so, i’m thinking about menstruation this week. if you don’t want to talk uterine blood, just flip back to whatever news or gossip you were reading before you started this post. but frankly, it was probably about megyn kelly or planned parenthood, since this is what’s on the country’s mind now, too. so you may as well stay here, because you can’t get away from it anyway.
i keep an ‘informative’ blog for my work in women’s health where i actually provide authentic clinical data and (shudder) ‘facts’ about ‘things.’ (it’s exhausting not just talking out of my ass like i do here). the topic i covered recently was “normal” menstruation- length of cycle, amount of bleeding, amount of pain, etc. know what’s normal so you can know if yours is abnormal, right?
but it’s one of those topics that is a little uncomfortable for people, so i tried to find some funny quotes or clips to include. i came up with about a million euphemisms (Your period. The Red Menace. The Crimson Tide. Shark Week. On Your Moon. Being On the Rag. The Red Dot Special. Your Course. Aunt Flo. The Curse. The Monthly Gift. The Monthly Bill. Your Time of the Month. A Friend Coming to Visit, etc) but otherwise there wasn’t much in the way of funny material on the subject.
and that lack of good jokes at the expense of menstruation pisses me off because i think that the more we talk and joke about our own stuff, the more we own and accept it as part of life. so the fact that all the funny out there is kind of written from the perspective of how MEN have to suffer through women’s menses is not so great.
there’s still this generally accepted idea that menstruation is dirty, scary, embarrassing, shameful and uncontrollable. and that since it is something women experience (and not men) for a quarter of their months for half of their lives, somehow that makes women dirty, embarrassing, shameful and out of control.
i’ve written on this topic before. and there’s actually a lot in the news right now about how tampons/pads should not be taxed and about how women in third world countries and other places with less privilege are greatly negatively impacted by the lack of resources to keep clean during menstruation. it’s an example of how women are kept different and distanced by the normal functions of our bodies. it’s not a thing we all deal with in society, it’s a ‘women’s issue.’ i call bullshit.
gloria steinen wrote an essay in 1978 “if men could menstruate’ which you can find here: http://www.mylittleredbook.net/imcm_orig.pdf.