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Monday, October 22, 2007

Body Blog

Wouldn't it be nice to have a blog that reminded us every day to be conscious, give thanks, breathe, eat well, remember the mystery?

I hope some of the blogs on this site and msmenopause will do that. I know I write for myself, primarily but it's pleasing to hear from other bloggers and people looking for knowledge about women's mysteries.

The mother line of knowing has been cut for most of us, the one where knowledge is passed down between grandmother, mother and daughter. On my desk is a picture of my maternal grandmother from sometime in the 20's (from the loooks of her hair and dress), and below that I have a picture of my mother, my teenaged self with waist length hair, and my paternal grandmother, sitting in a rocker, all neat and pretty at 80'something, with permed white hair. My mother, gave birth to eight children in 10 years. In spite of being a newly recovered alcoholic, she's looking surprisingly young in this photo. She must be around 40, but looks 30, with a wide smile and her glasses off.

What was she told about her body at menstruation? She told me recently that she woke up to a swollen lip, feeling slightly deformed, on her first day of bleeding. Her mother was not the huggy type, never said I love you, according to my aunts who I polled on her personality. I grew up a few thousand miles away, so I wasn't close to my grandmother. What might she have heard from her mother? It boggles the mind, to try and understand where we got so shut off from our bodies, from our sexuality, from our women's cycles.

Maybe it was all just matter of fact, being on the rag, having the curse, no big deal.

I remember having to wear those wide pads with a belt and clips, very cumbersome. Almost as bad as nylons before pantyhose were invented. Waddling down the school corridors in mini-skirts afraid to bend over at the water fountain.

So, what did you learn about your body from your mother? I remember her cupping her hands over my breasts to see if they were growing! Embarassing. And the speech about sex being only for when you are married and have met the 'one'. I know booklets were conveniently left around the house, 101 questions you never dared ask about sex. But most of these did not enlighten me on the female cycle.

We are still learning that what is natural is right for us when it comes to our uterus, vagina, breasts, ovaries. Can we take responsibility for our bodies, and refuse to be bullied into medical interventions, or menstrual suppression, hormonal treatments and scheduled breastfeedings? Do you know how many doctors still recommend that women breastfeed every four hours?

Our intuition and famous 'maternal instinct' notwithstanding, I think it's an insult to our intelligence, as well as very sad, that mothers need to be told when to feed their babies, that girls are being advised to take the pill continuously so that they never bleed or have any 'inconvenience', that hysterectomies and caesarians are so common.

When will women stand up for our own bodies?

If you're not a Vagina Warrior already, please read Eve Ensler's famous book, The Vagina Monologues.

have a great day in your Bodhi-body,
jenn

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