Saturday, September 17, 2011

The curse

I truly thought the day and age where society views the sacred of menstruation in a negative light would be gone by now . It however appears not to be the case .Which is why I chose to write about the topic .
I was horrified to see not one but two negative commercials on tv put out by Tampax .
Both commercials have mother nature portrayed as the barer of the curse . How we are yet saved once again by a big brand company who defeats the evil giver of this curse .
Really ? Is that the road they want to go down ?
Many of us came from the background where it was viewed as exactly that a curse . In fact it was even a forbidden topic in some households along with anything relating to the reproductive and sexual hormonal changes we all encounter at some point in our adolescence .
I remember knowing my mother had her period she had pads under the sink in the bathroom . Yet the only talk or education I had was that of a very out dated film at school in grade 6 . I now find this so strange as my mother was attending a women's group at the time and read the book Our Bodies Ourselves  so it is beyond me of the why she didn't speak to me . I think it is probably because the topic of sexual abuse could not have been avoided then .
I did not begin menstruation until I was 15 yrs. as did our daughters and by the time it happened I had to deal with it all on my lonesome . My mother gave me one of those elastic belts and a box of pads and that was it . I wore my hoody around my waist in case I bled through and knew it was a horrible curse if anyone were to somehow know I was experiencing my period .When I left home in my early teens  I encountered the tampon via girls in my group home .I also learned other terminology such as I got my rags , she's on the rag etc.
Well entering into my early twenties into the parenting faze having two daughters I knew just as I had educated myself regarding pregnancy and birth I was not going to repeat the history of keeping this a forbidden topic .
We chose to be open about reproduction with our children , they attended the home births of their siblings etc.when mum had her period we talked of the why this was happening , often mum was in pain and the why was explained . It was in our home just a natural process which all women will experience.
I also in trying to live a wholesome & natural lifestyle purchased hand made flannel pads and discovered the sponge ! These sponges are not sold in Canada any longer I believe because of the danger of toxic shock syndrome . However if one just like with a tampon removes within the proper time frame and cleans the sponge properly ( wash with warm soapy water & boiling your sponge will do the trick ) I discovered small sea sponges at pet stores they are used to store water for crabs and the price is very inexpensive .

When my eldest dd was between 12-13 yrs of age I purchased her a book just titled Period  it was great it had so much info and what she really liked was it had a cut out of a life sized uterus you could cut out and place on your body so you'd know where your own uterus is .
My dd girlfriend's family went a step further and had a coming of age party for their dd. They gave her a necklace with a deep red stone to symbolize her entry into womenhood .
Most aboriginal cultures and ancient cultures would do this have some type of ceremony & ritual for girls when this experience happens for them .
I'm not sure of the why in a society that promotes sexual independence and responsibility we are still seeing menstruation in a negative light .
I hope maybe more women will speak up about this and those big companies will change their advertising tactics . I mean it is an insult to we women who worked so hard to try and rid the world of those negative stereotypes we need to speak up. 
I found some neat websites while looking up this topic one of which has some great colouring pages for fertility goddess
there is also a book titled  Honoring Menstruation  I've not read it but it has great reviews and looks good .


Melodie said...

This is a great post!I had no idea about periods until the film at school,needless to say I was shocked! I would like to add that it is also important to educated our sons about women's periods! I have educated my son,after all he will have a wife and possible daughters and he needs to know that our female lives revolve around hormones and it is a natural part of a woman's life. I would rather him have plain and simple facts than to base his knowledge off tampon commercials!

rox said...

Oh Melodie that is an excellent point and I so should've thought to write about that as we've 4 sons lol do they ever like to play with those pads and tampons when I had them . I just cannot think of not speaking to our children about these issues when they are such a part of the cycle of life I mean not only do women menstruate but it is a monthly thing . I think I was so focused on the negative attitude and how it can effect young women I also forgot to write about the whole calendar & moon thing as well so maybe another post is what I should write ☺

Illustrated Ink said...

Grrr, what irritates me even more about the "evil period" commercials, is how they show blue liquid being poured over a pad to show absorbency quality. It seems that it has to be blue, so (*gasp* heaven forbid) we don't have to think about the fact that we're referring to blood.

I think this was a great post, and so true! Thankfully, my Mom was very open about these things when I was young and my boyfriend buys me tampons with no hesitation or shame. I'm thankful for that, since some guys are such weirdos about it (I guess their Moms never discussed it with them). Of course, those stupid commercials don't help, as you pointed out!