Women’s Bodies

Periodicity.

Did you know that that’s how we got the use of the term “period” for menstruation?

I was researching for a paper that tied in social views of women at the time of the book The Awakening with the concept of insanity, and showed that women were seen as crazy back then when they did certain things and behaved certain ways that are rather normal today.

In that research, I found somewhat shocking information on fertility and on when science actually discovered how the timing of the female body’s reproductive cycle worked specifically (as opposed to having only the general idea that sexual intercourse is the way to pregnancy), as well as beliefs on the female reproductive system as a whole.

These were not my focus of the paper, so I, with disappointment, had to skim them and move on to other things, but they stuck with me nonetheless (and I was just thinking tonight that I might still have them somewhere, either on the computer or in a stack of papers in a box).

I always seem to remember discovering the doctor’s use of the phrase and term “a woman’s periodicity” in one of those papers.

It shocked me, but it also finally gave me the answer to my long-wondered question of the word origin for calling menstruation “a period”.

It was, simply, a period in time, yes, but also a specific period in time that came with consistency and a time-frame… it was a woman’s periodicity that gave her these emotional phases.

Anyway… this is somewhat depression thinking for me, because those were not happy times for women, back then… not women like myself, anyway… frankly, they sucked in many, many ways, far beyond our struggles today.

I am extremely grateful to be here now, to be the powerful woman I am now, in this time and place in existence and in this world.

One final note: hysteria.

It originated as a term used in a belief that a woman’s reproductive organs were causing her to lash out or be inappropriate with her emotions somehow… you know, like how hysterectomy is removing the uterus… hysteria was the irrational emotional state caused by the uterus.

(Roots of the word go to Greek, with the term for the womb being there hystera.)

Kind of makes you want to stop using the word, right?

Well, that’s how it makes me feel, anyway…

But I like the word hysterical… that one makes me smile even bigger, knowing the root is “uterus”. 😛

Haha

Okay, I feel better, now. 😀

Post-a-day 2020

Which one did you want??

“Turn on your video for a minute…,” I hear from the guy who, not quite 30 seconds beforehand, had entered the shopping aisle.

I turn and see him holding the phone up, clearly FaceTiming with someone, displaying the products in front of him, “Which one do you want? These are TAMPAX… I don’t know which one you want.”

I smile heartily, enlivened by his comfort in asking for help, and his lack of embarrassment at the situation as a whole… he is not opposed to admitting he does not know, nor is he opposed to learning how to help.

“Unscented… super plus,” I hear come from the phone in a woman’s voice.

Wow… I never would have even thought to say ‘unscented’… I don’t even want to think about what scented tampons means… eww…

I look over again, and see the guy pointing the phone in very much the wrong direction – I happen to have just been looking at the exact product he is now seeking, so I know at a glance where it is – and so I smile again, and walk over and point out the right box for him, “It’s this one.”

With delight and gratitude, he takes notice, and grabs the box I’ve pointed out to him, saying a genuine thank-you to me, and saying, somewhat disappointedly, that he really doesn’t know all this.

“Unless she wants the Pearl…, in which case it’s this one,” I add as I point to a different box, placed elsewhere on the wall of products, recalling that most people seem to prefer the plastic applicators.

“Oh(!)…”. He holds the phone in front of the second box and asks, “Do you want Pearl?”

She confirms that she does, and he confirms what he is going to purchase, then he thanks me again, mentions again about really not knowing this, and thanks me one final time before departing the aisle.

I am smiling so hard, that was such a fun and comfortable and fulfilling exchange for me.

As I turn back to the organic section I had been perusing-slash-evaluating, an older lady is pushing a cart toward me from that end of the aisle.

She says to me, “What a good guy,” chuckling loudly, and we both share a few moments of laughter and smiles.

I wonder at her comment, not because I disagree with with, but because I imagine that she and I have different views on the situation as a whole.

