Decoding the 28-Day Female Body Clock for Health, Business, & Love

Posts Tagged 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks

Happenings for Happiness in the New Year

Here’s wishing you happy beginnings for 2014!

Every so often someone asks me why the “resting” phase (Week 1) of the 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks (4s4w) approach is compared to Fall* instead of Winter. They say they think of Winter as being the time to hibernate.

I tell them that yes, if we were bears, we’d be hibernating.

But we’re not bears. And from personal experience and observation, Fall is the time of year that throws us into going to bed early. Here’s an adjusted quote from the book:

“The Autumnal Equinox (the first day of Fall) signals the nights to grow longer than the days (in the Northern Hemisphere) until the trend is reversed at Winter Solstice and the days begin to gain light. After the Equinox, it is as though we’ve been given a sleeping pill in the evenings. The blanket of Fall’s early darkness, following the late nights of Summer, always sneak up on me no matter how many times I’ve experienced it.”

Fall is also “harvest time”. I compare the Period to the harvest. We are finishing up the former cycle, and also shedding what no longer serves to prepare for the next round.

The truth about Winter can be observed at New Year’s. We take ideas that we’ve had and begin to implement our good intentions—maybe it is losing weight or beginning a new workout routine. Maybe it;s about getting organized with our budgets or doing our taxes. It’s a fairly active time. In the same way that the Earth is gaining light from the Sun, we humans gain momentum as we act on and implement our passions.

Winter is the time we like to spend with our loved ones, either cozying up to our mate or meeting friends for coffee. This is the time when we build our relationships. Week 2, Winter, of the female cycle blueprint is the time that we, as women, are building uterine nests. It’s the time we’re building our projects, building our connections, and building in beauty because our primal bodies are trying to attract a mate, whether we are aware of it or not.

This “New Year” of 2014 feels more promising than other years for some reason. Perhaps it is just more promising for me and 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks. Last year, in spite of my mother passing away at the same time as my book release (and therefore losing my mojo to market enthusiastically) the books sold anyway! Word spread throughout the states and to different countries. I received emails from women all over the world who were having profound insights about themselves by reading this book. It really can’t get better than that. I’m grateful.

What I could manage to do effectively was organize and observe. I simply watched to see whose hands the book landed in and what they wanted from it. I revamped the website (and more will be done over the next couple of months) while I made connections and created allies. I spoke and did interviews where I was invited and built a nice foundation to build upon in a much bigger way for 2014.

This is the year I’ll launch a few classes, workshops, and memberships, do a radio tour, and perhaps come out with some new companion guides and gift items to go with 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks. Stay tuned. I’ll be posting the calendar events, weekly, for your convenience.

Thank you for your ongoing and loving support!

Suzanne

* Because the seasons are “main characters” in the 4s4w approach, I capitalize the first letters on purpose. It’s deliberate. 

You are More than Your Cycle and Your Cycle is More than Your Period

By 4s4w Lover and Guest Blogger, Sheri Croy
Fall-low-res (2)Chances are, if you were raised in the modern Western world you’ve been conditioned to think of your female cycle at three distinct moments: the moment you have an emotional, passionate, irritable or angry response that someone else deems unreasonable for the circumstance; the moment you see blood, and the moment you don’t see it when it’s expected. Even if you have been raised in a family with a more human centered, body-conscious, healthy view of being a woman, if you are reading this, chances are you’ve been at least witness to the larger Western societal paradigm that has demonized the period — and women with it. If you’ve ever been asked “Where are you in your cycle?” In response to sharing your opinion or stating your feelings, you’ve experienced the demonization first hand. If you’ve ever posed that question to another, or discounted your own feelings and experiences as “PMSing,” you’re (at least a little) conditioned.

What our evolving Western society has done a very good job of with their pills and potions, perfumes and protocols over the last few decades is compartmentalizing the period. Women’s cycles have come to be addressed in terms of PMS and periods — with a focus on the inconvenience, mess and expense of “handling the problem.” Society’s evolution from a family and community centric model in which grandmothers, mothers, aunties and wise women handed down their wisdom to their daughters, nieces and valued young girls is all but lost for the majority of women today. I can sum up what my mother shared with me about my cycle in just a few words, “There are paper towels in the kitchen, just use those.” And when my little sister asked questions I needed my mom to help me answer, her response was, “Your sister can learn about it at school, just like you did.”

