Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Menstrual blood and superpowers

Julie recently posted an insightful and provocative article, (quoting Sonja's article) along with this photo--a couple quotes:
Without menstrual blood, we would not have the human race for much longer. It is that monthly cleansing of the womb that allows pregnancy and prolonging our species. It’s high time we acknowledged that far from being unclean and a joke, it is what allows us to be and continue being. It is what makes us intensely feminine, female and other and beautiful.

And don't even get me started on how breastfeeding is still a hidden taboo thing.

Is this a latent fear of all things feminine? It is too other for men to try to engage and understand? Is it part of the centuries old habit of despising women for the "weakness" of these things? Or is it even confined just to women or does our culture still accept the dualistic assumptions that disparage the physical body? And why do we as women continue to see the natural aspects of what it means to be female as something to be embarrassed by and hidden? Or is this just a Christian backlash to the world's objectification of all things sexual


Megs said...

Thank you for this magnificent post, Benjamin!

It reminds me of these paragraphs, from the short story I'm writing -

Needing a rest, she leant against a tree trunk, the gnarled bark sticking into her back until she wriggled into just the right spot. She let her head fall back against the tree and gazed at the slowly swaying branches high above, mesmerised, contended and sleepy.

A sticky, moist moment of ooze on her inner thigh ended her reverie. She dug into her little Tamil purse, feeling with her long fingers for a small, long, encased in plastic tampon. She felt the familiar, smooth cover of her passport, the four-leafed clover from Kezia, a half finished packet of gum, the coldness of her waterbottle, the smooth curves of her cell phone – and no tampons. Karmia clenched her teeth.

She stretched her fingers under her pants to the niche where dry superficial skin turned to the soft moisture of the inside edges of her soul. The inconvenient light brown blood on her finger tips glistened momentarily in the sunlight. It felt warm and thin. She smeared some over her bronzed shoulder, entranced by the sensation of her smooth skin. With her other hand she got some more, and with both hands slowly traced a spiral pattern around her navel. “This is me,” she whispered. “Woman.”

She wrapped her arms around herself, digging her fingers into the hardness of her pelvic bone and the softness of her pliable fat. She sat like that, hidden within herself, stroking her tummy, for a long, lingering moment. She arranged a little pad of green leaves to catch the blood.

Dusk wandering beneath those trees felt sacred and magical.

Fishpimp said...

It's hard to argue that repression of the Feminine is limited to Christian culture. See "Burka" and "Female Circumcision"

Other than that I think she's right on.

Benjamin Ady said...


I didn't really pick up on that being one of the arguments at all