Whenever I have my period, it is sometimes an ugly feminine experience but I don’t think of menstruation as a punishment, a sentence, a burden or something I want to be rid of. It is the natural flow of female hormones. Those hormones protect my bones, my heart, my sex drive, my skin and more. And I know that menstruation is often a barometer of a woman’s reproductive health, showing that her body is running smoothly.
Menstruating can sometimes be uncomfortable and a bit of a hassle but I can live with both for the benefits those hormones provide.
The culture of thinking of menstruation as unhygienic, shameful and unhealthy is rivaled in its ignorance only by the unenlightened view that menstruating women are emotionally friable, incapacitated, incompetent and needful of male direction or patience.
The belief that women are somehow “less than” men or are responsible for being some per-cast version of what male society desires of them, and unable to decide for themselves, still prevails today.
It is unwise of women to continue to perpetuate the negative stereo types and cultural inaccuracies about menstruation that survive today. By doing so we lead the way for further derogatory, feminine bashing comments and beliefs.
In Our Own Words
The curse on the rag being indisposed, riding the string, the crimson tide, a visit from Aunt Flow, monthly courses, a girl thing: The words women choose to describe their menses are an accurate portrayal of our modern, negative feelings toward menstruation.
If women don’t change the negative connotations and shed the outlandish folklorist beliefs, then the shaming rhetoric will perpetuate as an unwelcome gift left to our daughters and granddaughters.
Taking Back Our Self Respect
Unfortunately there are both men and women who believe that menstruation is an unnecessary and unhealthy process that can lead to countless physical and emotional problems. .
I do agree that there are some women who find medically necessary relief in the use of such medications. Painful menstruation, prevention of prolonged bleeding or as a form of birth control these medications have true benefit. But I take exception to patriarchal comments that dictate the need to give medical “treatment” to prevent natural, uncomplicated menstruation. Women aren’t simply castrated men. Our bodies are unique and menstruating is a natural, not a mystical, event. Women’s bodies don’t need “treatment” for menstruation. Societal views need to be brought to a true reflection of today’s landscape and it is women who must lead the way.
We women need to take back our self-respect and empower each other. Menstruation is an ultimately feminine experience and a celebration of womanhood.
All women need to stand up and make that known by not offering to excuse their behaviors as hormonally motivated, by not seeking “treatment” to rid themselves of the normal, natural physical cycle that menstruation is and by using the best possible language to describe its process. Only then will menstruation lose its power to be a tool to further degrade our sex and only women can pioneer the cultural and societal changes toward the understanding that menstruation is healthy, natural and normal for women in their reproductive years.
Source – Rose David