atau ketiga aku mengalami menstruasi.
Di sekolah kami, sebagian siswi yang sedang haid kadangkala tidak mengikuti jam pelajaran olahraga. Seperti aku yang pernah tidak mengikuti kelas olahraga karena saat haid badanku terasa tidak fit dan aku masih belum terbiasa bergerak secara leluasa ketika menggunakan pembalut. Maka saat itu aku ijin untuk tidak mengikuti kelas kepada guru olahragaku, yang juga seorang perempuan.
Aku tidak menyangka respon yang kudapat atas permohonan ijin yang kusampaikan. Bukannya pemahaman atau simpati yang kudapat, justeru sentimen dan tuduhan yang tidak menyenangkan. Aku dianggap berbohong dan dituduh menghindari mata pelajaran olahraga dengan alasan haid. Baginya, haid tidak dapat dijadikan alasan untuk tidak mengikuti olahraga atau dalam hal ini ‘menghindari’ kelasnya.

Reaksiku saat itu jengkel, sampai-sampai aku menangis (yang ini aku menyesal banget!) karena respon tidak ramah dari guruku tersebut. Aku heran kenapa ia sampai tega menuduhku berbohong? Salahkah jika aku tidak ikut olahraga ‘hanya’ karena nyeri haid?
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Sebagaimana umumnya, ketidakhadiran murid dalam kelas atau mata pelajaran, turut mempengaruhi penilaian guru. Hal ini menjadi dilematis bagi siswi perempuan ketika menghadapi guru yang tidak sensitif seperti guru olahragaku. Siswi berhak untuk mendapatkan ijin tidak mengikuti kelas karena kondisi biologisnya, yang mana hal ini tidak bisa dihindari. Akan tetapi bagi guru yang tidak mentolerir kondisi tersebut dapat seenaknya menurunkan nilai siswi.

Kini ketika lebih dari satu dekade berlalu, mengingat pengalaman itu semakin membuatku marah dan menyesal karena tidak pernah bisa membalas sikap apatis guruku.
Haid bukanlah hal yang tabu, menjijikkan dan memalukan.
Haid adalah kondisi biologis yang alamiah terjadi.
Tidak sepatutnya kita mentabukan dan menyembunyikannya seolah aib atau kotoran.
Lagi-lagi, ini semua terjadi karena tabunya seksualitas dan kesehatan reproduksi, yang selalu disimpan rapat-rapat seperti bangkai yang jangan sampai terendus baunya!

02 januari, 2017

When I was in Gent

Happy new years for all of you,

I am welcoming this 2017, by writing old stories from 2011. Yes, this is quite a proof that I am so lazy until I decide to write my so-long-ago trip after six years.

The story began when I visited Netherland in 2011, for joining the annual Dutch summer course organized by Taal Unie. Right after the course ended, I went for a short trip, to Belgium.

I still remember how I took the wrong line from Amsterdam to Gent, just because I didn't understand (or not sure) about info that I got from a official in Amsterdam Central Station.

Soon I arrived in Gent station, a friend of mine would pick me up. That was the plan.
But then, it was just the matter of my bad ability to read a map, given by a woman officer in the station.
I was lost when I was looking for the way out. And unfortunately one of the wheels of my suitcase was broken. It's understandable, due to the heat caused by its long run on the street. That was quite problem for me, since I could reach my friend and the it drizzled. I felt so miserable at that time. Waiting on the corner of the street, alone, with my broken suitcase, and had no idea where to go, in the middle of the rain. (In fact, a part of the story above has been posted in 2014, LOL. I just dont remember. Please see here)



After few minutes, I met my friend and we reunited, after a year I guessed. He was staying in Gent for the same course, as well.

Get Lost

I spent like 4 days here and people were wondering what I did since Gent is not quite popular among other big cities in Belgium. The day after my arrival, I went to the centrum, or the middle of the town, by cycling. That was ramadhan when I visited Gent. I spent the whole day by cycling around the city, and not to forget here again I lost and had no guts to ask the natives the way back home. Until I stopped in a shop and planned to ask where the hell I was. Since I found it was not friendly attitude, when you enter a shop only for asking and not to buy, then I decided to walk around the aisles looking for something to buy. Then I frowned for a moment, found out that the prices of some goods is far from cheap. I walked again, back and forth, until the shop keeper suspected me (I could see the way she looked at me). Finally I decided to buy water and still, I got no clear answer from her when I asked the way heading to my place. pffft.

I think, getting lost was my big problem in this trip. On the third day, again, I was lost when I was walking around the town. It was really exhausting, really. I bet this won't happened if you could read the map much better than I did :p and of course have guts to ask natives.


Individual Life of Westerners

The social life of westerners are quite different from the easterners, when it comes about the "friendliness" or awareness. We, the Indonesians mostly "care" about what you do, what happen to you and how people greet someone or even strangers as if they know each other. On the other hand, western people are most likely individual persons who rarely pay attention to everyone's business.
I did realize this thing, when I walked and carried my broken suitcase with so inconvenience and no one I passed asking or giving a hand to me. It's so contrast here, people most probably would pose question to you "What happen?" or "Let me help you" or even though the most hated one you would hear "Mau kemana, neng?" or "Where are you going, lady?". The last one is more to gender-based verbal harassment.



I think I don't remember much, the time when I was in Gent. It's quite a lively city especially in the centrum, I must say and it has so many beautiful-old buildings. To be honest I didn't plan or make any list like 'where to go' or 'what to see' during my stay there. Even on my third day, I just stayed half day in the boarding house, did nothing instead of read a travel-guide book hahaha that was because of the rain so you barely could go outside and enjoy the city.   



xoxo