Didn’t we deal with all this already?

On Woman’s Hour, Zawe Ashton talked about a recurring fear, when performing on stage, that she will get her period. She was in Genet’s The Maids in London’s West End, and confessed this to her female co-stars, who confessed the same right back – that they too worry they will look up to find the audience sniggering at the blood dripping down their thigh.

I’m not one of those “Ladies, let’s talk about periods” people, though, of course, it goes without saying that I will fight for those people’s bloody right to do so. Their right to say, when you ask how they are, that they “need to bleed”, even if they know I’m going to pretend to vomit right afterwards. Or to discuss quite openly the complications of rinsing one’s mooncup in a unisex toilet, or to have any number of conversations about the time they lost their tampon inside themselves quite loudly in a café in Rye. Maybe if I was one of those people, comfortable with saying the word “menses” out loud rather than secretly thinking it should be banned, I’d find it less radical – the sudden realisation that all women who have periods share this fear, that you will bleed and strangers will see, and know, and laugh.

I’m sure we did you know. Eh, it happens, no fuck off, we’re just as good as you men if not better. Now,. promote me because I’m not some shrinking violet.

Wasn’t that the argument? The correct one?

24 comments on “Didn’t we deal with all this already?

  1. Mind you, this is quite a difficult one for the transgendered to identify with ie that real women worry about leaking. Perhaps Zawe Ashton and the rest of her coven could be shut up for fear of giving offence to the unwombed.

  2. Heavy periods can leak.

    On the other hand, unasked-for erections can also be a giveaway.

  3. Menses, wasn’t he the Libdum leader after the alcoholic. I would have thought they should have been called womenses, must be the patriarchy.

  4. “to have any number of conversations about the time they lost their tampon inside themselves quite loudly in a café in Rye.” This may be the finest dangling participle I ever have, or ever will read.

  5. “…or to have any number of conversations about the time they lost their tampon inside themselves quite loudly in a café in Rye.”

    Fine, you have that conversation loudly in a cafe in Rye. Now come up to Bootle or to Salford and have that conversation quite loudly. You’ll only do it once you stupid poncey tart

  6. Why would people snigger? Women would be sympathetic and men would pretend not to notice.

    Anyway, the problem has been solved.

    Via this Freakonomics episode I learnt how bad the problem can be for some women, in this case a surgeon who had to just get on with it, and how they came up with this product.

  7. “Why would people snigger? Women would be sympathetic and men would pretend not to notice.”

    Well quite so. But feminists just know that men would not be that civilised: they would all be be sniggering, because men are beastly, and women are treated unfairly in life and society, and….(cont’d p.94)

    But, wait, women sometimes win through:

    “While saliva has enzymes that can kill [gonorrhea], it is contracted by fellatio due to the urethra coming into contact with the pharynx, where there’s a higher risk of bacterial exchange. This means cunnilingus can be enjoyed safely – prioritise women’s pleasure in the name of the public health.”

    Yay, sisters!

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/10/super-gonorrhoea-oral-sex-strain-sexually-transmitted-infection

  8. Theo,

    I play golf with a guy who’s just recovered from throat cancer. Apparently there’s a significant increase in throat cancer caused by the Pamplona virus being transmitted during cunnilingus. He reckons there’s going to be a move to inoculate boys as well as girls.

  9. @Bloke in North Dorset

    Apparently there’s a significant increase in throat cancer caused by the Pamplona virus being transmitted during cunnilingus. He reckons there’s going to be a move to inoculate boys as well as girls.

    Which makes the current refusal of the vaccine, which is offered free to girls in the ROI, even more egregious.

  10. ‘Or to discuss quite openly the complications of rinsing one’s moon cup in a unisex toilet’

    Heretic! Unisex toilets are double plus good and anyone who even mentions that they may cause some people distress is an enemy of the LGBTJKTYZ community and must be ‘re-educated’ with extreme prejudice!

  11. Zawe, “I’m not one of those “Ladies, let’s talk about periods” people”

    Jenni Murray frowns darkly as she thinks – “the person who booked you will feel my righteous wrath if you don’t talk about periods”

    Zawe “it goes without saying that I will fight for those people’s bloody right to do so. Their right to say, when you ask how they are, that they “need to bleed”, even if they know I’m going to pretend to vomit right afterwards. Or to discuss quite openly the complications of rinsing one’s mooncup……”

    Jenni puts her metaphorical hairdryer back in it’s box and reflects that’s why she loves live radio, that feeling of living on the edge. Pity she would have enjoyed destroying the fragile id of another underling.

  12. She has a pretty poor opinion of her audiences (theatregoers being mainly either mature, middle-class, painfully hip or all of the above) if she doesn’t think they would react more with sympathy and embarrassment on her behalf rather than derision.

    Maybe she’s watched “Carrie” once too often.

  13. “the urethra coming into contact with the pharynx”

    Bloddy ‘ell, that’s some impressive gymnastics there. The pharynx is the back of the throat.

  14. “…there’s a significant increase in throat cancer caused by the Pamplona virus being transmitted during cunnilingus. He reckons there’s going to be a move to inoculate boys as well as girls.”

    Yes, you are right, BiND. I’d forgot to mention that the papilloma (not Pamplona, which is the bull running town in Spain*) virus is linked to throat cancer via cunnilingus. Male complaints – such as HPV-related throat cancer and prostate cancer – always get much less attention than breast and cervical cancer, because the wimmins campaign on these matters. Inoculation would be better than recommending an improvised barrier such as clingfilm.

    * there must be a joke in there, somewhere…

  15. I thought being on the rag was the time women took the opportunity to go rollerblading with all their mates or horseriding on the beach.

  16. Tim, are you married or have a long-term girlfriend? Are you divorced or been dumped following an argument you could never win? Or are you gay and feel undermined by feminism?

    I don’t understand your obsession with women’s opinions. Day after day.

    It’s a bit perverse.

  17. @Jesus Christ

    Why don’t you just go and wash a few feet since that’s what you’re into?

  18. Brian

    Tim, are you married or have a long-term girlfriend? Are you divorced or been dumped following an argument you could never win? Or are you gay and feel undermined by feminism?

    I don’t understand your obsession with women’s opinions. Day after day.

    It’s a bit perverse.

    That’s a bit rich, coming from you! You do seem somewhat unhealthily preoccupied / obsessed about our host’s personal circumstances……

    All rather amusing.

  19. Theo,

    Thanks for the correction – poor proof reading and auto correct strike again.

  20. @Tim Newman, July 10, 2017 at 9:39 am
    “How is this different from shitting yourself by accident, when you thought it was a fart?”

    Happened to me once – the fart was diarrhoea and I left a wet brown trail behind me as I made the uncomfortable journey to nearest bathroom.

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