It has occurred to me over the last couple of years that I could be accused of oversharing. Particularly since I started suffering so much with a womb disease. Let's face it, talking about period blood and clots and ovaries just isn't accepted that well by most people. It's sort of akin to discussing bowel problems or the quality and quantity of one's defecation.
It's just not done.
I have definitely omitted the gory details out of an in built reverence for my reader's delicate dispositions. And then sometimes I have gone a bit strident in my head. Why is it so awful to talk about periods when half of the population can directly relate?
Why is it that a completely normal and natural phenomenon is treated as if it's so icky and gross? I recall reading about tribes and times where it was necessary for women to physically lock themselves away for the time they are bleeding as they are considered unclean.
The reason I am musing on my monthly menarche is because somehow, some way while arsing about on the internet earlier today I found a blog called 'All about my vagina', where a lady talks about, well, she talks about her vagina. A lot. All aspects of it and the bleeding and the cramps and the way she has recently embraced 'free bleeding'.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of 'free bleeding' it refers to the apparently popular practice of not using any products (you know boys, tampons and whatnot) at that time of the month. To be clear, that's the time of the month where girls start shedding the lining of their womb in what is often a heavy and relentless flow.
Here is a sample of her blog: "... to discover two quite lovely smears of shiny, ruby-red blood on my thighs...It was a nice colour and a nice shape and it was mine." She later refers to her 'special boy' who is apparently totes fine with the whole bleeding over the sheets thing because they have patterned sheets so you can't really see it anyway.
Imagine staying over at their house. "You can sleep in our bed tonight and we'll take the futon." Boke.
I'm not totally clear on why this lass loves to gush forth so much with her menstrual blood but she says that it means she is 'comfortable with menstruation'. Her blog is on a domain aptly named myvag.net (catchy) so if you want to read more about how she just loves waking up covered in the shed lining of her womb then do hop on over.
Then I started wondering whether this is how, as a woman, I should feel and talk about that time of the month. After all, I am woman and this is my strength. I am here to procreate and this golden chance is offered to me every four (ish) weeks from when I was 11 to probably around 50.
So that's approximately 468 periods in my life time. As mine tend to last around 7 days, that's 3,276 days of my precious life spent in thrall to losing the lining of my womb while expected to just go about my daily life. That's just over 8.9 years of my life spent bleeding. How blessed I am.
Except that I fucking loathe everything about it. The mental distress it causes me is bad enough. Add on the agonising pain, the mess - the horrible, horrible mess - the cost of products (for those of us that don't want to 'free flow'. Every woman ever, basically), the headaches, the sickness, the hormonal changes, the depression, the tension, the bloating. Fucking great. I am so BLESSED to be a woman. Especially as I am a woman who is unlikely to breed thanks partly to my atrocious taste in men and partly due to the fact that my ovaries are broken. So I get to bleed for over 8.5 YEARS for NOTHING. And this lass wants women to celebrate this?
I am glad I'm a woman. I'm all for celebrating the ace things about women. I'm not going to pretend that the crappiest thing we have to endure is a Good Thing. Same goes for women who urge others to use 'washable rags' as an 'environmentally friendly' alternative to evil tampons. Yeah. That's right. I'm really going to choose to have to wash my reusable pad so I can feel at one with mother nature, rather than use the hygienic, convenient and discreet items laid on as a lady in the 21st century. I mean why stop at washable pads? Why not just stuff leaves up there like they used to have to do in the old days. Or oily rags. Or empty crisp packets. You know, for recycling purposes. Hell, you could just cup your hand between your legs and waddle around for the duration of your period. That'd be far more ecologically friendly.
Fact is, nature's cruel. And we are but mammals. We have to suffer in order to be able to procreate. Doesn't mean our evolution is logical. It would make much more logical sense, for example, to have a period once a year. This would give women plenty of time to have a really good think about whether they actually do want to breed with Kevin or whether they were only considering it through misplaced peer pressure and lack of an alternative life plan. Chances are they'll have taken up crochet or baking by the time ovulation comes round and Kevin will be a mere memory.
This would have the added advantage of cutting down on unwanted pregnancies with all the morally suspect behaviours they drag out of us human beings. The population would be more easily controlled plus everyone could boink with enthusiasm for 11 months of the year without giving it a second thought. You'd know exactly when it's due so you can work out your ovulation timing with super scary accuracy, allowing you to abstain at said time or go at it like a bucking bronco, depending on the desired outcome.
One can but dream.
As for the writer of 'myvag.net', I do hope she continues to enjoy bleeding painfully and profusely all over herself every month and that she doesn't drown 'special boy' in a river of her hippy menses. Presumably the need to buy new sheets, underwear, clothes, couch cushions, tights and lord alone knows what else actually wipes out any fiscal benefit she was getting from eschewing tampons. But logic has no place with someone who admires her own menstrual blood.
I promise never to write about periods again.