So call me a deluded old patriarchal bastard if you must but:

Quint isn\’t the only one breaking taboos. It seems that menstrual activism (otherwise known as radical menstruation, menstrual anarchy, or menarchy) is having a moment. The term is used to describe a whole range of actions, not all considered political by the person involved: simple efforts to speak openly about periods, radical affronts to negative attitudes and campaigns for more environmentally friendly sanitary products.

I can\’t say that I detect all that much silence, shame or anything else in our society about menstruation. Sure, there are a lot of euphemisms for it (\”on the rag\” for example) but then we Brits use euphemisms for just about everything other than a plate of chips. (\”hand shandy\” for male masturbation, \”wallop\” for beer sometimes, make your own list.)

Certainly as a society we\’ve gone far beyond the Victorian (\”the womb weeping for the child is hasn\’t got\”) or the rather scary rituals about being unclean in both Orthodox Judaism and, I think, in Islam.

About the only interesting thing left to say about it these days is that women have many more periods than they used to. No, still one per month during the non-pregnant, non-lactating fertile part of life: but that non-pregnant, non-lactating part of fertile life is hugely larger than it was a couple of centuries ago in the days of sixth and tenth pregnancies.

Maybe that\’s why it\’s talked about more, simply because there is more of it?

7 comments on “So call me a deluded old patriarchal bastard if you must but:

  1. My view is that it is the punishment for being the originators of sin and evil and considering what a lot of that stuff there is the ladies got off pretty damn lightly .
    Quite lot of this sort of poltico-babble about recently perhaps you noticed the rather more plausible discussion of Afro Black hair ?

  2. “It seems that menstrual activism (otherwise known as radical menstruation, menstrual anarchy, or menarchy) is having a moment. The term is used to describe a whole range of actions, not all considered political by the person involved: simple efforts to speak openly about periods, radical affronts to negative attitudes and campaigns for more environmentally friendly sanitary products.”

    What a load of pointless old wibble!

    It’s just a natural bodily process. Leave the worshipful tones to patchouli-smelling hippies, Kira, you loon.

    God, the Guardian will print anything, won’t it?

  3. She obviously hasn’t twigged that it has become much more acceptable to bring all sorts of bodily functions into the public domain. The adverts on TV will sell you haemorroid cream, absorbent pads for incontinence, lovely soft loo paper that doesn’t irritate your precious little bum, and now treatments for impotence also.

  4. Lol! @AntiCitizenOne 🙂

    “She obviously hasn’t twigged that it has become much more acceptable to bring all sorts of bodily functions into the public domain.”

    Oh, now I’ve got that ghastly kid who wants to ‘do a poo at Paul’s’ echoing in my head!

  5. Here is a simple test to see if the menstrual taboos in society are equivalent to scatological and sexual taboos.

    Name one period related swear-word.

    Go on,

    Just one.

    Shit, piss, fuck, cunt cocksucker, motherfucker, tits, fart, turd, twat – to quote George Carlin, are the words you can’t say on TV in America.
    Sex and bodily functions are where we get our swearwords: shock value is a quick and easy way to add emphasis to a point.
    There are, however, no menstrual swearwords.
    This is the best example I can THINK of to show that the taboos aound menstruation are on a whole other level.
    It’s not because the issue LACKs shock value. I have male friends who will happily discuss the frequency, volume and pungency of their farts, “Ooooh, eggy!” “silent but violent!” but shy away in horror if I happen to talk about the weird squidgy brownish bit of my period. Is it not the subject matter that’s the problem, but the fact that this is a section of toilet humour which girls have a monopoly on?
    There’s nothing stopping guys getting in on the act: “Ah, clot, I forgot my mobile phone! ” “For the love of endometrium, what IS she wearing?” “You’re real used tampon, you know that?” “Well, fill up my mooncup and call me Rosie!”
    If you swear a lot generally, and you just winced at any of that, well then I rest my case.
    If not, good on you!
    Let’s hear more menstrual swearing!

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