Wednesday, July 21, 2004

I Have the Power

What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of Marines? Perhaps: strong, well-trained, courageous (maybe even fearless), professional. In short, men not to be trifled with. Well, let me tell you: I have found these men's Achille's heel. And, in doing that, I have come to the conclusion that I hold immeasurable power over the United States Marine Corps.

One group of women who can greatly benefit from using menstrual management is women in the military. While fact-checking some military-related terms for my book, I spoke (on more than one occasion) with a male Marine. Mind you, these were Marines from the Public Affairs office, not any old, lowly soldiers.

Without fail, the second I mentioned the title and/or the subject of my book (the menstrual period), the Marines, these mighty warriors, started giggling. That's right. Just by mentioning the period, I have the power to reduce the Marine Corps to a bunch of giggling school girls (er, actually boys in this case). Why is that? I have no idea. The closest parallel I could think of is women's reaction when the subject of the prostate gland comes up. However, to the best of my recollection, I can't think of one instance when the prostate was mentioned in the presence of a woman and she started giggling uncontrollably.

On a more serious note, when I wrote the book I thought all I had to do was educate people about menstrual management. I see now that, before I can even approach that subject, I have to go back to basics. As in: there's nothing embarrassing/mysterious/taboo about the menstrual period. The period is simply a body function. Granted, an exclusively female function, but still a process that needs to be explored and discussed in order to be understood.

Update: Make sure to check out this feministing post.


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