Oh god oh god oh god sometimes it’s time to just tell people to sit down and be quiet and stop writing anything for awhile, until they know something. It’s for their own good as much as anything. Nobody wants to be haunted forever by whatever idiotic thing she thought she believed at age 17 or 12 or whatever the age is of this tragically lost young person. It’s someone called V. Tanner at The Establishment, explaining Why We Must Stop Calling Menstruation A ‘Women’s Issue.’
That’s easy: we mustn’t. There is no “must” there. We don’t have to stop that.
For one thing who calls it that anyway? It’s not an “issue” (except in a rather antiquated sense of the word, as in “an issue of blood” – which is not the meaning here). It’s a reality and a nuisance, not an issue. There are some issues around it, like taxes on tampons and pads, but it is not itself an issue.
But whatever it is, an issue or a nuisance, it certainly is a woman’s whatever it is. Of course it is. It’s been one pretext for the persecution and subordination of women since forever. The fact that trans women don’t menstruate does not make menstruation not a women’s issue.
Also? I am very very very tired of people telling us yet more ways in which we need to erase women. So tired of it. So tired of it I could happily set fire to it, and then bury the ashes under a toxic waste dump.
But that’s just the title. It’s when you start to read the article that you realize how desperately V. Tanner needs to stop writing anything and learn things instead.
When we talk, write, and yes, even sing about menstruation, it is typically discussed from the perspective of cis women. And on the surface? That makes a lot of sense. Cis women are the majority when it comes to the demographic affected by this much-maligned shedding of uterine lining.
“This much-maligned shedding of uterine lining”??? Stop writing. Stop now, before it’s too late.
Also there’s the obligatory contempt for “cis women” and the grudging admission that there are several of us and the insistence on saying we’re “cis” at every mention. This isn’t how to social justice. Clunkyness is not a winning strategy.
However, the fact is that many cis women’s consistent framing of this biological phenomenon as a “women’s issue” does a lot more harm than many know.
What “consistent framing”? There is no such thing. Nobody bothers to “frame” menstruation as having to do with women, because of course it fucking is. How dare cis men consistently frame beards as a “men’s issue” amirite?
There’s some brilliance (we’re told) from trans people talking about how menstruation is all about them and not those horrible cis people.
Ame: Menstruating does cause me dysphoria. I feel extremely uneasy in the days leading up to my period, and it gets even worse during my period. I counteract this dysphoria by taking a contraceptive pill. I take it in a way that allows me to skip all my periods so I don’t have to deal with them, however sometimes I accidentally forget to take a pill, and end up having my period for the month. When this occurs, I opt for using tampons as I find that I’m less dysphoric with them as opposed to pads. It’s kind of like an “out of sight, out of mind,” deal.
Um…yeah? That’s not dysphoria, it’s menstruation. That’s because menstruation is unpleasant at best and disabling at worst. What do you think, it’s a picnic with Mozart playing for “cis” women? It’s not. And well done figuring out the advantage of tampons, which – don’t tell anyone! – is not exclusive to trans people.
I’m not going to read any more. But I do hope these people take a break from writing until they get better at it. These things take time.