Cyndi Lauper is on the radio right now and I’m jazzed. Why yes, I’d love to go forward all through the night with you, Cyndi. I thought you’d never ask.
Excellent morning tune. I hope the station keeps playing such good songs. I’ve got a sore tooth, a headache, and a whirly vortex of emotions. Folks, I hate to say it, but I think we’ve arrived at the PMS portion of the month.
Which reminds me…
I read two terms last week I had never heard before.
“Wow, Bethie. We’ve changed topics three times already and we’re still technically in the intro. Must be a good pot of turbo juice this morning.”
This coffee is in no way “good”. I think it growled when I went to sip it.
Besides, this is actually on topic. The two terms I read were “menstrual activist” and “free bleeding.”
Lemme guess…you groaned and rolled your eyes, then cringed, right? Because that’s totally how it played out for me, too. “Menstrual activist.” UGH. Why does everything need an activist?
Hang on. I do kind of get it. As a lady with functional, albeit infuriating at times, lady bits, periods carry a stigma…
*author’s note: Okay, please PLEASE tell me I’m not the one that really wanted an inappropriate “stigmata” joke there?? *crickets* *crickets* *sigh* You know, you used to be fun.*
…and a sort of shame around them. They’re messy. They’re often painful. They’re only ever a relief for all of five minutes when you start to panic and think maybe you counted wrong and know you don’t really want to buy diapers for another three years. If you leak in school, it’s worse than wearing a scarlet A on your t-shirt.
Actually, scratch that last one. That reference is so old that kids today probably wouldn’t know what that A meant.
ZOMG! Song change! I don’t wanna miss a thing, either, Steven Tyler!
Aerosmith. That’s what the kids will think the red A stands for. …right? The kiddies still listen to those nice Aerosmith boys, don’t they? No?
Bah fine. Forget the A t-shirt reference. We don’t need one anyway. The absolute truth of high school is that NOTHING is more embarrassing for a teenage girl than finding out she’s got a stain on her pants AFTER she gets home at the end of the day. Utter mortification.
So I get it. I get “menstrual activism.” It comes from a good place. But I swear that it would take everything inside me, every ounce of self control, every shred of reserve not to slap the ever lovin’ shit out of anyone who comes up to me and proclaims in anything other than a cynical, caustic, sarcastic way that they are a “menstrual activist.”
If you have ever, ever called yourself a “menstrual activist,” then you need to go to a nice, quiet place where you can be alone in peace until you get your shit sorted out. I mean it. No coming out of the room until you accept that you sounds like a self righteous twat and make an honest commitment to change. Think of this as the only friendly intervention you’ll get.
You can promote a healthier attitude towards periods without actually being a douche.
Now the groaner: free bleeding.
It is horrifyingly exactly what it sounds like. There’s a “movement,” the activists call it, to not succumb to the mancentric society and it’s tampons, pads, and collection cups of oppression. The people who are part of this folly simply do not put any methods of absorption in their panties or up their leaky parts. They just ooze and seep “as nature intended”.
I went down a rabbit hole with this one, folks. I read the term in an article about the subject, and I honestly kept waiting for the punchline. Unless it’s a much more clever hoax than I thought the internet community was capable of pulling off, then it’s a real thing. There are women who blog about doing this, chronicling their monthly seeping and oozing across their respective cities. Stains on park benches. “Rude” comments from people who are clearly trying to keep them down.
The rallying cry of “tampons are a man’s way of making women rape themselves every month” is thrown out there quite a bit in various iterations. I haven’t looked, but I bet Etsy is full of buttons, pins, and homemade underwear with that saying on them, if you’re into that sort of thing. Or if you have a sister that really pissed you off, but you still feel obligated to get her a birthday present. Etsy’s great for passive aggressive gifting.
If only these free bleeding blogs were filled with just words, I could rage-read them, scoff, and then go on with my life knowing that even with all my faults, at least I’m not THAT lady. But it’s not just words, guys. There are pictures.
DON’T GOOGLE!!! I’m telling you as a warning, not a way of prompting further investigation. Photos of bloody trails down legs, marks on a park bench, bent over photos proudly displaying their personal Rorschach on the seat of their pants.
Look. I do not care if you want to end up regretting that new white leather couch for reasons other than the sudden realization that you are not, in fact, starring in an 80s hair band video. If you want to drip and blip through your home, go for it!
But when you’re in public, you need to follow one very simple rule, one that goes for women AND men:
When in public, it is one’s responsibility to contain anything that comes out of one’s body.
NO. This is non-negotiable. Barring an accident, you have an outright obligation to society to keep your fluids from getting on anyone else. Period.
Woot! Daft Punk wants to be up all night and I’m down. Man I wish I had a disco ball. I’ve wanted one since I was a kid. It just seems like something I need to own in this life.
Some free bleeders use these things they call period pants. We’ve already established that free bleeders aren’t that creative. In keeping with that theme, the period pants are pretty much what they sound like. They’re undies with rags sewn into them.
Boy, they’ve really redesigned the wheel with that one. There’s no way that’s even close to just slapping a pad in there in the first place. Way to stick it to the man. You really showed him.
Is this not just the most eye-rolling, cringe-worthy, infuriating “cause” out there right now? HOW is this going to do ANYTHING for the movement? Hm? How is this going to help anyone? Isn’t this just going to confirm the negative stereotypes and stigmas and embarrassment and societal shame around periods?
I’m tired of sugar coating it! If you are a free bleeder that feels the need to blog your monthly slime trail, fuck off and join a real cause, one that might actually do some good. Not wearing a fucking pad does NOTHING.
N O T H I N G.
“You okay over there?”
It’s a non-cause! A waste of time and pants! The ONLY statement you will make if you free bleed everywhere is that you absolutely do not care one single bit about other people! What does the period Rorschach on the seam of your pants say? It says you are a selfish asshole, that’s what!!!
IT’S NOT OPPRESSION IT’S ABSORPTION!!!
Phew. I’ve been holding that in all week. Feels good to let it out.
“The Promise” by When in Rome is playing. I don’t know who’s doing their morning line up, but they deserve a raise.
I think that’s a good exit song. I could tell you all about my new job, but I’ve spent the time rambling about the misguided saps who pissed me off this week. I can’t keep you hostage all day. I’ll just have to tell you all about it next time. It’ll be good. It involves antics, tomfoolery, and chocolate pudding that bounces like a tennis ball.
And no period talk. In the timely words of Michael Floraele, I promise.
Thus concludes a messy Muse for Thursday, May 12, 2016. I’m off to do some housework that I fell behind on this week. It’s a non-stop party around here.