Saturday, September 14, 2013

Where Is Our Red Tent? at ourfeministplayschool

Where Is Our Red Tent? at ourfeministplayschool

Where Is Our Red Tent? at ourfeministplayschoolI'm happy to have a guest post today at ourfeministplayschool about my longing for a red tent. It's part of her series on {menstruation. Period} that looks at menstruation from a variety of perspectives.

I think it was when I read The Red Tent several years ago that it first occurred to me that being confined to home or a certain location (aka a Red Tent) during one's period might be not a punishment but a release. Ever since getting my first period at age 12, I have sought to dissemble, to conceal, to pretend nothing was happening once a month that was out of the ordinary. Even when cramps were threatening to bend me double and I felt my intestines roiling with a sure certainty that they would be pushing something out soon, I tried to sit primly in social studies class, not letting on that anything was amiss — especially not to the boys.

Because women were supposed to be strong. Because one of the reasons given throughout the ages for why women couldn't be in leadership was that their "special time of the month" might at best alter their concentration and judgment, and at worst incapacitate them. I had to be a model of strong feminist womanhood and show I was not affected by the stickiness between my thighs, by the pitchfork tossing my innards, by the chemicals coursing through my bloodstream.

In The Red Tent, the women have cycles that swell in time with each other, as is often the case when feminine hormones adjust to each other in close quarters. And once each moon is a time to withdraw, to relax — for there to be no obligation, no guilt or pressure, no need to please the men or to work for a living. It is a time of renewal and release, of the young learning from the old, and the beauty of the cycles bringing the women close to each other.

I began to be quite envious I had no red tent of my own.

Continue reading at ourfeministplayschool ››

Evocative photo titled menstrual cramps courtesy 欠我兩千塊


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