Posts tagged #Menstruation

Women are Meant to be Moody

Years ago (before Feby)  my decade younger sister-in-law confided in me that her husband told her that she was so moody he thought she was crazy and she ought to go to the doctor to get medication for it. I instinctively said "Amelia*, you are a woman. You are meant to moody. We're all moody. Do not go on prozac or some such nonsense simply because you are bitchy once a month." 

"What do you mean?" she asked, so sweet and unknowing in her youth . 

"I mean, do you track your periods? "

"Kind of. Sometimes. When I remember." was her response.

"Well track your period. Mark it in your calendar but mark your moons every day, all month. I bet if you did you'd find that you're bitchiest right before you get your period. PMS you know?"

"Yeah. I've heard of that but it's not a real thing is it?"

"Oh, it's a real thing all right. I'm living proof. Once a month. Like clockwork, I lose it. Like clockwork I also cry, eat chocolate and go to bed early. You really should keep track. It's hormones. 

"Hmmm. I'm going to do that." she said. "I'm glad I talked to you. I didn't feel good about taking medication. That seems a last resort if I was depressed or something, and I'm not. Sometimes I just get really fed up with Neil* and the kids and then I get mad at myself for getting so mad."

"Classic case of PMS sister." 

We laughed but deep down I was really comforted that she had brought this up with me and maybe I saved her from something. I've seen too many of my close friends go on anti-depressants and become ghosts of their natural vivacious, if somewhat erratic, selves. (Please don't get me wrong, I understand there is often a genuine benefit of taking such medications but I just don't agree that natural highs and lows of being a woman need manipulating.) Amelia never did take a prescription to control her moods and for that I am relieved and grateful.

But I'm no doctor; I'm simply a woman who has lived this truth for a long while and and am trying to share the knowledge of that by means of a bracelet. Well happily, at the beginning of March a book was published that supported everything I believed in my gut all along about being a woman and being moody and that the two elements belonged together is some way and it was written by a doctor. 

'Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, the Sleep You're Missing. the Sex You're not Having and What's Really Making You Crazy' by Julie Holland, M.D. corroborates my theory and everything I've built Feby upon and I'm so estatic that she wrote this book. It may become my new go-to so full is it of thoughtful and well-crafted reasoning about the natural female experience.

The premise of Holland's argument is that fluctuating moods are not inherently negative and it would be in our best interest to allow ourselves to be authentic and follow the indicators that Mother Nature bestows us. . 

“Because it is perfectly normal to have mood fluctuations throughout your monthly cycles, you don’t necessarily need to medicate PMS away, but you do need to educate yourself about it. I also strongly recommend that you keep track of your cycle, jotting down when your period starts and when you ovulate.”
— Julie Holland
“Moods are not an annoyance to be stuffed away. They are a finely tuned feedback system that, if heeded, can tell us how to best manage our lives. “

and

“If we deny our emotionality, we deny the breadth of our talents.”

The book is broken down into three parts. Part One is entitled Moody by Nature and Holland is quick to establish the importance that we possess awareness of our menstrual cycles and its effects on our moods primarily through hormones and chemicals naturally released in our bodies. 

Part Two is entitled Mating, Milfs, Monogamy, and Menopause and this section is teeming with enlightening information largely because I'm presently married and probably in perimenopause as I'm 48 but would be helpful regardless of age or marital status. Most of us will at some time or another struggle with monogamy, motherhood and menopause. 

Part Three is The Moody Bitches Survival Guide and here the author gives practical advice on how to use all the information from the previous chapters.

She cautiously advises to consider alternate forms of birth control other than the hormonal variety as these alters the body's chemistry in a very powerful, possibly toxic way. She believes that hindering the ability of the body of it's natural cycle of hormones and chemicals is not necessarily always in our best interest and natural family planning, condoms, iuds, diaphragms et al are a wiser choice in the long term.  

“The body, undisrupted, is powerfully intuitive and worth listening to.”

I'm end this here as I could pretty much quote the entire book. Moody Bitches is an amazing tome to cycle awareness and embodiment. If you're interested in owning your relationship with your cycle, body and emotionality then I strongly suggest you get this book. Heck, pick it up for other women in your life who may need a nudge in self-acceptance and awareness. In this sisterhood, we're all moody bitches. 

* Names have been changed 

Tampon Run

Two teenage girls have made a cutting edge video game as their final project for Girls Who Code which they attended this summer.  Andrea Gonzales, 16, and Sophie Houser, 17, have created a game that isn't necessarily going to blow you away with visual effects but just might with their choice of weapons. Tampons. Yep. You read that right; tampons are thrown by the pixelated heroine to her opponents instead of shooting a gun or launching firebombs or grenades as is usually the way. 

(This reminds me of the ingenious character Rose in the novel 'Rose of No Man's Land' by Michelle Tea. Teenage Rose felt threatened and vulnerable when confronted by a carful of harassing males and used the only weapon she had - her bloody tampon. Check out blog post including expert here.)

The young women coded their rationale right into the game into. 

Take a look at some screen shots taken of their game. 

The wisdom and moxie these teenagers possess is remarkable. When those are combined with creativity and technical skill the result is happily this fun and addictive game. Check it out yourself and help bust down the taboo of menstruation, one tampon at a time. 

Now that's what I call thinking outside of the box. 

 

Menstruation in Game of Thrones

Like millions of people, I have recently become hooked on the formidable series 'Game of Thrones'. I find myself oftentimes amused at some of the menstruation references found therein. So much so, in fact, that I've made some GIF's to highlight their inclusion as major plot devices in this unpredictable and intense television show. 


 

This first set comes from Season 2, episode 5 "A Man Without Honor". 

In this episode Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) is mortified to discover upon waking from a nightmare that she has gotten her period for the first time.  Her mortification stems from the fact that now she is fit to be married to the evil King Joffrey. In medieval times, menarche was considered the turning point from girl to woman and thus once a girl began menstruating, she became eligible for marriage. 

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Sansa quickly jumps out of bed, nightgown stained with blood, to grab a knife from a nearby table.

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She then attempts to cut the bloodstain from the mattress. Her motive was to hide her blood from everyone in order to delay the marriage. It was all for naught though as the hound entered Sansa's room soon thereafter and saw the bloody evidence and quickly informed the Queen. 

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Later in the same episode, Queen Cersei (Lena Headey)  has a little talk with Sansa saying 

"You flowered my dear, no more."

"My mother told me but I thought it would be different."

"In what way?"

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Then, from Season 3, episode 7 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair' Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and Ygritte (Rose Leslie) are having a discussion as they walk towards the wall and Castle Black. Ygritte marvels at the masonry used to make a windmill. This prompts Jon to say:

"You'd be swooning if you saw the great keep at Winterfell."

"Swooning? What's swooning?"

"Fainting"

"What's fainting?"

"When a girl sees blood and collapses."

"Why would a girl see blood and collapse?"

"Well, not all girls are like you."

 

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In the same episode, Lady Olenna Tyrell (played by Diana Rigg) pays a visit to Tywin Lannaster (Charles Dance) to discuss the strategic wedding unions he has proposed between her grandson, Ser Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones) and his daughter, Queen Cersei. Tywin argues that he doesn't care that Loras is a "sword swallower". This prompts Lady Olenna to remark that Cersei is old.

"Old?" Tywin asks.

"Old." Lady Olenna responds. "I'm something of an expert on the subject. Her change will be upon her before long" she says, referencing the menopause. 

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Posted on May 12, 2014 and filed under news.