This blog is all about menstruation. If you cannot stomach this subject then just be forewarned that you should probably move along. I am seriously going into some great detail, so read at your own risk. Also, this blog is not aimed at just women, men feel free to brave through this. Today’s blog is about menstruation, because I am a woman and I menstruate. Deal with it. heehee
I believe in listening to my body and today of all days is a day of rest, so again I drove my car today. If I listened fully to my body, I would have stayed in bed sleeping, writing, and reading all morning, maybe even giving myself a massage or some gentle yoga, but sadly my job does not give out “Menstruation Days” just sick days.
I don’t have the best memory, so I don’t remember the very first day I started menstruating. I do remember that I was a tomboy and was not excited about becoming a woman or even about being a girl. At a young age it was my understanding that being a girl meant being weak and not able to do all of the things the boys did. I was always striving to prove myself as “one of the boys.” I loved helping my dad with farm work and playing sports and anything “tough.” I hated the color pink and dresses. It’s sad that this was my perception of what it meant to be a girl, but somewhere down the line this is what I had learned. I do not look down on the women or girls that embraced these things, eventually I would too.
For so long, people wouldn’t talk about their “periods.” I do not like this slang for menstruation, because what does period connote? Period can mean a subdivision in time. I’m okay with that. It can also mean the end of a sentence. This definition of period is where I struggle with calling my monthly cycle a “period.” What is this the end of? I do use the term though, because I think it’s the most used and easiest for referencing here.
For years, about ten to be specific, I hated my period. It was a time of pain and fatigue even a time of anxiety. Concealing that tampon on the way to the bathroom, like it was something to be ashamed of. How could it be pleasant? The week before, you become premenstrual and have the full swing of emotions, irritability, sadness, lots of empathy leaving you crying during commercials. Then typically the first day it starts with uncomfortable, if not painful, cramping and then the blood. If you are like me it also means that your body wants to evacuate everything. I start getting those lovely hot flashes, sweating, and running to the bathroom to unleash all I’ve got. (If this bothers you, you’ve probably already stopped reading. If you continue to read, then you are awesome!) Then you have to deal with shoving a dry wad of cotton in your vagina, if you use tampons. If you don’t use tampons, perhaps you are walking around with a partial diaper in your underwear, which sounds pleasant right? Ha! Or if you knew these weren’t for you, maybe you went with the more ecological path using a Diva Cup, cloth pads, or a a sea sponge. I have used all of these methods, except the sea sponge. I would love to hear how that works out. Anyways, I will be coming back to the Diva Cup and my love for it in a bit. Tampons! Yuck! If you don’t bleed enough to saturate that thing, you get to tug and yank until that thing decides to give and make its way back out. Can we say ouch? The day I gave up tampons was the day I started to love my period. Yes they are related. Pads well, much like babies but probably even more so, women do not like to walk around in their bloody mess. It’s just doesn’t leave you with a very fresh feeling, plus the diaper noises and nice bulky crotch and sometimes backside are a nice bonus prize. It looks as though we have a severe case of hemorrhoids! Sexy!
My attitude changed when I read the book “Cunt” (A link to the amazing author: http://www.ingalagringa.com/) This book challenged so many of my ingrained ideas about menstruation. I realized that I had nothing to be ashamed of and could actually embrace the amazing abilities of my vagina. I am not ready for kids and I celebrate every time my body says, “Hey you’re not pregnant.” High five vagina! Actually, maybe not, that may hurt a bit. 😉 Sadly, this was the first time that I ever heard of the amazing invention called a Diva Cup. If you don’t know what this is, check it out now! The idea of using one grossed me out a bit at first and until about a year of using one, I realized I was putting it in awkwardly and it didn’t feel great to get in. After finding an amazing friend who also advocated for diva cups, I learned the best way to get that sucker in there and let me just say, I love my diva cup! If you’ve made it this far, try to stomach some more details. I love dumping out a cup of my blood and seeing it in its crimson glory and the way it all likes to clump together and slide down the toilet. It’s artwork from my vagina. I have to put in possibly an offensive way, but I have a freakin’ self-cleaning oven down there! It knows to clear out all the bad stuff that might have accumulated throughout the month. An oven that can also push out a human life, so I don’t mean to trivialize the absolutely awesome power of a vagina. Which brings me to my next point.
Most men are fearful of periods. They cannot grasp the concept or what it would be like at all. If a man started bleeding from his penis, he would most definitely faint and think he was dying. Can you imagine? It makes me smile a little. Women are incredibly powerful and because of this fact we have been taught to not talk about this part of ourselves. We have the strength to birth a human being out into this world from the tiniest, daintiest little opening. The mere thought terrifies even me. Our most recent history has shown that we are oppressed and I honestly believe that it is out of fear of our power. Without women the world would be a harsh, barren place. Prepare for a touchy subject! This is why we are raped. Some beings want to try to break and tear apart our power, but we rise up and move on after horrendous things are done to us. Women will never give up and somehow overcome these atrocities. I will stop on this subject here. I hope you can bring yourself to continue, it gets better.
My love of periods has brought me to talk to many women about them and even to create a super hero based on it. Meet Ms. Menstruation:
Myself dressed as Ms. Menstruation. One of the most powerful super heroes, and least talked about.
By the way, you can’t tell from this picture, but I have tampons hanging from my earlobes with a little red marker on the tips.
Society taught us to hide our monthly act for so long, but things have begun to look up. One of my favorite scenes from a movie is in “Dirty Love.” Jenny McCarthy starts her period and has to run to the grocery store and just starts bleeding profusely all of the aisles and rips open a bag of giant pads and tries to sop it up. Then she even slips and falls in it. If you haven’t seen this get on that now! Another is from the movie, “No Strings Attached,” which actually sounds like a good name for this blog. Ashton Kutcher makes a period mixed tape for the beautiful, Natalie Portman with songs like “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis, and U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” I have yet to make my own period playlist, but soon it will be done. People can not only talk about menstruation now, but they can put it in movies and see the sometimes hilarious aspects of it. (Click here for my favorite period quote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDaTWUu_ytY)
Anyways, I could write about menstruation for days, especially about the history of it, but I must end this at some point. Today is my day of rest and my day to love my incredible self-healing body.
One last little exciting note. My sister just delivered a baby boy today! Just for a moment stop and really be in awe of the power or women and their vaginas. It sometimes brings me to tears. Happy Bleeding Ladies!