Her Blood Is Gold: Awakening to the Wisdom of Menstruation

Lara Owen

Her Blood Is Gold: Awakening to the Wisdom of Menstruation
Archive Publishing
United Kingdom
31 July 2022

Her Blood Is Gold: Awakening to the Wisdom of Menstruation

Lara Owen

In the past few years there have been some gradual but perceptible changes in our collective attitude to menstruation, perhaps shown most obviously in television commercials and magazine advertising, which are less coy and more realistic and explicit in their portrayal of the menstruating woman. People seem less affronted by the subject matter than they were when the research for this book began. They are more willing to examine the possibility that in Western materialist culture our commonly held notions about the menstrual cycle have been infected by centuries of misogyny. The taboo about discussing menstruation still exists, but it appears to be gradually dissolving, along with other prejudices about the body and sexuality and gender. I hope that these subtle changes in attitudes to menstruation presage a greater shift in how we collectively value, affirm, and accept female experience. The relationship between menstruation and power is still held very much under the surface of mainstream awareness, and most cultural references to menstruation continue to be couched in the terminology of pathology. Reintegrating a truly feminist, woman-honoring perspective on menstruation means turning a whole system of thought upside down. It means saying that a cyclical change in feelings and body sensations is valuable and interesting; it means saying that the emotions women experience premenstrually carry useful information and should be paid attention to; it means acknowledging that a menstruating woman has access to sacred energy, and that if she wishes, she should have space and time to explore this dimension of experience. The ramifications of such a shift would be truly radical. For many reasons, including ecological and cultural survival, I believe the system of thought which has caused women to adapt to a non-cyclical reality needs to be turned upside down, for the good of us all. We menstruate more now than at any time in human history. Girls are starting to menstruate earlier due to protein-rich diets and hormones in food; women are less likely to die young; we have fewer children and therefore spend less time not menstruating. Increased work and family stresses, in addition to more periods, mean that women are more physically and psychologically vulnerable to negative attitudes to menstruation. So it is more important than ever that we investigate ways to make our periods physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy.

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