Monday, February 23

One step forward..

I decided to take a quick NYtimes break.

I start with the US section, bounce over to International and almost always end up in health for the long haul.

Today a book review caught my eye.

A book review in the health section?
Sounds interesting.

And it is.

The book is all about periods.
The female kind, not the punctuation.
A young female writer compiled 90+ stories about how women felt the first time.
She very creatively named it "The Little Red Book" (and I'm only 1/2 mocking).

The book sounds interesting.
The reviewer,however, seriously annoyed me.

The sad thing is, she had good intentions.
She used the word menstruation without verbally flinching (it is possible) and shared some of the funnier anecdotes from the book.

She seems to like the idea.
Unfortunately, she also seems to buy into the idea that getting your period is yucky.
And that men don't want to understand.

Case in point:
"Reasoning that every lonely soul wandering through Walgreens has a story to tell, she [the author] was inspired to assemble a collection of 92 short reflections by women on the subject of their first period.

At this point, male readers may want to go outside and toss a ball around for a while. No matter how sympathetic, how curious or how deeply interested in life’s little yuck factors you are, this collection is unlikely to hold more than the mildest intellectual appeal for you."

See what I mean?

She started so strong! And then boom..gender norming galore, and some feminine shaming thrown in for good measure.

OF COURSE men won't want to read the book if you tell them that it's unlikely to hold much appeal for them. Also, I'm not sure that some of the most important men in my life (including father, brother and boyfriend) would feel the need to regain their foothold in the world of manliness & masculinity by 'tossing around a ball.' If they didn't want to read a book about periods, they are much more likely to go read a classic or theorize about politics (brother), iron while listening to opera (dad), or throw a few bowls on the pottery wheel (boyfriend). Excuse them for not wanting to play in the yard.

And of course, can't forget that the reviewer called getting your period 'one of life's little yuck factors.'

Maybe it's yucky, or maybe it's an empowering reminder of the life cycle. I won't get all hippy chick, but really..calling it 'yucky?' Is that really necessary?