Usually I am not the biggest fan of Vice Magazine, --->but this article<---Usually I am not the biggest fan of Vice Magazine, but an article that was posted on their blog brings up some issues/ideas/opinions that I don't normally feel towards most things written for/by them. It's an article that consists of everyday images of female/woman-bodied individuals, doing monotonous, mundane things. The aspect of these photoraphs that is so "unique" or, "unusual", however, is that they are all bleeding/menstruating and the blood is soaking their garments or dripping down their legs. At first I thought 'wow, cool, this is advocating for women to embrace their natural, bodily function rather than hide it away!" but again, I thought "but would I do that? I'm very open about my period and am verbal about how much I love and embrace it but I would never let it drip all over me for everybody to see, just like I would never let any of my bodily fluids drip all over me and my clothing". But I'm hesitant to liken menstruation to other natural bodily fluids or excrements, bowel movements or urine, which are dirty soils and are associated with dirty things, things our bodies want to dispose of, things that pop-culture and the media like to make fun of and use as fodder for crude jokes. I want periods to be discussed in a manner that provides an arena for this beautiful, natural occurence to receive the recognition and acknowledgement that it deserves. I don't want it to be made into a joke, to have to go as far as to be made into this intense-in your face-sexualized bodily function or to have to stoop to the level of being subdued or stiffled. I want menstruation to be something that women can talk about comfortably, ask questions about. Maybe not necessarily blab about it at volume 10 in their co-ed classroom. But, then again, maybe male-bodied individuals need to learn how to respect menstruation enough to understand that it isn't something to be grossed or weirded out by. That, even if you ignore it or don't want to listen to people talking about it doesn't stop it from happening ALL THE TIME. I want women to be able to understand their bodies, to leave shame behind and learn how to completely and totally feel free and one with their physical selves. I want women to know how to adequatly take care of themselves, dote on their bodies, know what the different textures and colors mean, what varying menstrual products are best for their bodies, for the environment. I also want female/woman-bodied individuals to feel comfortable reading about their periods, looking at art creations (see: May Ling Su "On My Period", Carolee Schneemann *pulling a scroll out of her vagina*, Zanele Muholi, Ingrid Berthon-Moine, Judy Chicago "Red Flag", etc etc) that depict periods in an aesthetically beautiful, abstract and artistically rendered way. I want women to know where to search these resources out. I want women to come together and embrace one another and their shared, united similarities/experiences as well as their wonderful, apparent differences. I want women to be able to feel whole, welcomed, to realize that NO aspect of their body is wicked or dirty. To be able to sucessfully do this, however, we need to find a means in which we can talk about menstruation but also avoid conflict. How can we create a menstrual imagery without simultaneously creating menstrual hate, or, furthering societal/media stereotypes? Many artists have tried and succeeded, but many have also been silenced and, in their wake, have left behind a movement, despite it being one that is equally silenced. I despise how I feel like my period is pornographic, X-rated. I hate how, even posting this, I feel like I need to censor myself. Replace "period" with childish, flowery phrases like "my monthly visitor" or "when mother nature calls". It's called a PERIOD, dammit! There is nothing wrong or evil about that. There is nothing shameful or wrong, and this is what I am thankful for these artists, social media (some) and individuals for attempting to do. I love my period because it reminds me of who I am, who the women before me were. And this is my personal account, because I am fortunate enough to have been born in a body that I feel right in. Menstruation is a constant reminder of that. I celebrate when it arrives, despite my groaning. I look forward to it coming because it makes me feel alive, like a woman, like a functioning body that operates the way I want it to operate. We need to reclaim menstruation, for ourselves (if our bodies are those that we are comfortable living in), and for others and to recognize the constant beauty and wonderful functions and creations that it can and does provide.