Women empowerment, Women in politics, Women in development, Women moving forward, Women working, Women in… oh wait, Period. You cannot possibly work when you are menstruating, can you? Sacrilege.

Because it is embarrassing, unhygienic, gross and impairs judgement, spoils team morale, affects productivity and almost certainly will blemish the good name of the company you would work in.

Because the good, rational people at Asma Rubber Products Private Limited , Kochi seem to think it was indeed a grievous sin when a sanitary pad was found in the factory’s washroom. Smart, aren’t they?

Yes, Incredulous Kanye West, we are being very serious. Which is why the people behind the famous KissOfLove campaign have started a new campaign called ‘ Red Alert: You’ve Got a Napkin ‘ which involves mailing sanitary pads to the above mentioned factory.

Like a ‘Welcome to the 21st Century’ present.

Source: Facebook

Add Kerala, a progressive state with the highest literary rate in India, to sensitive issues like menstruation, periods, sanitary napkins and hygiene, you would expect some rationality. But no.

Instead, the women had to be stripped and checked to ‘find’ that one woman on her period. Because it was the next logical thing to do?

Men in general, Indian men in particular, are woefully ignorant when comes to these issues even in today’s day and age.

Maybe because our education system doesn’t really touch upon the subject in the most accessible manner. Here is all the information on menstruation in the 10th Standard NCERT textbook:

Source: NCERT Class 10 Science, Pg.138

Because teenage girls on their periods are apparently born with the knowledge required to deal with what they are experiencing, right? Because a few hurried explanations and a generally awkward discussion is what they need to understand what is happening within their growing bodies.

A survey says that even our parents are embarrassed to talk us about the sexual development of our bodies while growing up. Unfortunately, what remains is the general stereotype plastered onto innocent minds. Indian girls grow up believing that they are unclean, impure and untouchable when on their periods.

What KissOfLove has started should not be just a protest against a single factory’s narrow-minded actions. It’s symbolic of a bigger problem. A Big RedAlert .