I’m not upset about these beginnings; I have tried to do things differently with my daughters — probably to the other extreme (maybe things will even out once I have granddaughters!) In my mom’s case, maybe there was a stigma about discussing “it” with me and my sister. Perhaps my mother had never heard it from her mother. Maybe she was bought in to the cultural idea that your cycle really is nothing more than an inconvenient show of blood once monthly interspersed with some cramping and a few mood swings. Perhaps she was just embarrassed. Or, maybe she just didn’t have anything nice to say, so she chose nothing at all.

The single thing that has made the biggest difference for me — not only in being able to have something nice to say about my cycle — but also having something to hand down to my daughters and help them rise above the stigma and demonization they are plummeted with hundreds of times daily through media, peers and even just interacting with other humans has been the new understanding that my “period” is only one aspect of a vital, dynamic, recirculating cycle. The 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks insights have facilitated such a refreshing and smooth transition for me in thinking and being, I wish I’d had access to this wisdom when I was emerging into womanhood, or at the very least when my girls were younger and I first noticed their mood cycling.

Had I known then, as a young mother, what I know now, I would have known that the predictable moods and behaviors I was seeing acted out in my 5 and 7 year old daughters were just their female blueprints coming into view. I would have been able to guide them better to find times that felt good for talking about the big things affecting their hearts and other times for the big things affecting their minds. I would have been able to show them there are some times that are ideal for playing with our friends and other times that we need to be by ourselves a bit. I would have been able to talk to them about the prime time for building relationships with all their important people and how that time can affect the entire rest of their lives. I would have been able to help them attune to their little bodies and recognize the times for resting and being still and the times for exuberant activity. I could have helped them better to identify the times that felt right for reading, writing or drawing as well as the times that felt right for tackling a big, important project or performing some great feat. I could have done all this in the context of the four seasons.

Even the smallest child can observe the changes in the seasons. The chill of autumn sending us to our cozy jammies and blankets to observe the leaves turning red and falling to the ground; the way the world becomes more quiet under the weight of the sky, the way the plants turn in to the earth, pushing their roots down to prepare for winter. The way winter sends us indoors to play and connect with our families, to snuggle close and watch movies or play games or do crafts activities; the feasts and family celebrations that define our holiday celebrations; the slow building of the light after the winter solstice and the way tiny green shoots appear signaling the approach of spring. The arrival of spring with its lengthening days and bursts of color, birds singing, flowers blooming, rosy cheeks and laughter, the return of shirt-sleeves weather and the joy of spinning and spinning in the sun or rolling down grassy hills. And summer, with its hot, sticky don’t-touch-me, she’s-breathing-my-air days, grass that’s browning with too little water and too harsh of sunlight, flowers in need of dead-heading, and all around, too-hot-for-too-long uncomfortableness. Mother Nature’s seasons, so easy to observe and interact with in my little girls’ lives would have been so easy to translate to their own miniature rhythms, their personal 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks, just as they have been for mine as an adult.

I am finding it easier and easier to navigate my own ebbs and flows, to recognize Week 1, Fall as a time for inward focus, for drawing, writing, resting and recouping; to feel the pull of Week 2, Winter to strengthen my relationships with my spouse, my children, my friends and coworkers, and have the deep heart-to-heart talks at a time when I am closest to my own heart-truth and ability to express myself; to embrace the burgeoning fullness of Week 3, Spring, to acknowledge my inner and outer beauty and allow myself a few indulgences with my partner, to allow my world leader to step forward and offer my truth on the mind-to-mind level; and to steal myself for Week 4, Summer, to face the personal hot-spots head on, to take note of the areas in my life that are breathing-my-air this too-hot week. Instead of pushing off my emotions and passions as a symptom of “PMS,” I’m seeing them through the lens of my pre-menstrual truth telling — journaling and processing in anticipation of releasing what no longer serves me, and taking note of the things I will need to bring up later in my heart-to-heart talks. There is an ease to this way of being, a flow. And every month, every cycle it becomes a little more a part of me. My own rhythm is revealing itself in the most beautiful and powerful way. I’m glad to be finding it now, even at 40, it’s making all the difference for me.

4s4w Week 1, Fall, artwork by Cecile Miranda, 2012

 

Friday the 13th, 2013 – an Auspicious Day

12+1Terrific article by Donna Henes in from 2012. Worth the read and repost.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donna-henes/friday-13th_b_1418812.html

Why Friday the 13th Is a Very Lucky Day, Indeed!

