In this post, Sonja discusses how "for centuries men have found women’s menstrual blood and the products they use to deal with it unclean and the butt of jokes." She writes, "Without menstrual blood, we would not have the human race for much longer. It is that monthly cleansing of the womb that allows pregnancy and prolonging our species. It’s high time we acknowledged that far from being unclean and a joke, it is what allows us to be and continue being. It is what makes us intensely feminine, female and other and beautiful."
Reading her thoughts there made me reflect on the general response I receive from guys regarding specifically female issues. They freak out and start making jokes (an immature response when the situation doesn't call for them) when the topic of menstrual cycles, breastfeeding, childbirth, or even bras are brought up. Why is this?
On top of that as a woman, I often find myself being self conscious about such things as well. I remember how in jr. high how it was the ultimate embarrassment for a guy to see a pad in your purse, but even now such items are treated with the secrecy of an illicit drug deal. We do our best to disguise "our time of month" (or what ever other euphemism you use). We panic if a bra strap shows or if a button comes undone. We refrain from actually talking about the gory details of childbirth - which is why first time moms have no clue what to expect. And don't even get me started on how breastfeeding is still a hidden taboo thing (but I love the t-shirt to the left). We seem to fear or hate our bodies as much as the men.
Is this a latent fear of all things feminine? It is too other for men to try to engage and understand? Is it part of the centuries old habit of despising women for the "weakness" of these things? Or is it even confined just to women or does our culture still accept the dualistic assumptions that disparage the physical body? And why do we as women continue to see the natural aspects of what it means to be female as something to be embarrassed by and hidden? Or is this just a Christian backlash to the world's objectification of all things sexual?
You are thoroughly invited to comment here. Men and women. No equivocating. No hiding. Just share your reactions.