Menstruation – a Threat to Community Safety

I first saw this picture while scanning Facebook.  My first reaction was to smile. My own sleep leaks came to mind – and a reminder that I”m part of something so much bigger than I.

My eyes drifted to the caption below the picture.

This Photo Was Removed By Instagram.

I looked at the photo again.

The warm fuzzy feelings I’d had earlier evaporated like raindrops on a hot rock.  I clicked on the link and began to read.

Someone at Instagram removed Rupi Kaur’s picture because it didn’t conform to their interpretation of Instagram’s Community Standards.

(How would a picture of a sleeping menstruating woman be a threat to community safety?)

Unbelievable!

(that Instagram would pull this picture)

Scandalous!

(that Instagram would consider this picture to be inappropriate)

Improper!

(that’s what Instagram’s reaction is)

Unforgivable!

(an apology does not erase it – change is required)

Uncalled for!

(the ignorant and asinine reactions of the few who dictate to the many)

Intolerable!

(that’s what this is and we can’t sit back and be silent about it)

Rupi Kaur has lifted the banner high and we must join in the movement to unfetter menstruation. Let our voices be heard in support of the freedom to menstruate uncensored.

Menstruation is not shameful.  It is not pornographic. It is not nasty. It is not something that should be hidden or denied.

Menstruation is glorious. It is beautiful. It is natural. It is creative. It is something that should not be hidden and must never be denied.

Ignorance must come face to face with truth and who better to speak it than those who menstruate?!

Speak up! Speak out! Let your voice be heard about all things period wise, and let no one censor you, period wise!

Follow Rupi Kaur.

I’m Not Bossy

Take a look at the picture below and give it a CD (Cycle Day).

I wonder if it’s the same cycle day I would give it. ;)

Poor boy, I’m sure he felt like many men do when faced with unexpected changes we  undergo cycle wise and often take for granted..

Aren’t the changes grand?!?

Each cycle day is a new opportunity and filled with new found strengths.

Embrace each cycle day.

Know who you are and what your strengths are in it. Learn to anticipate those strengths and make them work for you.  And, don’t worry if others don’t quite get it.  You do and that’s all that really matters.

And, no…I’m not bossy.  I’m Period Wise.

You be period wise, too!

Bride Chooses Wisely – For Herself and Her Future

The net has been awash with posts about the bride in India who walked away from her wedding, refusing join herself in marriage to the groom who could not correctly add 15+6. (More on this story can be found here.)

Wise woman.

She wanted more for herself and her future than what she was offered.

She bucked tradition and stood for what she knew was right for herself. Forget cultural taboos – this woman ditched it all and said she wasn’t having any of it.

Good for her!

It’s something we should all do, period wise.

Bucking menstrual traditions and throwing taboos out the window make room for enlightened thinking which leads to enlightened living and enlightened choices, period wise.

This bride envisioned more for herself and her future – expected more. Deserved more!  And,she bravely said “No” to all that threatened her dreams and hopes for the future.

When was the last time you said “No” to menstrual traditions and taboos, and took a good long look at your dreams and hopes for the future, period wise?  You deserve more, you know.

Period wise women stand up and stand out.  And, they don’t go with the flow, product wise.  Know your options.  Be open to change.  Experiment and explore.  And, do so with your hopes and dreams in mind.

Be strong. Stand for yourself, your ideals, your hopes and dreams.  And, say “No” to all that would tie you to traditional products and taboo thinking.

Be period wise.

Venus Matters

There’s a nifty little idea that could come in handy for all sorts of bedtime situations and appears, at least in idea, to beat towels and old blankets hands down when it comes to protecting sheets and mattresses.

It’s a Venus Pad.

The Venus Mat is a cotton-covered, absorbent, waterproof and washable mat that keep stains or wet-spots off the bed linens. (Learn more.)

According to the website, Venus Matters to a lot of women.

  • women tired of menstrual stains on sheets
  • women with new babies
  • teenage girls concerned about night time leaks
  • women experiencing night sweats and heavy flows
  • sexually active women
  • women concerned with the perceived curse of menstruation

Take a minute and watch the video.

Quiet

BE QUIET!

That’s what my mind screamed this morning as my daughter chattered non stop.

I had risen early to write and craved quiet to settle myself and think. I needed quiet in body and mind after the crazy week I’d had.

She had risen early to prepare for work, but the roads were still icy and she couldn’t leave at 6:45 as planned.

And, so she talked. Non stop talked.  Fast. Furious. Asking me questions and not giving me time to answer.  Her mind was racing (usually is) and her mouth was doing its best to keep up.  Flitting from room to room (and bumping into me as she passed), she continued to talk even when the distance between us was too great for me to hear what she was saying.

My muscles tensed and my jaw clenched.  Frustration grew within me.  Tears stung my eyes.  The ONLY time I would have for quiet was slipping away. My mind, the one I’d hoped to settle and ground in quiet, became a roaring, conflicted mess of thoughts. I wanted to scream, “SILENCE!” and have everything fall still and silent.

Quiet.

Some people thrive in a whirl of activity where noise, within and without, feeds their innermost needs.

