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An Homage to the Interwebz

February 20, 2012

I was thinking of how I needed to write today. It’s been a bit and there are things going on. Especially with contraception. Read here for a quick update on why everyone’s freakin’ out.  And read here to see a writer at theawl.com talk about why romance novels are feminist documents. (Thanks for feministing.com for both the links, woo!)

So the two articles above and a recent weekend purchase of mine got me to thinking about women and knowledge. This is gonna get pretty personal pretty fast, so look away if the word ‘tampon’ scares you. AH! (not gonna lie, posting this frightens me, and not just because I know at least one of my professors is reading this). WHATEVER.

No worries. Just freaked out for a bit. I’m over it. Okay.

Thus, begins my story:

So this weekend, I was thinking to myself “man tampons are expensive! What’s that about anyway, capitalism gettin’ all up in my business. It’s not like I can help it or anything, why should I have to pay more money than other people just because they might be uncomfortable with me just doin’ my thing sans tampon, HMMM?”

I know, I know. It’s a great invention that allows people with a uterus to not have to just chill in bed for 5-7ish days of every month because they can’t go out without bleeding in front of everybody. (If you’re freaking out about now, don’t blame me, I totally warned you). So it’s a great invention, I’m very appreciative, blah, blah, blah. But why does a box have to cost around $9.00?! Unfair!

So I decided to find a better way! I put on my superwomen cape and ran over to Central Market and got myself a DivaCup. Why they have to give it that tragic name, I will never know. I’m not a diva. In fact, I really just don’t like the word diva, ugh. At least it’s not pink.

ANYhow, I’m pretty excited. But this got me thinking later on as I was searching on Google (that now thinks I’m a very odd person by my search queries) for FAQs and personal anecdotes of other’s experiences with my newfound purchase to get the skinny on how it works and what people think of it and everything in between. Following a string of information on my Google trail I was blazing, I think at one point I typed in ‘where is my cervix’. Needless to say, I now know.

A christian book for puberty

I don't remember my book looking nearly as approachable as this one

So back to the internet for a bit. Maybe it’s just my family, or just my mom, but I feel like I never really learned ANYthing about my body or relationships, or any of that stuff you’re supposed to learn when your parents sit you down at the ripe old age of eleven or so and explain the birds and bees to ya. I think I distinctly remember my mother throwing a book in my direction that was like ‘God and Your Body’ (my mother’s sort of a pagan too, which made the book all the more confusing and I think might have reinforced that it was something not to be discussed). I hid this book in between my two mattresses without anyone telling me that’s where it was supposed to go. And I had a bookshelf, full of wonderful things. Apparently, I just managed to get some sort of subliminal messages from my two sisters and parents that the book didn’t belong in public, sitting next to Speaker for the Dead or something.

So why was I so afraid of that book? And why do I cringe when I talk about tampons even with my friends who have a uterus too? And why am I scared that someday, Google will tell someone that I looked up ‘where is my cervix’ and they won’t hire me because they think I’m weird or a creep, or both? If you are a friend of mine, you know I lament about this all the time. The fact that (from my perspective and experiences) women have to sort of search the nooks and crannies of the internet and livejournal to find information on things like DivaCups or cervix location (I’m hoping by typing it more, I can normalize it for myself a bit…so far, not working)?

Why can’t we talk about things that matter in our everyday lives to each other without feeling awkward. We’re like 54% of the population or something and we still make funny faces when even we bring this stuff up to each other (okay, maybe that’s just me).

So, dear mother, if someday you Google my name and find this blog, thanks for the book, but I really wished we would have talked more about everything so I didn’t have to Google my way through my body.

And to the rest of the world, ISN’T THE INTERNET AWESOME?

I mean, we can finally have conversations with each other that we never would have face to face. I can talk to other people and ask them things that I would never do in real life because I know almost with certainty, I will never know them (I’m sure someday I’ll meet someone IRL who will prove this wrong and greatly embarrass me but c’est la vie!).

So, dear women posting YouTube videos about the DivaCup, y’all rock. And to all those parenting online zines and forums and chats, thank you! And to the all male panel discussing birth control…really? REALLY??

Okay, I think that’s my story for the night/love letter to the internet.

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2012 1:51 pm

    Great post! You should check out this interactive web site, Crankytown.ca, all about menstruation for tween girls.

    There are videos, poems, and info, all about that time of the month. We are dispelling the taboo of periods, and making mensturation something creative and empowering. And most of all, something to talk about!

    Check us out on Facebook too:

    @CRANKYTOWN http://www.facebook.com/pages/Crankytown/165098690178751

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