The Dominion Post is doing a nice line in fatuous features. Last week it was repeating the complaints of the childless when they are asked to help support people who are securing their future, without any attempt to provide a counter-argument. This week, it’s a list of the various advantages and disadvantages that men and women suffer relative to each other. There’s no attempt to assess the relative merits of each of the ‘complaints’, and the article ends with a trite little summary from a comedienne, saying that she used to think it would be great to be a bloke, but now she thinks it’s tough for all of us.
Whatever. Completely uninformative, but the whole article is silly, so I suppose a non-conclusion is fair enough.
But that’s not what I am really annoyed about. There’s one particular paragraph that made me see red.
No one can deny women get a bad deal when it comes to childbirth, from the fear and humiliation of that first menstruation, through the monthly stabbing pains and mood swings to the cruel bodily betrayals of post-natal sag and menopause.
Oh good grief. Since when has it been humiliating to have a period? I can understand someone being humiliated by incontinence, or an unusual growth on their face, or by being caught picking their nose in public, but by having a period? That first period can be difficult and confusing, but get this. It’s an entirely natural process, that occurs every month in every girl and woman who is between the ages of about 11 or 12, and somewhere between say, 45 and 55, depending.
This is a dark ages comment. It is 37 years since Germaine Greer suggested that women shouldn’t be afraid to taste their menstrual blood, and about 20 years since “sanitary products” – tampons and period napkins – first began to be advertised openly on prime time TV. You would think that we could have gotten beyond referring to the monthly shedding of blood from our wombs as a “humiliation”.
The reporter who wrote the article, and the sub-editor and editor who let this word be used, should be ashamed of themselves.