Friday, October 18, 2002

The Curse

I'm 44, and I think it's about time I got a little something off my chest.

So here it is: I hate having my period. At best it's an annoying inconvenience, and at worst it's a messy, painful, unpleasant aggravation.

I grew up during the first flower of modern feminism, when we were all supposed to celebrate our bodies and the miracle of the female cycle. Our mothers told us how lucky we were to have tampons, so that we could do anything ~ even "at that time of the month." Taste your menstrual blood! Cramps are a figment of your patriarchally dominated mind, free yourself and your uterus will follow! Let's dance in the moonlight and celebrate our fertility! Three cheers for womanhood!

Bah humbug, I say to you.

I hate everything about it. I hate having to remember to carry various paraphernalia around. I hate the "accidents" that require me to soak and scrub underwear when my body decides to go into overflow mode. I hate spending a fortune on little cotton-rayon blend plugs. I hate cramps and backache. Frankly, I'm just not psyched about all that blood in the toilet either.

I hate having my period when, for god's sake, I'm on vacation. Or I want to have sex (it's not a question of what he thinks, I just don't relish having to deal with a RED wet spot). Or on the day I have to make a presentation to a new client, or the morning when a conference panel runs long.

Back in the day, when I was a sprout on the Pill and realized that you could just keep taking it ~ that there was no reason to lay off once a month for five days except to simulate menstrual bleeding ~ I couldn't understand WHY anyone would do that. Except of course I did do it, because that's what was most like your natural cycle. And we wanted to be natural, didn't we?

All through my teens and twenties I was blessed with a five week cycle. So I spent about 20% of my days bleeding. In my thirties it gradually contracted to a 4 week cycle, so now I spend nearly 25% of my days bleeding. It's a pain in the ass.

There may be a downside to menopause (and I hope some sisters will feel free to share their thoughts about that, positive and negative), but as far as I'm concerned the cessation of menstruation is definitely NOT going to be one of them. I can't wait. Bring it on.

Okay, for the record: I am a feminist. I do not hate my body, in fact I think it's just swell and even has some especially lovely bits. I do not particularly suffer from PMS. Yes, I know about exercise, menstrual extraction, caffeine reduction (as if!), and so on. My period has never kept me from doing something I really wanted or needed to do. And until writing this post I have never in my life before referred to it as "The Curse," which is just about the most political incorrect term imaginable. I hate my period. It's that simple.

Thank you for listening. You may now set your flamethrowers on "high."

1 comment:

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