Menstruating: the act of being something that bleeds for 5-7 days and doesn’t die.
When we are born, we are usually born head first but it is what is between our legs that matters most.
Before the colour of our eyes, the shape of our nose, while we are still learning to draw breath, our lives are mapped, our dreams limited, our destiny set by the act of being born with a vagina.
What is it about the vagina that causes such disdain, such fear, such aggression?
Perhaps that is why we are supposed to be like teddies. Soft, cuddly, non threatening. Available at all times for hugs and ask for nothing in return.
Of course there may be times we are abused, thrown down, have the stuffing kicked out of us, but as teddies it is our job to accept such things quietly after all boys will be boys eh?
Our blood, our wounds must never show.
From hiding women away in huts, to having them atone for the sin of bleeding to advertising pads and tampons that are so discreet no one need ever know it’s your time of the month, through the ages we have been told that our blood is our shame.
We will curdle milk, keep bread from rising, taint the animals and scare the men folk.
Our blood and our vagina’s also signify something else to those who seek to control us. They signify our fertility, our duty to bear children. Abortion has always been known and practised. Midwives as well as helping with birth helped prevent or end pregnancy.
This control of our bodies, of our fertility, of our destinies does not sit well with those who would have us fit into their vision of what it means to be female.
To take control of our wombs assumes we have rights as persons onto ourselves and are not empty vessels waiting to be filled.
Of course if we do have children we mustn’t feed them in any public way. Breastmilk of course issues from our bodies and therefore is yucky and unclean. Strangely it isn’t considered yucky and unclean to go sit in the bathroom to nurse.
It is also our function to save our fertility for the man who owns us. And while we may think that western society has gotten over this mindset one only needs to think of fashion and the judgements made therein.
Good girls don’t wear high skirts and low tops. Why?
What is a good girl? One who ‘saves’ herself? Saves what?
Our vagina’s (including clitoris) are capable of giving us great pleasure. This must be controlled and is.
It is controlled through concepts such as good girl/bad girl. Good girls don’t want or enjoy sex they do it to pleasure their
owners husbands. Bad girls take control of their sexuality, expect pleasure and accept no ownership.
It is controlled though horrific practises such as FGM and it is controlled through social isolation.
To be born to into the line of woman, is to know from early on that your life will always be controlled.
You will never be good enough.
You’re rights will always be secondary.
If you fight you are radical and if you capitulate you are weak.
And if you bleed…you are to be feared.