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As PadMan challenge garners support, Netizens join Mallika Dua as they oppose it for ‘wasting sanitary napkins’

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Joining Arunachalam Muruganantham, Twinkle Khanna, Akshay Kumar and other crew members of PadMan, many from the Bollywood fraternity took a stand against the stigma associated with menstruation through the PadMan challenge. They did so by holding a sanitary napkin in their hands and posing for a picture which they posted on social media. Not only that, these celebrities nominated others also to carry on the challenge. However, quite a few people, like stand-up comedian Mallika Dua, decided to row against the flow. Dua went on record to say that while she wholeheartedly supports the film and that it could “de-stigmatise menstruation for the masses”, she was against the Instagram challenge that is “masking itself as a movement” when it is just a “marketing gimmick”. Supriya Joshi, another comedienne, took to Facebook to express a similar opinion, while holding a diary in which was written — “Don’t waste sanitary napkins on stupid marketing gimmicks.’

This is Dua’s Instagram post.

This is what Joshi had to say.

“Hi guys, something amazing happened this morning. I got my period. As many of you know, I have PCOS, so to get your period is such an amazing feeling. I immediately ran to my sanitary napkin stash, but found I had run out of them. Instead, I saw my mom, dad, grandmother and my building’s secretary posing with them and taking pictures. I asked them what they are doing with my pads, and they said, “shut up silly girl, we’re taking part in a movement that will change the course of history. We’re going to make periods a taboo a thing of the past! The Padman Challenge will empower women! Don’t forget to use the hashtag otherwise you’re not empowering anybody!!!” I felt so empowered and inspired and I wanted to do the challenge too, but at this time everyone had thrown away the opened pads and I continued to bleed through my clothing. Trust me guys it’s the best feeling to not have access to pads when you’re bleeding and the Padman challenge is all that is needed to destigmatise a woman’s period. Kudos to champion of all causes Akshay Kumar and his amazing marketing team for championing this cause!

But just because I didn’t want to feel left out, I did my own version of the pad man challenge. Hope I empowered you. Reclaim your period! Pads are just selfie accessories any way! ??

EDIT: But, what do I know about this, any way? In the words of Ms. Aditi Shrivastava Suresh, Co-founder, Pocket Aces Pictures HQ, I am just a “Stupid comedians trying to grab their share of fame” and not a real life woman who may have an objection with a campaign that is wasteful, gimmicky and totally misses the point of de-stigmatizing periods.”

Here are some reactions of the tenor that the PadMan challenge generated on the Internet, along with the number of selfies with the caption #PadManChallenge. Others also took it as an opportunity to discuss other ‘sustainable and safer choices’ like cotton pads and menstrual cups, etc., that women could make.

What do you think of the PadMan challenge — publicity gimmick or a genuine movement to spread awareness? Let us know in the comments’ section below.

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