Posted: 04/13/2012 7:37 am, Huffington Post

Fear of the number 13 is the most prevalent superstition in the Western world. We even have a name for it: triskaidekaphobia. It is quite common for even the most ordinarily rational and otherwise exemplary person — Winston Churchill, for example — to refuse to sit in row 13 in the theater or on an airplane.

J. Paul Getty and Franklin Delano Roosevelt suffered from triskaidekaphobia. Napoleon was also plagued by a dread of 13. Christopher Columbus, too, seems to have been afflicted. In the 1950s, the Columbiana, a group of Italian Columbus experts, concluded upon careful study of his ships’ logs and notes, that Columbus actually landed on the Western Hemisphere on October 13, 1492. The date, apparently, was deliberately changed to October 12, to avoid the imprint of such an evil omen.

When the 13th day of the month lands on a Friday, the culturally unfavorable attributes of each are multiplied by infinity. Friday is heavily charged with guilt and pain and death in the Judeo- Christian tradition. It was on a Friday that Eve served forbidden fruit pie at her legendary garden soiree. Friday was the day that Adam was expelled from Paradise, the day he repented, the day he died and the day he was cremated. And it was on a Friday — Good Friday — that Christ was killed on the cross.

Friday, the day of original sin, the day Jesus died, the day of public hangings, in combination with 13, the number of steps on a gallows, the number of coils of rope in a hangman’s noose, the number of the Death card in the tarot deck, is indubitably designated as a day of portent and doom.

The pitiful suicide note of a window washer that was found with his body in a gas-filled room at his home and quoted in a 1960 issue of the Yorkshire Post, underscores its powerful, popular reputation, “It just needed to rain today — Friday the 13th — for me to make up my mind.” Poor sod.

Ironically, and in definite defiance of the laws of probability, the 13th day of the month is more likely to fall on a Friday than on any other day of the week. The precisely aligned pattern of our calendar — days, weeks and months — repeats itself exactly every 400 years. In that 400-year period there are 688 Friday the 13ths. 2012 has three Friday the 13ths. “Just our luck!” some might say.

And, though they would mean it facetiously, they would, indeed, be right. For up until the patriarchal revolution, both Fridays and 13s were held in the very highest esteem. Both the day and the number were associated with the Great Goddesses, and therefore, regarded as the sacred essence of luck and good fortune.

Thirteen is certainly the most essentially female number — the average number of menstrual cycles in a year. The approximate number, too, of annual cycles of the moon. When Chinese women make offerings of moon cakes, there are sure to be 13 on the platter. Thirteen is the number of blood, fertility, and lunar potency. 13 is the lucky number of the Great Goddess.

Representing as it does, the number of revolutions the moon makes around the earth in a year, 13 was the number of regeneration for pre-Columbian Mexicans. In ancient Israel, 13 was a sanctified number. Thirteen items were decreed necessary for the tabernacle. At 13 years of age, a boy was (and still is) initiated into the adult Jewish community. In Wicca, the pagan goddess tradition of Old Europe, communicants convene in covens of 13 participants. Thirteen was also auspicious for the Egyptians, who believed that life has 13 stages, the last of which is death — the transition to eternal life.

Held holy in honor of Shekinah, the female aspect of God, Friday was observed as the day of Her special celebrations. Jews around the world still begin the observance of the Sabbath at sunset on Friday evenings when they invite in the Sabbath Bride. Friday is the Sabbath in the Islamic world. Friday is sacred to Oshun, the Yoruba orisha of opulent sensuality and overwhelming femininity, and also to Frig, the Norse Goddess of love and sex, of fertility and creativity. Her name became the Anglo-Saxon noun for love, and in the 16th century, frig came to mean “to copulate.”

Friday was associated with the early Mother Creation Goddesses for whom that day was named. In Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, Icelandic, and Teutonic cultures She was called variously, Freya, Freia, Freyja, Fir, Frea and Frig. Friday is Frig’s Day, Frigedaeg, in Old English, Fredag in Danish, Freitag in Dutch. In Mediterranean lands, She reigned as Venus. In Latin, Friday is the Day of Venus, Dies Veneris; Vendredi in French, Venerdi in Italian and Viernes in Spanish.

Friday the 13th is ultimately the celebration of the lives and loves of Lady Luck. On this, Her doubly-dedicated day, let us consider what fortuitous coincidences constitute our fate. The lucky blend of just the right conditions, chemistries, elements, and energies that comprise our universe. The way it all works. The way we are. That we are at all.

