July 16, 2013

Betsy's Red Tent

I almost posted this in my other blog but I thought it needed a bigger audience. Preface:  if there are men who are not hip the ways and wiles of women, type in a new page now, cause you're going to get inundated.  For all others who have a backbone, a uterus, or a healthy respect for the fairer sex, read on my friends.  Read on.

I've had many friends over the years mourn or flat out hate their periods.  I mean, wishing they didn't have it, grateful for hysterectomy's, dreading the days as they grew closer.  Women of great strength and intellect, valor and pride, moms, wives, lovers...it never ceases to amaze me.  I have never been one of them per se.  Have I had those rough days where I hated being a woman? Sure.  We all have.  Whether is was Aunt Flow coming to pay her monthly visit or men not respecting us in the workplace, or even our fathers not letting us play ball, we've all had those moments.  The problem is letting those moments become lengths of time and making us forget who we are and exactly what we can do.

You see, women weren't born with the inherent, "I hate my period" attitude.  That attitude was laid upon us by society or family/friends.  According to the Bible, a woman's menstrual cycle is the result of Eve's fallacy in the garden of Eden.  For centuries since, men have regarded women as "unclean" during that 7 day moment of the month.  I've heard so many men make the joke, "I don't trust anything that bleeds for a week and doesn't die!".  Cowards.  Men will never understand the cycle, neither will they ever understand the mystery of childbirth.  And yes ladies, it is a mystery.  It's a mystery and a magic that only women possess, something that is ours and ours alone.  We are the keepers of life and death whether we want to be or not.  In order to keep a strong line strong, we make male children, in order to keep that same line fruitful, we make female children.  Women in today's world take having babies for granted.  They all try to do it when they're "ready" or when they have completed a certain task in their career.  For the parents:  how many of you have allowed your children to start dating at 15 or 16 years old? Do you know why we instinctively do that?  Think about what the term "of age" really means.  Sexual awareness, relationship maturity, emotional development...that's all encapsulated by being of marital age.  Centuries ago, a 16 year old male was considered a fully capable member of the tribe.  He was expected to hunt alone and with success as well as marry and create strong capable children.  Women by age 14 were considered young mothers, with or without children of their own.  They were expected to know how to tend a home, care for young ones, and take care of the tribe.  Nothing has changed but our surroundings and the sizes of our tribes.

People back then knew how to control the number of young they produced, they had common sense and the workable knowledge to keep childbirth within necessary confines.  If you can't feed them you do what is necessary to not make them.  Women as far back as biblical days had birth control.  This is by no means a new concept nor it is a bad one.  The Roman church bastardized sex in the days of their worldly rule, it became a shameful thing that had to be kept in secret and done in quiet corners of matrimony in order to keep the population controlled.  Think about it, these were the same people who, when they began invading countries, introduced the "purification" idea by passing laws to have new wives given to Roman soldiers before they were allowed to go with their husbands.  A practice later used by the British when they began taking control of western Europe.  These same people have hung women for being "witches", harlots, prostitutes, and midwives.  Witches were nothing more than herb-women, harlots and prostitutes were simply women who knew how to make a living, and midwives were healers and child bearers, all powerful threats to the male influence of the world.

So why the rant?  Well, the other day Honey asked me why my hips separate during that time.  I have sciatica and that's my tell tale sign that I'm starting...as soon as my hips separate I have trouble walking or standing upright.  Any other prior mention of my period would set a funny look on his face and a shudder, that day he looked at me in genuine earnest and query.  So, I told him.  Afterward I asked why he didn't know that, he has two sisters, and a mom and step mom.  He reminded me that he wasn't raised with his sisters and his mother figure during his formative years was his grandmother.  I'm not used to that, I'm used to a man who knows my cycle as well or better than me.  This fella knows when it's coming but tries not to think about it too much, it weirds him out.  It shouldn't.  Without that strange moment in time, there would be no babies, there would be no distinguishing the women from the girls from the crones.  I've always believed young men need to be at least aware of what it is, why it happens and understand it's nothing to fear or be grossed out by.  Girls too, are often made to fear it or dread it before it even happens.  It's part of life, literally.  A close friend of mine mentioned recently that she has no more periods, I said, "I do", she said, "I'm sorry".  I'm not, I don't mind it, never really did.  I also didn't mind childbirth, mainly because I read so much and regarded it as something I was made to do, so why fear it?  Most pain can be controlled through our own thought processes, it's only as bad as we allow ourselves to believe it is.  For all else, there's aspirin, camphor and the cool stuff that doctors dole out.

In a modern world of convenience, technology, and medicine, we have a habit of trying to eliminate the most basic of human activities.  Old ideas do not threaten the new.  The modern world will never be put to bed in lieu of ancient techniques.  Do we need to remember who we are and why we exist?  Absolutely.  Are women bleeding, crying, baby factories?   Absolutely not.  We are crowning, shining examples of life itself.  In today's society, women are choosing their birth dates and scheduling the birth (something I am not a proponent of, let that baby come when it's ready).  We know now that men determine the sex of the baby, what do you think would have happened 2000 years ago if men had known that?  How many men would have been ridiculed for not providing a son?  These days, we have the capability of seeing exactly which partner is the fertile one, and what science can do to help out.    If we are truly evolved and truly finished casting stones then lets quit casting them.  Stop with the silly jokes, accept your side of the abortion fight and quit trying to shove your agenda on others, remember that modern medicine should be here to help not act as a crutch, and for goodness sake quit mourning the very thing that makes you special.

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