Others need quiet.

Quiet is more than a lack of audible noise.  Quiet is a stillness…calmness…peacefulness that allows the mind to recharge, regroup, focus – and it exists where intrusions do not interrupt and the mind is free to go about its business.

Silence was not what I needed this morning.  Quiet was.

And, quiet is what I’ve had for the past 20 minutes.  Daughter went out to sit in her car while the street thaws.  She sent a brief burst of texts in which she said she would return indoors before leaving.

And, when she does quiet will flee from the barrage of noise that will accompany her.

Where is she in her cycle? This is CD 4 for her.

Where am I in mine? Take a wild guess.

V-Day Worries?

Have plans for Valentine’s Day that didn’t include your period?

There’s no need to fear.

And, there’s no need to change Valentine’s Day plans that include a little V play!

Here’s a period wise option if you or your partner are a bit squeamish about red day play.

Use a SoftCup (Instead) of a tampon or pad!

 

No One Knew

A recent posting on Facebook by a young woman brought home the fact once again that girls are not only treated differently than boys, but their education is lacking in the basic skills needed to function independently.

Like – knowing to check fluid levels on the car.

This young woman, a senior in high school, posted: “I WANT MY CAR FIXED!!!!”

When asked what happened to her car, she posted:

Something with the transmission. No one knew that there was no transmission fluid and so on the way back from ***** the car just stopped changing gears. Luckily ***** and I were close to the house

No one knew.

Why did no one know? Because somewhere in her 12 years of public education someone dropped the ball.  And, in her 18 years no one thought it important to teach this girl about the upkeep of a machine that she would depend on to keep her safely mobile her entire life.

All too often the attitude is, “Girls don’t need to know such things. That’s what men are for.” Bah!  Where were the men in her life when the car broke down because no one knew there was no transmission fluid in it?  Where were the men in her life when she and her friend had to walk home?

NO! Raising girls to be and to become dependent on a man places them in a dangerous position – a potentially deadly one.

There are too few “princes” and far to many “princesses.”  Girls need to be empowered to become self-sufficient and not wait around hoping to become someone’s princess.

As a teen, I asked my dad if I could help him as he worked under the hood of his car.  His reply? “Babe, you won’t get a boyfriend with grease under your fingernails.”

I thought of the hands of the women I knew.  Never had I seen grease under their fingernails. In fact, they were always clean and neatly manicured.

“But, Daddy,” I replied, “I can always wear nail polish to hide the grease. And, what if I don’t get married? Don’t I need to know how to do things myself?”

Bless my Dad – he stopped what he was doing, wiped his greasy hands on a rag and walked me through basic car maintenance, showing me how to check things and how to change things. By the time he finished, my hands were greasy up to my elbows.

We’re letting our girls down. We are.  I’m not talking to men.  I’m talking to women.  WE are letting our girls down because WE aren’t teaching them.  Perhaps it’s because WE don’t know ourselves.  Or, maybe it’s because we think the men in their lives will teach them

Listen, Sister – what if the men in her life DON’T KNOW and don’t think to teach her. She’s not going to know to ask.

Give your girl the gift of life – give her the gift of independence.  Teach her what she needs to know to move easily through the world she inhabits so she can own it when she is on her own.

And, teach her one more thing while you’re at it – teach her to be responsible.

“No one knew” should not be an acceptable excuse.  She should know – and if you can’t teach her, find someone who can.

Know Thyself

I am blown away of the number of women unfamiliar with their bodies and who have never been “hands on” apart from the minimal touch required to keep it clean.

Tell me, Ladies, how many males do you know who are NOT hands on with their genitalia? From infancy on up until the day they die, males are hands on.  And, it’s accepted as the norm.

So, what’s up with us?  Why are we any different?  Is it just because ours doesn’t hang out in front and wiggle?  Or, because we don’t need to wrangle it when urinating to keep from spraying the wall…floor….? Does that give us a reason not to know and understand and handle what we have?

Or, is it more?

Is it that most of us are born with a hymen and social taboos prohibit us from doing anything that would harm that precious piece of skin lest we be considered to be of less value simply because our hymen is torn, stretched, or missing?

Is it because of misinformation that says that girls who handle themselves and are aware down there will become promiscuous?  (Did you know that’s the very reason some moms give for not wanting their girls to use tampons?)

When’s the last time you were hands on, genitally speaking?  When’s the last time you encouraged your girl to be hands on?

Look, Ladies, much of what we have is internal and what is visible, isn’t to us unless we take a mirror and explore the wonderful world down-under.

It’s time we do so – explore that is.  It’s your body, I don’t care how young or how old you are.  You’re responsible for her.  Know her – every millimeter of her. Know what she feels like.  Learn how she responds.  Decide what she likes. Understand what she dislikes and know why.

Be hands on.

There are two rules to hands on exploration.  Be gentle. Have clean hands.

Here’s a little homework for you when you’re not on, period wise.