That, despite whatever major or minor matters we might think are unlucky, we have somehow managed to remain alive and aware. This Friday the 13th, let us stand in full consciousness of the miraculousness of existence and count our blessings. Thank Goddess! Knock on wood!

Happy Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Anniversary!

At my house, I serve the Thanksgiving meal the day before. That’s because I have extended family members who have extended family members to eat with, and when we have two Thanksgiving Days in a row everyone gets what they want. Each year is a creative exercise in organizing who is going to be where and on what day. Perhaps it sounds gluttonous, but I see it as sort of a 2-day family festival. It’s quite sweet and lovely, factoring in that this comprises of former spouses and in-laws and kids who (bless us all) have figured out how to get along just fine and more than that, enjoy each other’s company. Add solo friends to the mix who don’t necessarily know anyone and the dynamic becomes fresh and curiously interesting.

It was one year ago today, on this same day before Thanksgiving, that my book,4 Seasons in 4 Weeks (4s4w) arrived at my doorstep, or more truthfully, the sidewalk. My driveway is steep, so the cargo truck couldn’t drop the very large mounds of well-bound-by-stretch-wrapped palettes of boxes in my garage, which we hadn’t figured on. I can’t remember how many boxes 5,000 books and journals make up, but each box was carried by my son, Ian, my daughter, Myan, and me up the driveway. Added to the complexity was that the journal and main book came in two ever-so-slightly, different size boxes which made it hard to just pile on top of each other without thought. We had to hurry to get them into the garage because it was starting to rain. We were dressed for Thanksgiving, not hauling heavy boxes of books in the drizzle and impending downpour.

Soon after, our guests arrived and we sat down in gratitude. I passed out books as if they were hors d’oeuvres. It took 7 years to write that book, and we marveled that this labor of love was now in the physical. I’m not sure any of us thought it would actually happen. And the baby was beautiful.

My mother fell ill at that time and passed away three weeks later, so I didn’t go gangbusters at marketing it, although it began to sell anyway. I had an amazing book launch party in Ashland which gave me hope. I stayed consistent with the basics of selling it while the quick responders, from all over the world, were rapidly stepping forward. By the time I had my mojo aligned to get back into the business end of things (which really took months), the slower but steady pace proved to be perfect. By spending the time to observe and allow the process to unfold, I now have a much better idea of who needs the 4s4w information first and why, how it is very different from books on the same topic, as well as how it might be delivered and heard best.

4 Seasons in 4 Weeks is a series and becoming a movement. There will be many offshoots from the main book, as well as workshops and retreats—all in the making as we speak. This year brought some heartwarming speaking engagements & radio interviews and my 2014 calendar is shaping up nicely with many more invitations.

On this Thanksgiving week, please accept my sincere gratitude and appreciation for your ongoing support and enthusiasm. From speaking with the women whom this work resonates, it is a movement worth encouraging. They are feeling informed, aligned, and in-charge of their happiness, which equates to core power, confidence, and courage. Health, relationships, and money issues are beginning to feel solvable and balanced; lighter. Radical shifts toward inner-peace and outer harmony are being made in women’s and couple’s lives.
In a future blog, I’ll discuss the power of what I call, “the Female Way”, and how the lost language of the ancient feminine culture holds a powerful wisdom that is greatly needed at this time for all. This is the work of 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks and why it rings true for so many.

Love and Thanks,

Suzanne

Please visit our website: www.4s4w.com

Rape Culture and More

by Suzanne Mathis McQueen

Monday, November 18, 2013, I’ll be speaking at the Southern Oregon University Fem Fest at 4:45 pm. The title of my talk with be: The Missing Link: The Lost Language of the Female Way, based on the work I do with 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks and evolving, sacred feminism.

At 7 pm, Melissa McEwan will deliver the keynote. She is the author of this outstanding essay on Rape Culture. It’s difficult to find any better description anywhere and I encourage you to read this piece.

Fem Fest 2013

This day long, interactive event involving workshops, presentations and performances delivered by campus and community members, will celebrate and explore intersectional feminist practice, research, activism and creativity. The intention is to create a space where people of diverse identities, with a wide range of interests and passions will be able to explore how feminisms connect to their personal, academic or professional lives.

 

 

 

 

 

Listening to the Inner Muse

Mezzo Goddess Emily Balivet

www.emilybalivet.com

Another reason why I love listening to my Inner Muse.

Here’s the blog that I wrote this morning on Sacred Feminist . Perhaps you can relate!

