Monday, November 10, 2008

My TV has an opinion!

When The Beaver Ad appeared on my TV screen earlier this year, my housemate Ana and I fell on the floor laughing, but until I went searching for it on the internet today I had no idea how controversial it was at the time it aired. The fuss related to the use of the euphemism "beaver".

Delving into information and reflections on menstruation and women's health it's impossible to avoid euphemisms. At times I've considered starting a list of all of the ones I've heard and read. The curiosity of how they develop and the tone behind each name has a certain appeal. Some are gentle, others bizarre, some crude and demeaning, many secretive, and hundreds incredibly creative or playful.... but yes back to the topic at hand.... ADVERTISING.

When I think about Australian advertising related to menstrual products, most of them imply one of the following to me:

  • Don't let your period interfere with your life.
  • Keep your period a secret an unobstrusive eg. use the slimest, smallest non noticable pad/tampon.
  • Menstrual blood should never ever be actually mentioned in anyway shape or form. (If I got all my sex ed from tv I think I'd expect my period to be blue!)
  • All men are clueless about menstruation.

I'm not sure I like what my TV tells me.

Five ad's are reviewed at this link if you scroll down the page: The Gruen Transfer - Ad Critique

What do you think of current advertising at the moment?

To wrap up the beaver theme, on our jaunt to Ikea last week, Tim and I found this toy beaver, instantly thought of the ad and carried it around as a joke, but it was a tad too ugly to purchase and take home.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Can you keep a secret?

A woman somewhere in the world sent this postcard into Post Secret

What are your menstrual secrets? If you feel like sharing them leave a coment...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Marking Time

Have a read of Phyllis Berman's account of marking her daughters first menses here:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Poetry: Ellen Bass


by Ellen Bass

Women bleed
We bleed.
The blood flows out of us. So we will bleed.
Blood paintings on our thighs, patterns
like river beds, blood on the chairs in
insurance offices, blood on Greyhound buses
and 747's, blood blots, flower forms
on the blue skirts of the stewardesses.
Blood on restaurant floors, supermarket aisles, the steps of government
buildings. Sidewalks

Gretel's bread
will have
blood trails,
crumbs. We can always find our way.

We'll feed the fish with our blood. Our blood
will neutralize the chemicals and dissolve the old car parts.
Our blood will detoxify the phosphates and the
PCB's. Our blood will feed the depleted soils.
Our blood will water the dry, tired surface of the earth.
We will bleed. We will bleed. We will
bleed until we bathe her in our blood and she turns
slippery new like a baby birthing.

Be Part of a Research Project

by following the link below and completing the survey online:

Menstrual Pain, Distress & Primary Care

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Consulting the Dictionary


verb (used without object) move along in a stream: The river flowed slowly to the sea. circulate: blood flowing through one's veins. stream or well forth: Warmth flows from the sun. issue or proceed from a source: Orders flowed from the office. menstruate. come or go as in a stream: A constant stream of humanity flowed by. proceed continuously and smoothly: Melody flowed from the violin. hang loosely at full length: Her hair flowed over her shoulders. abound in something: The tavern flowed with wine. rise and advance, as the tide (opposed to EBB).

verb (used with object) cause or permit to flow: to flow paint on a wall before brushing. cover with water or other liquid; flood.

noun act of flowing.
14.movement in or as if in a stream.
15.the rate of flowing.
16.the volume of fluid that flows through a passage of any given section during a unit of time: Oil flow of the well was 500 barrels a day.
17.something that flows; stream. outpouring or discharge of something, as in a stream: a flow of blood.
19. Menstruation overflowing; flood.
21.the rise of the tide (opposed to EBB).
22.Machinery. progressive distortion of a metal object under continuous service at high temperature.
23.Physics. the transference of energy: heat flow

[Origin: bef. 900; (v.) ME flowen, OE flōwan; akin to MLG vlōien, ON flōa; (n.) late ME: surge of a wave, deriv. of the v.]

flow·a·ble, adjective
flow·a·bil·i·ty, noun

1. Flow, gush, spout, spurt refer to certain of the movements characteristic of fluids. Flow is the general term: Water flows. A stream of blood flows. To gush is to rush forth copiously from a cavity, in as large a volume as can issue therefrom, as the result of some strong impelling force: The water will gush out if the main breaks. Spout and spurt both imply the ejecting of a liquid from a cavity by some internal impetus given to it. Spout implies a rather steady, possibly well-defined, jet or stream, not necessarily of long duration but always of considerable force: A whale spouts. Spurt implies a forcible, possibly sudden, spasmodic, or intermittent issue or jet: The liquid spurted out suddenly when the bottle cap was pushed in. Spout applies only to liquids; the other terms apply also to gases. 7. run. 9. teem. Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Poetry: Lucille Clifton

wishes for sons

by Lucille Clifton

i wish them cramps.
i wish them a strange town
and the last tampon.
i wish them no 7-11.

i wish them one week early
and wearing a white skirt.
i wish them one week late.

later i wish them hot flashes
and clots like you
wouldn't believe. let the
flashes come when they
meet someone special.
let the clots come
when they want to.

let them think they have accepted
arrogance in the universe,
then bring them to gynecologists
not unlike themselves.