Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Dirty Word?

I heard the "clean" version of Lil' Wayne's A Milli on the radio today and was sucker-punched by the censorship of the word "menstrual". What is it that makes this word so filthy, that it is deemed inappropriate language for the general public? This is a general health term for crying out loud! Who didn't learn about the woman's reproductive system in their grade school health class? Is the word lactate also forbidden? After all, it is something that a woman's body does naturally.

Is the menstrual cycle really a curse? I know plenty of women who see it as a blessing, especially those that want/have children, and would vehemently deny the labeling of this integral part of nature as a curse. But it's what we have learned ever since we were children. We are embarrassed if anyone knew Aunt Flo was visiting. How embarrassing is it if someone found your tampon or pad in your purse or backpack? Paralyzing! Why is it? Why is it that men glorify anything their bodies do, but we slink off into a corner, hoping no one will recognize that we are women and embrace the power and wonder of our bodies?

So often I see/hear/experience an anti-feminine moment like this and want to SCREAM. Pop culture decisions like this one that censors a non-obscene word that is directly related to gender causes girls to grow up ashamed of their bodies. I know I am guilty of this group-think, but am trying to recognize when I am doing it. I also inform my husband when he is promoting a sexist stance, because I can't just keep it to myself. What good does that do?

This is a hard battle when we exist in a time when our pop culture promotes sexism so strongly, but I have hope for women of my generation. I have hope that we can realize our own faults in denying our gender strength. I pray that we can push the evolving feminism movement to empower our daughters and create a less misogynistic world - to know that their existence is more than just a dirty word.