I wrote the first version of this a year ago before I was keeping this blog. Not much has changed, but I wanted to share it with a new audience.

I can’t remember who said it or where I heard it first, but it was probably coming from the mouth of some macho guy who had been bested by female cunning:

“Never trust anything that bleeds for seven days and doesn’t die.”

And then he probably loaded his gun or peered around the corner to take a shot at somebody. I’ve looked it up and found that variations of the saying have appeared all over—even in South Park, and it has infuriated people because it proliferates misogyny.

I’ve always thought of the menstrual cycle as a sense of female strength because it means we can have this outwardly seeming injury and still survive, which is maybe what scares so many men: we can do something that they can’t. When I’ve discussed menstrual cycles with men, when they are comfortable enough, they ask, “But does it hurt?” And these are men who like slashers and some who have even gone to war and seen plenty of bloodshed that definitely hurt. Yet, they are still disgusted and at best, a bit mystified. Yet it’s a wonder that people can find female bleeding so shocking when it’s one of the most normal and necessary processes on the planet.

Perhaps it is that it is more common for female genitalia to be considered useful for providing sexual gratification, and rarely a passageway to the womb, where all life begins. Continue reading “The Issue of the Blood”