By Nicole Barde
I can’t help myself. I have to say something or I’ll explode. I’ll regret it later I know but……
Yesterday I saw something on Facebook about a woman who ran a marathon while menstruating without a tampon or any other sanitary device. What a mess. It was apparently a feminist statement about not succumbing to “period shaming” and other shackles of the patriarchal society. After all, the male dominated companies who manufacture women’s sanitary products just want to make a buck. Screw them….go with the flow! I just wonder how long she’d last swimming off the coast of North Carolina with that attitude. But I digress.
Apparently this is a 4 month old story and based on my recent 30 second research, the topic of “free bleeding” has been out there since at least 2004. As usual I am the last to know. As I sometimes do with things too stupid to believe…I read it….didn’t believe it…..read it again…..thought it was a joke….researched it……and now that I’ve discovered it’s a thing….I woke up thinking about it….still thinking it’s GOT to be a joke. But no….it actually happened.
Ok so……….I still remember most of the 70’s…the 60’s not so much….anyway, I remember books coming out about women getting in touch with and “owning” their bodies which was enlightening. This was a good thing, especially for men, since it was later followed by shameless self-expression of our pride in our bodies among other things. We burned our bras, went topless ( still happens in Santa Cruz annually), we breastfed openly everywhere if we felt like it ( No Virginia, breastfeeding in public is not a millennial thing), stopped shaving, engaged in unfettered “free love” and generally let it all hang out physically, verbally and emotionally. We basically did everything, all the time when we felt like it….quite liberating.
But even in the throes of this new found liberation I don’t think the concept of leaving a blood trail behind us as we walked in a protest ever occurred to us. I mean……what for? The subsequent decades each had more and more focus on women’s issues and body parts.
In the 90’s we had the off Broadway show called “The Vagina Monologues” a political commentary about women’s issues. Vagina was finally a word that could be used in polite company, vaginas started to appear everywhere. When Ron heard I was going with my girlfriends he got all excited thinking, of course, that it was a nasty play and could he go. I told him what it was about and he smirked “great, just what we need, nagging from both ends”…I replied “well, the other option is shutting up both ends”…….he handed me a piece of chocolate…smart man.
YUK factor aside…it occurred to me that this whole “free bleeding” thing isn’t fair. If I follow the (extreme) logic of the “free to be me” concept then it ought to apply to men as well.
First let me say that the whole period shaming thing is a fact. It has been a century’s long ….NO..a millennia long practice to shut women away while they were “unclean”. I remember my French grandmother telling me at 14 that the reason the mayonnaise I was making wasn’t “taking” was because it was that time of the month….she then stepped in to take over my chore of endlessly whisking the stupid eggs with oil. After that, I had a perpetual period….no more stupid mayonnaise duty for me. But I digress.
She also told me that menstruating women were not allowed anywhere near the wine making process since they would turn the wine to vinegar. There are other stories but you get the point. But, just as being locked away as unclean was unfair to women I think the whole “free bleeding” concept is unfair to men.
I mean if women are allowed unfettered expression of their femininity by exposing various intimate body parts why not the same for men? God love them but your normal man has had to hide, restrain, deny and otherwise ignore the one thing that expresses HIS masculinity….his penis. He can’t touch it, show it, or use it in public. If he does he is a pervert. I think we need to fix that. Granted, they only have the one moving part compared to the Swiss timepiece that is a woman’s body but it is deserving of freedom and pride nonetheless.
I propose we establish National Boner Day! NBD, pronounced “nub” for short.
Yes, I know that every day is boner day if you are a man but let’s show some pride in that thing! Ancient civilizations had lots of pride as evidenced by the prolific phallic art, festivals and artifacts still being discovered. Codpieces had been part of male attire for centuries. Let’s bring that pride back!
Yes, let’s free willy! Run with the balls! Let loose the turtle with impunity one day per year. We can have a boner pride parade led by the Weiner-mobile and combine it with the testicle festival for a full day of activities. The town will be full of people with their bobble head boners, testicle fanny packs and dick-head hats.
We can have concurrent celebrations…..a “free bleeding” festival followed by boner Olympics …..“ Hooray, Hooray, its boner day indoor pole vaulting starts today!!”
Just say’in………if we’re going to have gender equality then LETS HAVE GENDER EQUALITY!