One thing that never ceases to amaze me is people's aversion to menstrual blood. Perhaps I'm just super comfortable with my body or took one too many reproductive health classes or maybe I'm just gross, but I really don't get why people are so thoroughly disgusted by menstrual blood.

I've been thinking a lot about this recently because I got a Diva Cup a couple of months back. I brought it up one day when I was talking about traveling because I was excited that I wouldn't need to carry loads of pads and tampons anymore -- just my little Diva Cup and a Lunapads pantyliner. Everyone [all female] turned around and looked at me as if I had just said I drink urine with my breakfast or something. I've shared my excitement with other people, and they also seem put off by this.

Then yesterday, I somehow ended up on a link about menstrual art, which I shared with a friend of mine [also female] and her reaction was "EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW." I didn't think to myself to save the link (because I'm a moron sometimes), but here are some menstrual art links for you to enjoy! So anyway, she freaked out, but I thought it was cool. I think some of it is really rather beautiful.

painting made with menstrual blood


I know we're taught to hate menstrual blood. We're made to believe that it is unclean, smelly, gross, and every other negative thing you can think of. This fact is nothing new to most of us who read and write about feminism on a regular basis. Yet it still strikes me as odd whenever I see another example of this, especially from women I know. Somehow I expect more from them I guess...

I just can't see what is wrong with inserting a cup into your vagina, collecting your menstrual blood, dumping it, and then doing the process over and over again. Many of us have no problem inserting other types of foreign objects into our vaginas, so what makes this different exactly? The fact that your skin might come into contact with your blood?? *GASP* OH, THE HORROR! And if people want to keep that blood and then turn it into art... I just don't see what the problem is.

Does this cross some sort of blood tolerance line that I wasn't aware existed? Am I really just so incredibly feminist that these things don't faze me anymore? And can somebody please let me know what they might say in my position so I can start having my responses ready?

(Cross-posted at Feministe.)

4 comments:

At Sat Aug 08, 01:19:00 AM Katie said...

LOL!! I have had the same experience when discussing diva cups. I'm just so enchanted, I can barely contain myself :-) No more landfill waste, less risk of toxic shock, almost no mess, greater comfort. Love it!

About menstrual blood smelling: after I got a diva cup I discovered that the blood doesn't really smell like anything. It's the interaction between the blood and the fibers of a tampon or pad that smell bad.

I guess I just laugh when people say ewww. But at least a couple of women have been encouraged to get a diva cup from our conversations, so its worth it.

So good for you--hold your head high!

 
At Sat Aug 08, 01:38:00 PM frau sally benz said...

About menstrual blood smelling: after I got a diva cup I discovered that the blood doesn't really smell like anything. It's the interaction between the blood and the fibers of a tampon or pad that smell bad.

That's exactly the observation I've made! I find that as long as you keep yourself clean and you're not too constricted or anything, the smell is really not an issue.

 
At Thu Aug 13, 08:43:00 PM Anonymous said...

Gosh, where was the Diva Cup 10 years ago. This is the most incredible item for women, almost, ever. I'd bought this in a New York second. I hate it when I can't be at the leading edge of something!(should that read the bleeding edge)?

Frau Sally, "Many of us have no problem inserting other types of foreign objects into our vaginas, so what makes this different exactly?" LOL!

Montana

 
At Wed Aug 14, 12:31:00 PM Anonymous said...

About smells...I started using the diva cup 3 months ago. The smell is horrendous... I heard just like you said it doesn't smell and its the interaction between pads etc but in my case I gag every time I remove the cup. I wonder why?

 

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