It is an overlooked truth that menstruation is taboo in most cultures across the globe. The mere whisper of a woman’s time of the month has the majority feel uncomfortable and often embarrassed. It is clearly apparent Western society, for example, has no issue with blood and gore in general. There is an apparent craving for it, as Hollywood churns out another “Chain Saw Massacre” type movie, and Sky News revels in haunting footage from war torn zones, following its mantra, if it bleeds, it leads. Horrific scenes unfold and the morbid fascination with this red fluid has viewers glued to the screen. Family bloodlines are honored, with blood being spoken of as being thicker than water. It is understood that it courses through the veins and without it death would prevail. Yet, when female menstrual blood is mentioned, naturally flowing from between a woman’s legs, both men and women tend to baulk.
Why are disgust, shame, and stigma wrapped around this life giving substance? Menstrual blood has flowed since the beginning of time. Dr. Judy Grahn in her book, Blood, Bread and Roses; How Menstruation Created the World, states it is menstrual blood that shaped civilization. Grahn suggests that origin stories came from menstrual logic, from the awareness that a woman bleeds in cyclical rhythm with the moon. If we cast our thoughts back to a time when we lived in tribes, all the women’s cycles would be in sync with each other, and with the moon. Women were the first clocks some might suggest. Grahn’s theory is that menstruation shaped reason, culture, and invention and this fact brings women “from the margins of cultural history to the centre - as embodied women.”(Grahn) This powerful truth places women and their blood flow as integral to human existence, from their ability to nurture, and to set the rhythm as leaders. Armed with this suitably empowering thought and the idea that a woman’s period flows each month, could this be a way our Inner Goddess is trying to speak to us and remind us of our greatness? Maybe for some that is a stretch too far, but for me this makes me happy, and feel rather special; thinking her visits arrive in time to remind me what a magical being I am.
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