By Valerie Steenhaut
The Redcoats have landed. Satan’s sacrificial falls. The crimson wave. There exist about 5000 alternative phrases to describe period blood that evoke memories of Stanley Kubrick’s blood scene in The Shining. Two little girls, blood streaming out of their gates, blank walls stained, and a boy, agonized in terror by the image. The perfect metaphor for society’s perpetual incapacity to accept women’s monthly fluids as a normal, conversational topic.
It’s strange. Before Homo Sapiens, Neanderthal women used their periods to reinforce their position towards males, by proudly painting their bodies in a period blood red. In a way we maintained the habit, reddening our vulva shaped lips and putting on a crimson colored dress to accentuate our female strength in the patriarchy. When associated with the female body, red is powerful, sensual and hot; it’s able to arouse men like hungry mosquitos, yet we somehow forgot to include menstruation into its stream of connotations.
So what happened? Our hermeneutics of the period is tainted by “euphemism” that depict women’s bleeding as a monthly battle, while, in fact, they’re natural time indicator, enabling us to make babies, and connecting us to our body and uteruses in an almost lunar dimension. We need to talk about periods; the moon cups, the free bleeding, the alluring complexity, the blood absorbing underwear, the period sex. If not, we might as well stay flooded by misogynist perceptions and Tampax dictatorship. Period.