Monday, July 26, 2004

caution: disgusting female functions

it often frustrates me how exclusively female functions are either ignored or made to seem just gross.  i was just reading the least of my worries and was reminded of a time when i became overwhelmed with grief over it. i can't remember what i was reading in bed one night [maybe catfight by leora tanenbaum] but it entailed the pain of childbirth, the treatment of post-partum mothers, and the laws pertaining to maternity leave. i just laid there, letting it all swirl in my head [with an elevated hormonal level, no doubt], and just started weeping. specifically, it struck me as so unfair that there are no medical advances made to help women with easier labor and childbirth. it doesn't seem particularly alarming to anyone else that the pain has been likened to the most a human being can withstand without dying? that a mother blocks it out to ensure the survival of the human race? and people are actually surprised that more and more women today opt for c-sections? epidural-schmepidural: there's got to be a better way. there sure seem to be a lot of erectile-enhancement products out there -- what about taking care of what happens afterward? just ignore it: people do it anyway, right?

what about the whole brazilian craze?  like round hips and thighs, pubic hair is now just another secondary sex characteristic that will actually lessen your chances of getting some action instead of increasing it as nature intended.  armageddon is surely at hand.  when you're up there straddling for a stranger while she painfully rips all fur from every nook and cranny, sing it with chaka: "i'm every woman, it's all in me!/anything you want done, baby, i'll do it  [insert adverb of your choice]!"

trisha writes about a 15-year-old girl who likens breastfeeding in a restaurant to changing diapers at a dinner table. to think that girls today have such a disparaging view of the natural processes of motherhood seems more than a little tragic. now that today's teen icons are getting married, perhaps there will be some provocative moment to make breastfeeding "kewl." i can see it: britney gets knocked up and has a child, then does a rolling stone cover "mid-meal." all doe-eyes, glossy parted lips, and tousled blonde locks, she's seated with her long, tanned legs to one side, her rhinestone-studded la leche league baby tee hiked up as little [insert biblical name] suckles endearingly, oblivious to camera.  the magazine cover reads britney: she told us they were real!

i saw an ad in a magazine that made a used maxi-pad seem as stinky and disgusting as a poop-filled baby diaper. there was literally a baby with a clothes pin on its nose in the ad. no one loves dealing with their period every month for forty years [in the fifth grade sex ed, it sounded like a prison sentence to me], but now we have to be made to feel shameful about it? i figure, why not learn to deal with it with some aplomb and personal style instead of hatred and disgust? i'm checking out the reusable products scene: in addition to being ecologically sound, they do seem like a positive way to make peace with your body [and with all the colors, patterns, and soft fleece, cute and comfy] but the jury is still out. maybe it will take another wardrobe malfunction like xtina's gladrag peeking from her thong as she's humped by three other dancers for those to become hip and trendy.


Anonymous said...

Have you read, "The Red Tent"? It's a biblical story, but so far the first five chapters are about childbirth and periods. Apparently, that's the only thing women did in in biblical times. The first chapter has Rebecca collecting the blood from her first "bleed" in a golden urn to save and drizzle over the garden. Rumor has it that blood from the first virgin bleed with ensure a great harvest. Anyway, I chuckled at your post and thought what a disgustingly long way we've come from biblical times. They also breastfed each others kids and the sisters were all married to the same man, but that's another story!

Jamie said...

P- You definitely need to check out the most recent issue of the Utne Reader for an article of eco-friendly feminine merchandise. They break it all down for ya. It may be a little crunch/granola occasionally, but it's still one of my favorite magazines.

p said...

jamie -- i'll definitely be on the lookout for that utne reader at the airport thursday. thanks for the tip.

laurel -- i gotta read that book. i know eileen read it and i think roma tried to give it to me. i'm not a big biblical reader, but i heard it's interesting.