Womb carrying folks usually start menstruation (i.e. regular periods) before the age of 16 years*. I was much older than this when I began to accurately understand what my anatomy ‘down there’ was like. I think I had a conception of tampons being a cross between a plug and a sponge. I guess this isn’t completely wrong, but neither is it completely right as the bleeding’s coming from the cervix, with a vagina being a passage way.
I’ve come across a fair few people who have an aversion to using tampons, partly because they are not confident (or downright uncomfortable) with their anatomy and with the idea of placing something in to their vagina. Even amongst some of my liberated friends, I am considered a bit of a fringe eccentric for using a mooncup – something I’ve done of the last few years. About the size of an egg cup and made from soft silicone, it sits in the vagina, just below the cervix and catches blood. It can then be washed, without contributing plastic to the bin or cotton to sewage waste.
n.b. I’ve recently discovered that ‘mooncup’ is just one of many other brands. This has somewhat blown my mind.
*Lawrence and Impey (2012) Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 4th Ed.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the UK’s ‘Representation of the People Act’, which gave (some) women (over 30 and living in their own home) the right to vote. It also extended the franchise to a wider group of men.
Now in the UK, any woman over the age of 18 has the right to vote. We have a female head of state and Prime Minister. However, we also live in a country where women are under-represented in most other positions of power. This ranges from parliament to the boardroom. There is also growing recognition that gender equality is a wider issue and that the efforts of privileged white women is only part of the story, even if it is acknowledged as important. Let’s remember and celebrate that things got better 100 years ago, but not forget that we still have a way to go.
In just over a week, I’m sitting a professional exam. I’ve been spending most of my doodling time on that, so here’s a scribble from the margins:
Uterine fibroids are growths in the tissue of the uterus (womb). They can be quite common, particularly with increasing age, and can cause pain and per vagina bleeding. Fibroids: probably not your friend.
Condoms – simple barriers used as contraception. Originally made out of the insides of animals (mmmm, sexy). They’ve come a long way though, and a recent article in the Guardian describes some of the changes that are currently going on – from rebranding to innovations in the actual way that they are constructed. As a barrier form of contraception, they are also one of the few methods that protect against STIs.
Do you remember learning about reproduction as a child?
I’ve got two pieces on show as part of the ‘Fabrications’ exhibition at The Mill in Walthamstow, East London. We were challenged to use fabric in novel or tradition ways.
I’ve gone for two needlework pieces- a past time often seen as very ‘feminine’. I’ve used it to depict quotes from two very revolutionary women, both of whom were activists who embraced radical, anti-establishment notions.
“Ask for work. If they don’t give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread then take bread.” – Emma Goldman
Russian-Jewish Anarchist, campaigner for labour and women’s rights and trained midwife.
“Dreams and reality are opposites, action synthesises them.” -Assata Shakur
Member of the Black Panthers and FBI fugitive.
The latest from my life drawing group.
21st of March is World Poetry Day, as designated by UNESCO. Oh, and also International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, International Day of Nowruz, World Down Syndrome Day, World Puppetry Day and International Day of Forests. Phew – that’s a lot of international observancing to do. Better get cracking so that we can get this sorted for World Water Day (tomorrow).