  • Get a mirror and find your urethra. (Simply put – that’s where your pee comes out.)
  • Slip your finger into your vagina and feel for your bladder.  (This is best done when your bladder is full.)
  • After you locate your bladder (and even if you don’t), feel for your rectum and lower bowel.  (You might find that the meal you ate two days ago has neared the end of its journey and is approaching the exit of your digestive system as a lumpy, bumpy mass.)
  • While your finger is within your vagina, Kegel (tighten the muscles used to prevent or regulate urine flow) and see how tight you can squeeze.
  • While you have the mirror handy, see if you can find your hymen, or the remnants of it.
  • And, check out your inner labia.  Do they match? Do you notice any spots, freckles…warts?
  • Oh!  And, while you are down there, if you’ve given birth and had an episiotomy, see if you can find your scar!

There’s so much more to learn and do – it’s your body. Get to know her.  Understand her.  Appreciate her  Love her.  She’s dependent on you to take good care of her. How can you if you don’t know who she is?

Want some links?  Look below. Be advised. (Some contain simple drawings while others, actual pictures.) Be body wise. Be period wise.

Vaginal Self-Examination

Vagina – what’s normal and what’s not

What does a “normal” woman look like down there?

Female Anatomy – your ultimate guide

Vulva

Female External genitalia: Vulva

Dancing with Dad

She was in the wedding.  Her favorite (and only) uncle was getting married and she was a junior bridesmaid.

Almost 7, she was, and full of life and eager to live it.

She was getting a new aunt.  There was going to be a party afterward.

Her excitement was contagious. Her antics were comical. Her desire to be a part of things, precious. Her older sister (by 2 years) was also a junior bridesmaid and took things a bit more seriously and with less zest.

As she took her place among the bridesmaids, she looked to them for affirmation and correction.  A nod of their heads was all she needed to feel secure in her place but soon forgot she was not the center of attention.

After all, she was the center of her own world and surely that of her uncle. Her joy could not be contained and as an expression of what she felt inside, her body took on the stance of a ballerina. The gentle touch of the nearest bridesmaid’s hand prevented the intended pirouette.

To dance…that’s all she wanted.  Everything in her desired to act out what her heart felt.

Later, at the reception she would have opportunity to release her emotions and express her joy.  And, she did.  For three hours, she jumped and danced and wiggled and squealed.  Her partners ranged from her sister, to a group of teens, to the bride, and then to a bottle of bubbles….

The last dance was a slow dance.

Her dad offered his hand and she took it.  He lifted her from the stage from which she had danced solo, and after a quick peck on the cheek, placed her feet on the dance floor. He bent over, took her hand and led her in a slow dance around the floor. As the song reached midway, she raised her hands to him and he lifted her, cradling her against his chest.  She wrapped her legs around his torso, her arms around his neck, and placed her head on his shoulder.  Dad wrapped his arms around her and danced with her until the music was nearing its end.  He set her on the floor, spun her once and then dipped her gently and as he brought her up, kissed her forehead.

Dancing with Daddy taught her much.  Far more than she realized.  Daddy will influence her thoughts and views on boys and men for years to come.  And, she will expect them to mirror her dad’s treatment of her.

Good for her.

And, good for Dad.

Things will soon get interesting for this Dad of Daughters. I hope he will be up for whatever comes and the girls under his watchful care thrive and embrace the changes with grace and ease, knowing their dad loves them, accepts them, and is comfortable with all the changes that puberty brings.

Dads who are period wise raise daughters who are confident, secure, comfortable, and capable of fully embracing the changes that come as they move from girlhood into womanhood.

Scales Don’t Lie

As Summer slipped into Autumn, I noticed the number on the scale begin an upward creep.

A half pound is not much.

Weight vacillates.  Too much salt, weight goes up. Dehydrated, weight goes down. I’m accustomed to watching the scale relate my fluid level on a daily basis.

Cycle changes can instantly add an additional 10 pounds and then subtract it.

So, when my weight showed an inclination to rise, hold steady, and then rise again, I took immediate action.

I blamed it on hormones.  Then, I upped my caloric intake and reduced my activity.  I craved sugar, so, since the season of all things sweet was nearing, i began to celebrate with candy.

October, November, and December were sweet months…filled with tempting confections that I didn’t resist.

While active in the Summer, I was able to eat anything I wanted and still lose weight.  But, with the coming of the cooler, slower, less active months, my metabolism slowed.  I lost muscle mass and gained lazy fat.

And, here I am on the back side of New Year’s wondering what happened and how – and what to do about it.

Stop blaming hormones. Cut calories, kick sugar to the curb, eat natural, push myself physically….yes, I know what to do and I know how to do it.

It’s a matter of doing it.

Spring? Where are you?  Yet three months away…by the time of its arrival I will have packed on 10 more pounds.

Losing 10 pounds creates enough angst.  The thought of losing 20, well…let’s not go there.

Truly.  Let’s not.

So, no matter the weather – no matter the temp, I’m lacing up my shoes and heading out to build lean muscle and burn off this jiggle.

What took me 3 months to pack on will take me 6 to take off.

Memo to self:

Get period wise, woman! Work your cycle – don’t let it work you!  

Nuff said.  I’m up from here.