Initially, the title was a spontaneous “for fuck’s sake”, changed only to avoid click-baiting.
Remember that sitcom, Married With Children, in the 90’s, when the mere concept of MRAs as a reaction to feminism was a funny exaggeration? If I recall correctly, there was an episode subjecting viewers to feminist poetry, in which a woman recited an ode to her ovaries. Today, such obsessions are not an eccentricity, but journalism and social activism.
This is the link to a surreal article describing how the vacuous “period-positivity movement” (yes, there is such a thing) reinforces the “myth” that menstruation pertains only to women. Apparently, this is oppressive and offensive to trans men (men with a functioning uterus), as well as non-binary people, aka special confused snowflakes with no real indication of even being serious.
For most people, maintaining their bodies is not something they spend hours a day thinking about; yes, everyone is aware of what bathrooms are for, but few come out of there talking about it. Recently, a group of feminists decided that whatever is not publicly discussed must be an oppressive tabu worth exposing, even if their tabu is a banal hygiene issue not worth anybody’s time or interest.
The article reads like a parody yet was apparently written in earnest. Some people really must have nothing better to do than dream up these potty analyses around bodily fluids, glorifying, if anything, their animal nature – the most basic aspect of the human condition.I wonder what will happen when they discover that their bodies walk upright, that they have two feet and two hands they can use for a great number of things aside from typing and scratching their back orifice (watch out for the discovery of that one as well, and the celebration of everything associated).
With no further ado, here are some quotes from one of the best pieces of unintended comedy to arise from that lot so far. Comedy is the only thing you can use this for, honestly.
As a society, it’s absolutely imperative that we work towards destigmatizing menstruation. …The period-positive movement is incredibly important.
Right. Imperative. Incredibly important. It should be among our main concerns to be able to talk about that in public without making anyone feel uncomfortable. We have run out of social and economical problems and now have to make them up.
The period-positive movement aims to do that through discussion and education…It usually aims to get people to see menstruation as normal, and even beautiful.
Not everything that is normal is beautiful. Scatology aside, there are many unpleasant, unsightly aspects to the human body. And generally, people do not consider soiling themselves to be beautiful in any circumstance.
Often, menstruation is equated with femininity and womanhood.
When we’re taught sex education and biology in school, we are told that menstruation is something that cis women – and only cis women – experience. Menstruation is portrayed as a “woman’s issue” in the most cissexist way possible.
I trust you will never hear the made-up word “cis” in a biology class, which by the way, does not refer to one’s anatomy but to one’s perception regarding their gender. Science and pseudo-science should not cross paths. Not even in the hall, by mistake. The fact that people who were born with functioning female genitalia are the only ones to experience it is just that – an undeniable fact.
Unfortunately, period-positive people often make the mistake of being cissexist too, especially when efforts to destigmatize periods often frame menstruating as “celebrating womanhood” and “embracing femininity.” This might sound inviting to the ordinary, menstruating, healthy cisgender woman, but it’s actually incredibly exclusionary.
How thoughtless of “cis” women to confiscate this joyous monthly celebration for themselves, wanting a monopoly on cramps and moodiness and all else, and wanting to deny others the privilege of celebrating with them. You make it sound like it’s actually a privilege.
The problem with equating menstruation with womanhood is that it conflates biology with gender, which marginalizes trans and non-binary people.
Marginalises, how exactly? Again, are we talking about a festival here? A right, a privilege, a party? What exactly are they excluded from that they would otherwise find beneficial or important? If they are excluded from the public recognition of what their sanitary bin contains, allow me to argue they’re not missing out on that much.
May I ask why a so-called trans man, still (inconveniently) the owner of a functioning uterus, would want to be included in aspects of the female biology, as opposed to – call me naive – hide them in order to pretend to be an actual man, to the best possible extent? Regarding non-binary people and their fucked up pronoun demands, they tend to be unreasonable and offended by any type of inclusion.
This idea also implies that trans women who don’t menstruate aren’t “real” women, which is really transmisogynistic. This means that it’s specifically oppressive towards trans women… It also negates the experiences of people who don’t menstruate for other reasons – for example, because they’ve had a hysterectomy.
Yes, I’m sure trans women would absolutely love to be able to do that, as it’s such a delightful experience. Just as I’m sure women who have had a hysterectomy actually miss that part of their lives. I’m sure they want public acknowledgement of the fact that they no longer bleed from their vaginas; they must think about it all the time.
Even as a cisgender woman, it bothers me because it feels so gender-essentialist: Reducing womanhood to biology is inherently misogynistic because we are so much more than our bodies.
