Rujuta Diwekar’s take on period and sex pain creates controversy!

Rujuta Diwekar is Bollywood's favourite nutritionist. Alia Bhatt, Kareena and Karisma Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, and Varun Dhawan are only a few of her long list of clients. She is popular and influential with many books to her name. People read and follow her work and have faith in what she says. 

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But, recently, she shocked all her followers with a rather insensitive and ill-informed tweet.

"Pain during periods & sex is abnormal. Don't let anyone normalise it with a leave or lubricant. Up ur fitness quotient & change d partner"

Let's break it down.

"Pain during periods and sex is abnormal."

So far so good. Yes, pain during periods and sex is not normal. Mild discomfort is okay, but anything more is not. It may be caused by an underlying medical issue, and yes, this is true for both period pain and pain during sex. So, we agree with Ms Diwekar so far. But, what she says next is where it gets weird.

"Don't let anyone normalise it with a leave or lubricant."

Wait, what? Let's talk about period pain first. While yes, it's not normal, it happens to many women. Some pop pills and show up to work anyway, others decide to stay at home with hot water bags. Some may be undergoing treatment for medical conditions but still find themselves in pain during their period, and so, could do with a leave.

When it comes to sex, Ms Diwekar seems to have confused lack of wetness with debilitating pain. The suggestion that we normalise pain during sex by using lubricant makes no sense whatsoever. Firstly, many women use lubricants to enhance sexual pleasure, and to kick things off. If Diwekar had done some research, she would have discovered that gynaecologists, in fact, recommend the use of lubricant, especially if a woman is starting to have sex.

If you don't see what's wrong yet, wait till you see the solution she proposes.

"Up your fitness quotient and change your partner.

"I do a lot of Yoga. I eat healthy. I have a great metabolism. But, my period still hurts, and some times, I work from home. How does one explain this? There are many women who are very fit but still need rest during their period. Yes, most certainly, exercise regularizes periods. But, if there is a medical issue causing pain, an upped fitness quotient will not fix it.

The solution to pain during sex is to change your partner?! This statement is so wrong and sexist that we don't even know what to say. It is based on the assumption that pain is either due to lack of lubrication or rough handling by your partner. In both the cases, it is assumed to be entirely the partner's fault. How about teaching them to stimulate you better? And what happens if the pain during intercourse has nothing to do with lack of lubrication?

Diwekar may think that this is a progressive statement, but it is nothing but shaming of women who struggle with pain during period and intercourse.

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