The biggest part for me was that this guy wasn’t embarrassed to be on the aisle – he just happened to be on an aisle with which he wasn’t acquainted, like if I asked someone who doesn’t know about yarns to pick up some Artiste size ten mercerized cotton crochet thread for me, and sent him or her into a yarn shop or art supply store… it’s just a lot of new information that could take a long while to sort out.

But there’s no need to embarrassment at not knowing how to find the exact product I’ve requested.

Such was the case with this guy, and I really appreciated it.

Yes, I think it would be lovely for men to take the time – and women to take the time with them – to learn about feminine hygiene products, especially the ones that their significant others use, and why they use them, as well as what versions of them the women use and why.

Nonetheless, I think this situation today is an example of a good start for such a conversation, and it shows promise for society in moving to a place of comfort with feminine hygiene products and menstruation… we have a long way to go, I dare say, but I feel so much transformation already from these past ten-ish years – especially the past few years. – and how the younger generations are already approaching and addressing menstruation rather openly, both among women and in sharing more with men, talking about things that are so, and not letting the presence of men in a group stop them from sharing (e.g. ‘Hang on… I need to go put a tampon in before we start,’ or, ‘Today was crazy at work: right at we started our morning meeting, I started my period…’).

Keep it up, folks… keep sharing and keep learning… all of us, yeah?

Yeah. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

That moon, though

Okay, last night was the whole full lunar eclipse slash full moon slash blood moon slash (I forget what it’s called at present, where the moon is at its closest to Earth……ha! Got it!) perigee, making it a Super Blood Moon.

(Man, that’s a lot in one breath!)

As Daniel Day Lewis’s film declared, there will be blood – and there was…. well, it was red, anyway…. for a few minutes…

In the spirit of sharing and celebration, and in delighting in my own joy found in last night’s activities in nature, I share with you these photos that I semi-spontaneously took – I just happened to have my camera with me, and so decided to give it a go…

… and it worked really well!

I started in a parking lot, and then rushed home to pull out the tripod for the choicest and most surprising parts.

Enjoy!

(FYI they moon and the camera moved a bit, so the moon isn’t in the same spot in each photo, but I think you can manage. 😉 )

Post-a-day 2019

Sunday, Moonday

Today was awesome on so many levels, I’m finding it difficult to go to bed (totally separate from the fact that I was given and I consumed caffeine this evening), because it is all so freshly wonderful, and I don’t want to forget or end the awesome day.

I did some errands that I wanted to do – usually a difficult task for me on my own.

I hung out for hours at a coffee shop with a friend, she working on her homework (and eventually abandoning it to chat with people around), and I working on my first interview (!!!!!) for my interview series I am starting as part of my weblog(!!!).

It is totally longer than I would have liked for it to be (an hour [yikes]), but that is okay – it leaves me room for improvement, through and through.

I now have a taste for what is good to do beforehand and during the interview, both for myself and for the person I’m interviewing, and that is a big part of the first one, anyway – it is, after all, a learning experience.

So, look out for that one coming soon – it’s really interesting, though I do say so myself!

Then, tonight, while waiting for the moon magic to happen, I was asked to go for a drink with someone, and I semi-accepted (also a sort of big deal for me).

I somehow got everyone working at the place interested in the moon, merely by sharing about it and going to check its progress regularly, and so the person who invited me for the drink, after I reminded him that he was planning to go for a drink and that I was going along as company, he and I hung out watching the moon instead, before we each went home, and I pulled out the tripod to go for some quality photos.

So, I not only didn’t end up in a situation and circumstance I disliked, but I was honest and ended up doing exactly what I wanted, merely by sharing and being honest.

And the moon was awesome… photos to come (once I get them organized on my computer that currently is charging. 😛

So, a good day on many levels for me. 🙂

Hasta mañana.

Post-a-day 2019

When what was easy, turns difficult

Menstruation.

