Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Lybrel says 'You don't need a period.'"

"Surveys have found up to half of women would prefer not to have any periods, most would prefer them less often and a majority of doctors have prescribed contraception to prevent periods.

. . . . . .

Most doctors say there's no medical reason women need monthly bleeding and that it triggers health problems from anemia to epilepsy in many women. They note women have been tinkering with nature since the advent of birth control pills and now endure as many as 450 periods, compared with 50 or so in the days when women spent most of their fertile years pregnant or breast-feeding."

I really thought we had moved past early-eighties feminism, where women had to become honorary men in order to be equal.

Did you notice how the justifying moves go? A) Most women don't want to have periods. B) There are women for whom menstruation presents a medical problem. C) Therefore, this product is okay. D) And plus, we've conquered the inconvenience of childbearing and lactation. This is just one more inconvenience to conquer!

So, once again, a potential (hypothetical? rare?) medical problem is used to justify the development of a product that will be prescribed to the population at large, apart from any medical need. Another wildly profitable product for pharmaceutical companies--because of our incapacity to endure any sort of inconvenience.

Why are women's bodies so to be feared and despised?


JoVE said...

I don't think feminists were ever responsible for that kind of "be like men" thing. In fact criticism of the medical profession/industry for pathologizing women's bodies have been around for a while.

But that little line is the only beef I have with this post. I totally agree that this is just awful. And that the response to most women hating their periods should be about how we change the cultural context in which having a period becomes such a huge inconvenience (which is not necessarily about any particular physical symptoms).

One of my knitting friends wrote a great post about menstruation a while ago. You can find it here

Deb said...

I'm with you on this one. It harkens back to the gynophobia of the rabbis who did not want a menstruating woman to worship in the temple. As if God minded???


KK said...

well, thanks to extremely heavy periods, I have a hemoglobin count of 7 and have to take megadoses of iron just to keep it up there. I have tried endometrial ablation, and it had no effect. I am now looking for some way to stop my periods without a hysterectomy. A pill to do it would be more than welcome.