Lately, all across social media there has been a lot of talk and illustrations of women’s periods. Pictures of women having bled through their clothing, demonstrations done by sticking winged pads to trees, etc. I understand why this is being done and I don’t disagree that it is due time that the taboos surrounding a woman’s bleeding become destigmatized. I also agree that it should not just be something that is viewed as normal but also something to be embraced by everyone, not just women. However, there is more to it than just this.
While it is a normal bodily process and I believe it should be treated as such, it is still personal. More than that, it is sacred. In my opinion, pads stuck to trees and bloody spots on pants diminish the sacredness of it.
Historically, while a woman was menstruating she was considered to be more sacred and powerful than when she wasn’t bleeding. She was believed to have increased psychic abilities, to be more intuitive and wise, even possessing the ability to heal the sick. During their bleeding, women were revered and accessed by others in the community or village for impartations of these increased abilities. They were given the space not only sit in these increased capabilities and receive what was being imparted them, but they were also allowed and encouraged to use them. They were also given the opportunity to rest during their time.
How very different this is from our culture now that tells everyone to stay away from a woman while she is bleeding. “Don’t talk to her. She’s PMSing.” A woman shows what someone else believes to be a heightened feeling or reaction and she’s asked if it is that time of the month. It’s angering.
Maybe you really actually pissed her off. Maybe her bleeding has her uncomfortable physically (because you know it can actually do that) so, yes, she’s a little more grouchy than usual, which by the way is totally normal when you don’t feel good. Maybe the arrival of her blood means she is not pregnant…again. How do you feel when you are heartbroken? Perhaps she carries deep within her heart and mind the lie that has been told to women for so long now that while she is bleeding she is dirty, she is unwanted, she is annoying. I’d have disdain for my blood too if I believed that.
What if while we were bleeding we were treated with reverence? What if while we were bleeding we treated ourselves with reverence? What if we were not only allowed to occupy the power which comes with the arrival of our blood every few weeks but also sought out for it?
Think of how it would change your month. Think of how it would free you. Imagine our daughters growing up free from the awkwardness and loathing that surrounds the monthly powerful self-cleansing and regenerating of our bodies. Imagine being seen as a goddess, even while still a young girl, not because you are being oversexualized, rather because you are revered for the mere fact that you are a woman and you possess the ability to bleed, to cleanse, to regenerate, and to bring forth new life. Period.
How would this change your view of yourself? How would this change the value you attach to your body and the way it looks? How would this change the way you feel every few weeks as your body sheds what didn’t yield life in the past cycle and prepares the way once again to create new life?