Then why is it that feminists seem to focus so much on the female body and every last cell it produces, instead of expanding on more significant issues? On second thought, no one would want you lot to even try to comprehend, let alone offer solutions to complicated issues, if you’re still stuck at the potty level of understanding your own nature.
It’s imperative that our period-positivity includes trans and non-binary people. Trans and non-binary people are marginalized enough. They should not, in any way, be further marginalized by our activist movements….Trans and non-binary people should feel safe discussing any period-related issues openly….They shouldn’t have their identity invalidated by whether or not they menstruate.
I have a rhetorical question: isn’t it a bit presumptuous to say that if they are marginalised in general, they would benefit from/ be thankful for their inclusion into just any kind of crap, such as the glorification of bathroom stains? Plus, you are simply assuming they don’t feel safe discussing that and desperately need your activism. Regarding trans women, why are you assuming that? If their identity is often not invalidated by having a penis, will it be by lacking this wonderful ability?
If we need to speak about those who menstruate, instead of referring to “women and girls,” we can simply refer to “people” or “people who menstruate.”
She actually uses this as a personal identifier further into the article. Go on and put that on your CV as well, and make sure that on your next job interview you describe yourself as a “person who menstruates”.
There are numerous period-positive articles that imply (or straight-up say) that avoiding interacting with your menstrual blood is anti-feminist. There’s an assumption that people only ever dislike menstruating because they’re consciously ashamed of their periods.
First of all, what does that interaction consist of (I’m almost afraid to ask)? And why in the world should feminism invade people’s minds to the point of dictating how they clean themselves? Since when is wiping your ass a political act? What kind of uncanny cult is this? Wait – are you saying people have a duty, as a political statement, to like menstruating? Now I’ve heard everything.
But this idea ignores the experiences a great deal of people, and ends up perpetuating ableism….I want to be a part of the period-positive movement, but I don’t want to be shamed for hating my period sometimes… Many other people are in the same boat as me. They want to be a part of the movement, but they feel excluded by the pressure to be 100% cheery about menstruation all of the time.
So we’ve moved from squeamish hypocrites shaming women for discussing periods, to feminists shaming women – pardon me, *people who menstruate*- for hating them. As you put it, they have to choose between one type of shaming and another. There’s no getting around it altogether.
Let’s pause for a second and recap – here is someone describing how she aspires to be part, wholeheartedly, of a movement celebrating menstruation. The veneration of bathroom stains is an aspiration now, worthy of internal struggles in order to rise to the moral purity required. There is actual pressure to be cheery about it all the time. How exactly does that manifest? Who are these women accountable to for how they feel about their biological waste? Are they actually questioned by the leaders of the movement? Try to imagine that type of interrogation and shaming – if it actually is a thing.
Ending the stigma around menstruation shouldn’t involve shaming those who are upset or triggered by menstruating. We can – and should – destigmatize menstruation without pretending that periods are always fantastic for everybody.
Menstruation can be lovely and awesome for many people – and that’s wonderful! But we’re not truly being inclusive unless we acknowledge the pain and discomfort that many others feel around periods.
Always fantastic for everybody? Lovely and awesome? What were you smoking? And what planet is this again?
Discussing menstruation should include discussing all the parts of menstruation that are awful. This includes having frank, open discussions about health issues that affect menstruation….Once again, people with these issues shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed for not enjoying their periods….
OK, so enjoying your period is definitely mandated by this movement. Not only discussing it openly and removing the stigma, but actually enjoying it. These people are not joking. Regardless, how magnanimous of them, to give dispensation to those who suffer from physical ailments during this time. They are pardoned – for health reasons only -from the normal shaming of not paying tribute to the holy tampon with all their devotion.
The awesome Kiran Ghandi, who famously ran the London Marathon while free-bleeding earlier this year, did so to raise awareness of the fact that many low-income people can’t access menstrual products and to break the stigma around menstruating.
That must be why some people engage in free-peeing on the bus around here; they must be doing it to raise awareness about the lack of public toilets in the city. What an awesome thing to do. Unless you sit on it, of course.
But we need to be doing more. Way more.
On you go, Sisters of the Sanitary Bin. Spread your pad wings and take over the world.
As someone who menstruates, I love and need the period-positive movement…But there are plenty of people who the movement leaves out – and they need the movement, too!… If we’re aiming for real change and destigmatization, we need to make sure our period-positivity is as accessible and inclusive as possible. We need to think deeply about who our period-positivity is for, and if it’s not for everyone who menstruates, we need to change that immediately.
I think anyone with the ability to think deeply would not embark on such an adventure. And I think you’re way off line when claiming to speak for all those who are affected by this inconvenience and don’t feel the need to talk about it, assuming they need your movement to tell them how to wipe their behinds.