And isn’t Emily Balivet’s artwork just beautiful? Please see her gallery at her website or on Etsy.

Step Forward and Roar—Fiercely

Stand in your core power, Ladies. Within our political and societal power structure the rape issue is getting worse, not better. Today, you must not only protect yourself, but you must protect what women deserve. SAFETY.

This means stepping forward with courage and speaking out.

What does this have to do with 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks (4s4w)?

The female, monthly, rhythmic cycle (which is what 4s4w is all about) is an internal guidance system that helps each woman navigate her strengths and weaknesses in order to make powerful decisions in the moment. It’s the best tool you have for being super present and sharp. Our cycles help us to assess whether we are bringing our authentic selves to our lives and the planet. When we truly get to know our own unique lunar rhythm, we are better able to wisely observe and absorb our surroundings, speak out with grace and surety, or step forward and roar – fiercely.

Right now, more than ever, it’s important to be attentive to this rape issue. Know thyself. When you truly value yourself and know that you deserve to live safely (doing your part to take precautions like any human should), you, in turn, will truly value other women and know that they too deserve to live without threat. The value of women in society is invaluable. Our society needs to learn this.

The stats show that 1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes and 1 in 4 will be victims of domestic violence. I’m not OK with this. Are you? We already shed enough blood naturally.

To learn more about tuning into the phenomenal wisdom of your female cycle blueprint, keep following 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks, buy the beautiful book, join a circle (more on this soon), or sign up for the eLetter here at www.4s4w.com.

In good nature and spirit,

Suzanne

My commentary is in response to this article:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/09/03/richard_cohen_and_betsy_karasik_minimize_rape_in_the_pages_of_the_washington.html?wpisrc=most_viral

Are You Cliterate?

http://sacredfeminist.blogspot.com/ by Suzanne Mathis McQueen

Are you Cliterate?

I consider her to be a most important rediscovery.

Her name is “clitoris”, a hugely important pleasure treasure who’s holistic intelligence, secrets, SIZE, and potential for saving one’s sanity has been cruelly banished and kept out for way too long. Along with the female cycle and the VaJayJay, she is yet another locked-away, buried, code of female conduct and function which is finally being unearthed by one interesting author, artist, or everyday woman-after-another in the ongoing effort to reveal the authentic and powerful female—one’s true state of being. 

Sure, anyone who knows anything at all about lovemaking knows to touch, lubricate, rub, massage, lick, or suck the clit. Sometimes it leads to orgasm and sometimes it doesn’t. Certainly and thankfully there are lovers out there who have it going on in this regard, but it’s more than this. We women want more information and sexual equality. We are very interested in knowing exactly how big that thing inside of us is and the role it plays in not only pleasure and orgasm, but bringing respect and happiness back into the lives of women globally. 

In her Ted Talk, Nicole Daedone let’s us know that orgasm through clit attention is the Cure for Hunger in the Western Woman. Mary Roach tells us 10 Things We Didn’t Know About Orgasm. Mara Altman goes on a vision quest for the Big O. 

And now artist, Sophia Wallace, is getting visual.  She wants you to be Cliterate.

The Clitoris’s true potential is not only rarely utilized or focused on, but there seems to be an equal amount of derogatory excuses of why it just isn’t worth the bother, which in turn, tells us that pleasuring women in life is not worth the bother. Worse though, are cultural and societal attitudes and  practices that eliminate the clit altogether in order to eliminate the pleasure of the woman altogether in order to control her behavior altogether. Metaphorically, the elimination of the clitoris can be experienced all around us where women are sexually portrayed virtually everywhere in the media to sell almost every thing, but are ultimately, personally de-feminized in their equal entitlement to sexual pleasure. 

Even though the mostly hidden clitoris is often longer than a not-erect penis, it doesn’t take a genius to note the societal preference given to making sure men are sexually satiated because they “need it” and the presumption that women don’t really care about sex all that much. Take Las Vegas for example (or any other place in the world for that matter). It’s easy for men to buy sexual release and touch if they need it (whether it’s low or high end prostitution), but if you’re a woman? Forget it. The general population believes women would never do such a thing and that we have no such needs. It’s not only ridiculous, but it keeps women feeling lonely, sexually frustrated, not valued, and untouchable. Physically, psychologically, emotionally, or metaphorically, it’s all cruelty toward women and violence against them no matter which way you look at it. And this is what Sophia Wallace is speaking the truth about with her Cliteracy project..

