...are rarely discussed and i think that's sad!
I get it that menstruation can be inconvenient and, for some, debilitatingly painful (I used to miss school or work at least once a month before i went on BC). I absolutely wouldn't dream of denying a woman (or differently gendered uterus haver) the right to complain about it. But for the same feminist reasons that I think we should be allowed to be open about the bad stuff, I also think we should be allowed to openly celebrate it.
Menstruation (and other female-bodied health issues) should be looked at, talked about, and understood as plainly as any other bodily experience. For my generation, gym teachers hammered it into our heads that there was no reason to need a pass on gym class due to a period. "We know better now. You can do anything you usually do on your period." Oh, cool, thanks for that pseudo empowering language that 100% dismisses the feelings of discomfort every single woman in the room, including you, has experienced. Not to mention that studies have shown women actually have a much harder time engaging their abdominal muscles during menstruation. But "we know better now". Thanks. Glad to know that for the rest of my life I get to feel like a lazy failure for wanting to take it easy.
OK, that was a negative aspect that i apparently needed to get off my chest. Equally taboo and poorly understood though, are the following perks of menstruation.
1. Sex is flat out awesome just before, and during the first day or two of menstruation. That's if, of course, you have a nonshitty partner who cares about your pleasure and doesn't treat you/your desire as something gross or shameful at this time. Sometimes we have to be that partner to ourselves.
2. I'm more sensitive during this time as well and this is a benefit, not a liability.Apart from making me more easily moved to laughter or happy tears, it forces me to deal with negative stuff that I may have been trying to put aside. Additionally, it opens me to more nuance in interactions with myself and others. I am more in tune with both my own needs and desires and those of others.
3. Coffee and chocolate taste SO FUCKING GOOD and it would be a shame to live without that immense pleasure.
4. I'm a cheap date when I'm menstruating. Obviously it's wise to consider this ahead of time but, getting giggly and silly over half a glass of wine? Sounds good to me.
5. My insides feel mushy and strange, which can be upsetting in the wrong situation but cozy in the right one.
6. I'm more likely to feel loopy, goofy, and sleepy. Again, benefit not liability. I am a workaholic. My body encouraging me to take a break in this way is beneficial to my physical and mental health. If i listen.
At the end of the day i think every single problem and misunderstanding around menstruation comes down to this: learn about and pay attention to women's bodies better, and act accordingly. Menstruation is a complex experience, not a curse and not an embarrassment. We could all benefit from pushing ourselves to speak and listen more openly about it.
Fri, Jan. 23rd, 2015, 08:50 am
Well, aquastar added me to a LJ community on Facebook this morning and it inspired me to poke my head back into the Livejournal world.
I've largely replaced my Livejournal habit with Twitter - @roriekelly if you are interested - but I'm thinking there is a place in my life for longer-form ramblings.
Vague life update:
I'm an indie musician who plays maybe 100-150 shows a year. here's my website
. I'm not full time yet but I have been making a huge push to get there in the last few years and did manage to double my music income in 2014. (here's a thing I wrote about that: http://www.guitarworld.com/acoustic-nation-six-tips-doubling-your-income-musician
) I'm on track to do that again in 2015 (though it's early days now) so my fingers are crossed and I'm feeling pretty optimistic about it. At this exact moment anyway.
I just got married in October to diatribein
. Right now we are living on Long Island, where I just plunked myself down in May after 5 yearsish in Brooklyn. Brooklyn and I are on a break at the moment.
Sending this out into the void now... if anyone is still out there I would love to reconnect. 🐘
Sun, Jun. 30th, 2013, 07:55 pm
The other day I said to myself, "I think I want friends."
I replied to myself (silently, because I make an effort not to appear completely batty in public), "That's ridiculous, I have plenty of friends. I also am usually the one who is less likely to initiate Doing Stuff because I'm an introvert and a busy ambitious person and rarely feel like hanging out."
That's all true, but all the same I think I want friends. More specifically: local friends. I have plenty of friends scattered across the continent. I have plenty of friends on Long Island, and I sporadically see them if I happen to be playing or attending a family thing on Long Island and have extra time. But I haven't lived on Long Island for years and am, honestly, not that interested in making it my hangout land. I kind of moved to Brooklyn on purpose. In theory people like meeting up with other people in the city, but the reality is they all have lives and it doesn't happen that often. Hey, I get it.
And I'm pretty busy but I feel like there are probably other people who are also pretty busy but might still like a friend to see occasionally. To meet up with at things like NYC Pride or a coffeehouse concert. Two things I went to alone this weekend. (And I had a great time; I actually really like my own company but every now and then I want someone to share things with.)
I also really like my city, and being out and about in it this weekend made me realize I want to spend more time connecting with the place I moved to on purpose.
