4woman Ladies


Stray Thoughts

My theory about why we menstruate has always been that it is nature'sway of training us to endure pain so that we wouldn't go jumping off ofcliffs when we went into labor.

We used to make an upside down triangle with our hands and hold it overour stomachs. This meant "Sisterhood of the Womb." We starteddoing it as a signal that we were menstruating, but we ended up using itwhenever we heard about women doing something cool, or just as a bondingthing.

I dream a lot more during my period, or at least my dreams are morevivid. The dreams I have the night before my period starts can be reallywild. They don't seem to be about my period, but they are super-charged,and so I remember them. I wonder why this is, and if it happens to anyoneelse.

I wish we as women talked more about our periods, in public and witheach other. It's a big part of every woman's life, but it is hardly evermentioned. I'm glad I have friends who I can talk about it with, I thinkit brings us closer. I have also begun to be more frank about it with thegeneral public, so that, for instance, if I bag out of some social affairbecause I have cramps and I'd rather be home, I don't say "I don'tfeel well tonight" or "I have a headache" or whatever. InsteadI say "Sorry, I've got bad cramps tonight. I'd rather stay home."It was hard to say this to men at first, but now I'm used to it. They arealways very understanding. What surprises me is when women look at me blanklyand say "cramps? what kind of cramps?". I guess they don't expectanybody to talk about IT in public.

"Feminine hygiene products" should not cost so much. Eachtampon or napkin probably only costs a couple of cents to make, and theycharge something like five dollars a box. I wonder if this could go onif we were not so reluctant to talk about menstruation in public.

I think there should be some way for our culture to remove the "taboo"of menstruation. What is one of the most embarrassing things about periods?(usually as a young girl or perhaps even as an adult): bleeding through.Oh my god, what a nightmare. And sex: sex on a period is (for some) betterbut so many MEN are afraid of women on their period (often claiming messinessto be a deciding factor). And don't you remember the dread associated withhaving to buy tampons at the checkout when a guy was at the register? Ofcourse this general state of taboo seems to apply to most bodily excretions..but I got over being embarrassed about buying toilet paper long beforeI started my period.

I really think that young women need to be educated about menstruationand how powerful this lifeblood is. Rather than try to hide it and havean adverse relationship to it, young girls should be taught that menstruationis nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to feel dirty about. Young girlsshould be able to undergo some kind of initiation as they pass into womanhood.In a nutshell, that is what I think. Of course it's much more complex thanthat but I think societal attitudes toward menstruation need to change.

I'm really interested in the ways that menstruation serves as a subjectfor bonding among women and also the ways that menstrual products are marketed.In private, its an enriching process, a common experience on some level,which provides a sort of common culture for women, but in public, menstruationis used both to shame women and to trap them in their biology.

I think its nice to be pampered when you have your period. My stepmotherwould buy me all the 'sanitary supplies' which made me feel like my periodwas special.

You know how women used to say "Aunt Martha is visiting" whenthey had their period? Well, I think they were right to think of it asa visitor. When I treat my period like a guest, it goes better for me.What I mean is I make time for my period just like I would make time forsomeone who was coming to visit, and I do whatever my visitor wants todo, like take naps, or eat lots of chocolate.

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