The Clitoris. It’s not enough to know you have one. Claiming Your Clit is yet one more important step to claiming and integrating your female sexuality into your entire holistic and authentic self and knowing what you deserve. 

We’ve only begun, in recent years, talking about the clitoris, orgasm, the female cycle, menopause, and the vagina. Next up: I want to see the world discover a treasured, sacred feminine recipe for reliable contraception, or see created, a form of the birth control pill that is actually good for the female and keeps her hormonal rhythm in tact. For the same reasons these other sexually focused features were excluded from importance and power, finding holistically good-for-the-woman contraception through ancient wisdom or current super science is not coming along quickly.  I know it is out there, but I think unfortunately, it will first take believing that women deserve sovereignty over their female bodies and lives before sincere action will be taken.

“Reproduction really translates to sex and creation. Both can be sacred, and both can be exploited. Both are controversial,and so are women because of them.” ~ 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks: Awakening the Power, Wisdom, and Beauty in Every Woman’s Nature, page xxii

* Huff Post Women, August 2013,

 

If Men Could Menstruate

A goodie from Gloria Steinem’s Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, NY: NAL, 1986. ~ (thanks to Occupy Menstruation’s facebook post for this great reminder)

So what would happen if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?

Clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, worthy, masculine event:

Men would brag about how long and how much.

Young boys would talk about it as the envied beginning of manhood. Gifts, religious ceremonies, family dinners, and stag parties would mark the day.

To prevent monthly work loss among the powerful, Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea. Doctors would research little about heart attacks, from which men would be hormonally protected, but everything about cramps.

Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free. Of course, some men would still pay for the prestige of such commercial brands as Paul Newman Tampons, Muhammad Ali’s Rope-a-Dope Pads, John Wayne Maxi Pads, and Joe Namath Jock Shields- “For Those Light Bachelor Days.”

Statistical surveys would show that men did better in sports and won more Olympic medals during their periods.

Generals, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation (“men-struation”) as proof that only men could serve God and country in combat (“You have to give blood to take blood”), occupy high political office (“Can women be properly fierce without a monthly cycle governed by the planet Mars?”), be priests, ministers, God Himself (“He gave this blood for our sins”), or rabbis (“Without a monthly purge of impurities, women are unclean”).

Male liberals and radicals, however, would insist that women are equal, just different; and that any woman could join their ranks if only she were willing to recognize the primacy of menstrual rights (“Everything else is a single issue”) or self-inflict a major wound every month (“You must give blood for the revolution”).

Street guys would invent slang (“He’s a three-pad man”) and “give fives” on the corner with some exchange like, “Man you lookin’ good!” “Yeah, man, I’m on the rag!”

TV shows would treat the subject openly. (Happy Days: Richie and Potsie try to convince Fonzie that he is still “The Fonz,” though he has missed two periods in a row. Hill Street Blues: The whole precinct hits the same cycle.) So would newspapers. (Summer Shark Scare Threatens Menstruating Men. Judge Cites Monthlies In Pardoning Rapist.) And so would movies. (Newman and Redford in Blood Brothers!)

Men would convince women that sex was more pleasurable at “that time of the month.” Lesbians would be said to fear blood and therefore life itself, though all they needed was a good menstruating man.

Medical schools would limit women’s entry (“they might faint at the sight of blood”).

Of course, intellectuals would offer the most moral and logical arguements. Without the biological gift for measuring the cycles of the moon and planets, how could a woman master any discipline that demanded a sense of time, space, mathematics– or the ability to measure anything at all? In philosophy and religion, how could women compensate for being disconnected from the rhythm of the universe? Or for their lack of symbolic death and resurrection every month?

Menopause would be celebrated as a positive event, the symbol that men had accumulated enough years of cyclical wisdom to need no more.

Liberal males in every field would try to be kind. The fact that “these people” have no gift for measuring life, the liberals would explain, should be punishment enough.

And how would women be trained to react? One can imagine right-wing women agreeing to all these arguements with a staunch and smiling masochism. (“The ERA would force housewives to wound themselves every month”: Phyllis Schlafly)

In short, we would discover, as we should already, that logic is in the eye of the logician. (For instance, here’s an idea for theorists and logicians: if women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn’t it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? I leave further improvisation up to you.)

The truth is that, if men could menstruate, the power justifications would go on and on.
If we let them.

(c) Gloria Steinem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. NY: NAL, 1986.

A Passed-Out Woman. Temptation.

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