Hey Baby, Can You Bleed Like Me?
Hey Baby, Can You Bleed Like Me?*
by Kat S.
Normally it's a bad thing. When humans bleed we're in pain, we're injured, things are not right.
Except for 49-51% of the population. For almost a week out of every month.
We're women, and we bleed. It's a natural thing. Hell, as you read this there's a very good chance that a woman is near you or in the same house or apartment, and she's bleeding RIGHT NOW. Bleeding from her vagina. *gasp*
So many men reel in horror from this. We're not allowed to talk about our periods. It's "gross" and "dirty".
But it's the reason we're all here. If your mother lost her period, you wouldn't have been conceived. Yes, your mother bleeds, or bled once. Try not to be too sicked out, folks.
Some people have argued, "Well, humans shit too, and that's pretty gross. We all can agree on THAT. Why defend menstruation?"
Because it's really not that gross. No, trust me.
Noone really knows why female homo sapiens bleed so much while menstruating. But we do know that menstruation directly affects our fertility as a species. Ovulation, menstruation, the cycle of life. Once a girl starts bleeding, around the age of 11 or so, she can carry a child. That is when fertility begins. Once a woman STOPS menstruating, around ~50, she cannot have children any more. This is amazing. Even with all our medical science we can't explain all of the mysteries hidden up there in those tubes. But that doesn't mean god did it. It isn't "Eve's Curse", it isn't some unclean dirty thing. It's a part of us. It's just blood.
But imagine how freaky deaky this must have been to ancient societies. A boy gets to an age where he realizes that women bleed from a hole where normally a man has a penis. OMFG! Is it any wonder that there are so many myths and legends about vaginas? The ubiquitous "vagina dentata" featured in so many jokes, myths and stories throughout the millenia. This is a First Nations woman creation myth: “A meat-eating fish inhabits the vagina of the Terrible Mother; the hero is the man who overcomes the Terrible Mother, breaks the teeth out of her vagina, and so makes her into a woman.” (Erich Neumann). Hippocrates thought that menstruation was the woman's body purging itself of bad moods. An author in approximately 60 A.D.alleged that sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman could be fatal when the sun was in lunar eclipse. There are mentions in the bible of how unclean bleeding women are, and how men who look upon them or have sex with them must be cut off from their people, etc. Genesis 31:34-35, Leviticus 15:19-30, 33, 15:24, 18:19, 20:18, 22:1-11, Ezekiel 18:5-6, 22:1-11.
Most religions have OFFICIAL doctrine and policies regarding menstruating women. They're afraid and disgusted by it. I can maybe see how this may have started. I'm even willing to allow for blood borne illnesses, that were maybe not SPECIFICALLY known in the early 1st century, but that when touched, blood could carry illness. Look on the leprosy "uncleanliness" passages in the bible. Good common sense. But avoiding a random leprous person is different from avoiding EVERY WOMAN on the freaking planet for 5 days out of every month! Especially when in some cultures women are forbidden intercourse, special ceremonial baths are required, women are locked away in huts for the duration of their periods and sometimes women can't even PRAY while bleeding. If their god created them to bleed then why the fuck doesn't he want to talk to them when their bodies are doing what they were "created" to do? Oh, right. Sorry, forgot. Eve's Curse. Filthy sinful women. Cursed with the pain of childbirth and the pain of cramps, and being punished every month for something a woman from a myth supposedly did. Well, I for one think it's bullshit.
Women bleed. It's neccessary. It's really not that bad. Yeah, cramps can be a bitch, and bleeding on my favourite clothes really sucks. But it's normal. Religion shames women's natural body functions. Building a wall of shame and disgust around it only hurts women AND men.
Islam Question and Answer - A Muslim answers a question about sex and menstruation(with liberal use of pseudo-science)
A few of my most prized books:
"Cunt: A Declaration of Independence" by Inga Muscio
"The Vagina Monologues" by Eve Ensler
"The Story of V: A Natural History of Female Sexuality" by Catherine Blackledge