The Menstrual Cycle


Kate Millett, in her book “Sexual Politics,” describes how the event of menstruation has been demonized by patriarchy from ages ago:

“One anthropologist refers to a consistent patriarchal stain of assumption that ‘woman’s biological difference set her apart...she is essentially inferior (Rays, 1964).’ The feeling that woman’s sexual functions are impure is both worldwide and persistent. The event of menstruation, for example, is a largely clandestine affair, and the psycho-social effect of a stigma attached must have great effect on the female ego. There is a large anthropological literature on menstrual taboo; the practice of isolating offenders in huts at the edge of the village occurs throughout the primitive world. Contemporary slang denominates menstruation as the ‘the curse.’ There is considerable evidence that such discomfort as women suffer during their period is often likely to be psychosomatic, rather than physiological, cultural rather than biological, in origin.”

And while it is reasonable to “blame” patriarchy for the “inferiority” of women that they have imposed on society, and especially upon the psyches of the women themselves, women must not forget the utter truth that they are goddesses representing the divine feminine essence of the universe, instead of a “mistake” created by God. My period was delayed for a week, and only now have I experienced this kind of cleansing in my body. Having regular menstruation (meaning monthy) is the natural state for a woman, and with those women who are having irregular menstruation, there must be something wrong that’s going on in their bodies. Sometimes it is caused by stress, unhealthy lifestyle, or contraceptives (most pills inhibit the body in particular ways). Personally, whenever my period gets delayed for a week, two weeks, or even a month, I panic! And most women, whether they’re sexually active or not, automatically think that they’re pregnant when their period comes later than expected. I always believe that’s the case, that sometimes I get so superstitious to the degree that an “engkanto” or spirit has impregnated me. People are just fond of scaring others, you know, that most of the time we adopt these scary thoughts throughout our lives. We get warning signals all around when our periods are delayed that the first monthly blood stain on our undies is a relief. It’s also strange how women nearly before the time of their menstruation get emotional ups and downs, pimples *glare*, and a heightened sex drive. We are very changeable, like the moon changes its phases for a few days.


Teal Swan, in her fourth interview in Dwaine Hartman’s Inner Balance TV [Youtubelink] which is about the divine feminine and the divine masculine, talked a great deal about the women’s menstrual cycle:
“Women from a very early age are taught to make an enemy of their bodies. We fight our bodies instead of allow them to do what they naturally do. Pain is a natural byproduct of resistance...the females are taught into shame about it [menstruation]. By the time we’re older it’s like everyone’s being discreet about that fact that you’re bleeding and when we start our period we’re like, ‘Oh crap...here it comes again.’ And that’s our attitude towards this. This cleanse period of our lives that happens every month. And the mentality that most women have towards that period of their lives is so horrible and it puts us at odds with being a woman. Because that is one of the things that makes us uniquely female. And if you have resistance to that then your life gets pretty hard because now you set yourself up because every month you know you’re gonna be rejecting your body in some way.
“It’s interesting to me that a woman’s cycle basically indicates a woman’s ability to foster new life and yet...we can embrace that fact that woman’s ability to create life with what considered period blood but at the same time it’s like we’re ‘Eww it’s disgusting!’ How are we gonna hold that dichotomy?
“And now it’s gotten even worse because now we’ve got these pills which suppress periods and it’s like, ‘Oh look! Good you don’t get pregnant’ Yeah, but you’re also messing your body. We’re suppressing women’s natural cycles. So instead of figuring out a way to embrace them we’re trying to get rid of them altogether. *sigh* *giggle* Seeing energy and being a medical intuitive, I can tell you that I’ve never, never once, seen a woman who is on debo (?) shots or anything else that suppresses periods for months at a time and seen their body in a state of health. It creates a cascade of issues. Because it’s almost like holding back energy. It’s an unnatural state to put your body in.”


Teal says that our bodies are not dumb, they’re not suicidal; therefore we should put utter trust to them and not destroy it through taking in harmful substances that we often think helps us. Today I’m having my monthly period and it’s like a baby – I only like it when the blood flows peacefully (like a sleeping baby) and I thoroughly hate it when by reproductive system hurts (like a crying baby). I cannot do anything productive – I just end up most of the time sleeping until the pain subsides. Dysmenorrhea feels like a mini-death to me, so I still take painkillers. It’s annoying, totally annoying – yet it comforts me to think that a painful menstruation is a signal from my body that I must forget everything and pay total attention to my body. The monthly menstruation is like a period wherein we have to treat ourselves like the queen we are. We have to be extra careful of our hygiene, to be always resting, to be treating ourselves hot chocolate, and to be locked up in a tower like Rapunzel and watch movies while eating. Saying that the monthly period is a “treat-yourself-like-a-queen” period is just a bit of a consolation when the truth is that most of us feel like we’re having a near-death experience whenever we have it. But now I’m taking steps for the betterment of my health like minimizing the intake of unhealthy food, doing liver flushes twice a month, drinking lots of water, exercising, and going for natural products. Because as Teal said, pain is a byproduct of resistance. Perhaps we still have some unresolved issues within our emotional self and at the same time our physical selves are unhealthy. And when we have overcome this monthly pain, perhaps we can say that we have gone a step up to women empowerment. J

References:

Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (Virago, London, 1977).

H. R. Rays, The Dangerous Sex, the Myth of the Feminine Evil (New York: Putnam, 1964).

1 comments:

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