Apparently, it is a beautiful thing, because of its cycle’s potential to create new life.  However, something’s potential is not the foundation of its quality or beauty.  It is only the potential – nothing more, nothing less.  So, while the process that involves menstruation could produce something beautiful, I argue that menstruation is not, in and of itself, a beautiful thing.

Quite frankly, I’m not a fan of it, almost at all, but I do think it is kind of miraculous that a person could lose so much blood, and so often, – and, for me, it is apparently even more blood loss than usual – without passing out on the pavement, ill beyond belief.  It is somewhat miraculous that women do not end up in the hospital every month, due to blood loss from menstruation.  Perhaps it is one of our magical powers as females.  Yes, we can bleed blood, and be totally fine afterward.  (I feel like I’m in Zoolander right now, with that mocking line.)  😛

Anyway, for some women it is totally a no biggie.  For some, it is one of the most difficult times of life, when it shows up each month-ish.  And, for others, it is somewhere in the vast expanse between the two.  (For me personally, I am guaranteed to have very little sleep for two nights in a row, and to have an incredibly strict bathroom schedule for those two days, with the occasional extreme discomfort in the mid-region.)  Whatever the case, it takes something extra, something special, something powerful for females to manage it all effectively, to get up and go, no matter what the body brings.  So, show some acknowledgement of the nonsense with which females have to deal so often, and go do something nice for the females in your life.  They deserve it.

Post-a-day 2018

Whoops…!

Feminine stuff coming… beware  😛

………………

When we are little, wetting the bed is a common thing.  It is even acceptable and expected up to a certain age.  Eventually, though, without any definite limitation, we reach an age where bed-wetting is just not a thing anymore.  We have grown out of it, just as we were expected to do.  I feel as though getting blood on one’s underwear is a similar situation.  When we are young teenagers, it is all too common (and expected) for use to have leaks and errors of judgement that lead to menstruation making its mark on a pair of underwear or dozen, and maybe even a few pairs of pants and/or skirts and shorts.  However, at some point in time, at an undefined age, we grow out of such a thing.  We are accustomed enough to the circumstances of menstruation, that we no longer have this think called leaking onto our underwear.  We grow up.

And yet, here I am, a good decade past that approximate age, washing out blood-spotted undies.  And it isn’t even that it was the sudden start of my period unexpectedly, and so I was unprepared.  I already wear pantyliners for regular discharge, – we all have it, and I truly don’t understand how women manage to be comfortable every day with it rubbing around and into their underwear all day long – and so am, in a way, always prepared for the start of my period.  The thing is, I actually forget about my period while I am on it.

Now, I am truly grateful that I have such a comfortable period that I am even able to forget that I have it while I have it.  It just has me suddenly realize that my pantyliner in full of blood, and, ‘Oh, goodness, when did I put that last tampon in?’  Really, the only concern is getting blood all over the place (not that that’s great or anything, but still…), so that isn’t half bad in the long run.  I just all too often get blood all over the place on my undies.  In a way, I suppose I’m used to it, because I forget so often (at least, I used to forget really often, and it has slowed down some now, but it still happens regularly).  I even have (or had until this past year) certain underwear that I wear on certain days of menstruation, because they are older, and they can handle a date with blood (as opposed to my newer and/or nicer underwear).  They are usually the only ones that are getting close to being thrown out, but are holding up enough physically to be used still.

I think I’ve only had one or two , possibly three occasions a year, really, in which I’ve had to clean out blood from underwear these past couple/few years.  So, I’ve definitely improved from how often I had to do it before then (every month, multiple times a period).  That still doesn’t change the part where I’d kind of hoped, thought, expected to be past this altogether.  Maybe once or twice in a decade, as part of an extreme accident of some sort.  But not so regularly that I still typically wear my period underwear on those certain strong flow days every time.  Meh… whatevs.  It is what it is.  Here’s to being good at cleaning underwear!

 

Post-a-day 2017