So maybe I will try to find a Brooklyn Friend. Lots of love to all of you, scattered non-Brooklyn friends that may or may not be reading this. I will certainly invite you to come hang out with me and my Brooklyn Friend, when and if I find one.
It's been a while. And I'm not even sure if anyone is even interested in my own personal account of why I'm a workaholic and how that has kept me from reaching my goals. But here it is anyway.( Building the CastleCollapse )
1. Be open to the possibility of wonderful things happening.
2. Be aware when pressure is on me (from myself or others) and that I do not have to bend to it.
3. Listen to my body, heart and mind and try my best to give them what they want and need.*
4. Find enjoyment in silly things.
5. Honor my own wisdom, passion, and needs without apology or hedging.
*Conversely, do not try to tell my body what it wants through diets and calorie counting, or anything else. Just listen (really listen).
One of my major linguistic pet peeves.
Language says a lot about the society that speaks it. It doesn't NECESSARILY say much about the individual who speaks the way everyone around him or her speaks. (Although as an individual I prefer to make my own choices about what linguistic choices I embrace and which ones I reject.) It's more a sort of cultural psychology indicator.
The fact that the only word most North American adults use for a woman's entire vulval region is "vagina" SCREAMS to me "we can't deal with women's sexuality! all we can handle is the word for where the penis goes!" And given North American society's overall messed up culture about sex and female sexuality... I'd say this is dead on.
Anyway someone on my new favorite website, Elephant Journal, agrees with me, and wrote a very nice little article about it.http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/10/of-vulvas-and-vaginas-debra-deangelo-adult/
Happy end of the world.
Sat, Oct. 6th, 2012, 01:39 am
Sometimes, I have a really intensely bogus interaction with one or more people, and it makes me so angry and indignant that I could write pages, or rant for hours about it.
But then I realize that all of my thoughts on the situation can be readily condensed into one sentence.
WHAT THE MOTHERFUCKING FUCK?
There's beauty in simplicity and that's enough for me tonight.
I read a book on dream interpretation years ago. The one thing that stuck with me was the idea of reducing the dream to a simple story line to get at the meaning and relevance to your life. This is sort of the opposite of those symbology books -- "if you dream about water you're dreaming about SEX!!!!" -- and I've found it to be a more useful method of interpreting my own dreams.
Last night I dreamed I was in my living room, and I was trying to clean it up for my friend Rakie, who's coming to visit in a week. But I felt like I couldn't even begin because a bunch of big stuff (furniture, clothes, random stuff) that belonged to other people in my family was all over the place. We've each recently moved. In the dream, I guess they'd all chosen to store some items with me and now I felt like I couldn't ask them to come get them.
As I was getting out of the shower a few minutes ago I decided to reduce this dream to a simple story line:
I felt unable to make a space for myself in my own safe place, because other people had deposited their own crap in it. I felt like I had to wait for them to come and take it back before I could make the place my own.
Since moving into my own apartment (and one that I actually like!), I've been loving having my own haven, and dealing with a lot of psychological shell-shock that I think is an aftermath of not having one for years.
In a less physical and more emotional/mental way, this has been a theme in my life as well lately. Identifying thoughts, feelings, ideas, that are my own and separating them out and honoring them. Gently sweeping out the crap that has cluttered up my psyche and my self that is not actually mine -- but just something someone else deposited there.
Often at the end of relationships I've felt I couldn't have closure because I could never make the person understand the sort of pain they had caused me. Because they had caused it, I felt like I couldn't heal unless they understood what they had done. Sort of a "you made this mess and only you can clean it up" mentality. Valid but not particularly useful for me. Obviously no one is going to come back into my life with a broom and dustpan and be all like "Hey, sorry I messed up your entire brain by treating you in this bogus way. Why don't you take yourself out for a nice massage while I clean up in here?"
So I've been doing some self-cleaning, like an oven (or a vagina!). It's been working out for me.
Sat, Sep. 15th, 2012, 12:12 pm
The Cultural Paradigm: "Hey guess what you totally beautiful and unique unless you are over a certain age, above a certain weight, have skin that is a color, have a disability, do not have an ass, have too much of an ass, possess a normal body shape, have body hair, or look in any way different from these ideal photos we have created for your convenience."
Seemingly Everyone: "Oh okay great thanks! Can you sell me some products to help with that? OMG LOOK AT THAT THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE ONE OR MORE OF THE THINGS YOU SAID AND THEY ARE SHAMELESSLY EXISTING IN THEIR OWN BODIES AND I HAVE TO LOOK AT IT! BARF BARF BARF! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM!"
For some people an existential crisis leads to recommitting themselves to an important goal or taking steps towards a dream that won't die. I do those things on a daily basis. My existential crisis is taking me to Super Mario, really good pasta, and a glass of wine. In other words: giving myself a friggin' break.