Here's a question. If for a day or two out of every month the majority of men between the ages of 10-50 could expect to experience appendicitis-like symptoms, would this be a subject of conversation or would it be an embarrassing and somewhat shameful topic "politely" ignored?
I am menstruating today. Though it is 2006, this is considered a forward and confronting conversational opening. For over 30 years, except for the nine months when I was pregnant, I have had debilitating menstrual cramps, PMS and related fatigue for at least one to a few days every month. There are many women in my position but because menstruation is still considered an impolite subject, I wouldn't know it by way of my daily interactions. We do talk about menstruation, of course, but not much.
I'm not setting this up as an oh-those-crappy-men versus us-poor-women conversation. I point out what I consider to be the tip of the iceberg in what I call the menstrual paradigm, which serves as an excellent example of what it actually means to live in a masculine energy system. Fish swim in water, we swim in a worldwide culture that is based on masculine principles. It's very difficult to step out of the environment in which we are completely accustomed to living and examine it. But let's use the menstrual paradigm to give it a try.
Here's another question. What if menstruation was honored rather than ignored? I used the appendicitis analogy because for many women, menstruation is a curse. It is painful; it is messy; even for those women whose menstrual cycles are mild, it is inconvenient. Why should this be so?
Because we live in a 9-to-5, 5+-days-a-week, deadline-oriented, get things done, win win win, monetary bottom-line, never-stop-and-be-still world. So because the world is structured the way it is, a completely natural female bodily event that happens every month and signifies a woman's ability to create life is considered taboo (or, at least, below the level of polite conversation), cursed, painful, messy and inconvenient.
As a woman who has experienced the miracle of creating life in my body and now as a mother of another beautiful female who will also one day be able to create life, I deplore, I abhor, I scream in my heart at the sheer gross ignorance of our culture and its attitude to feminine power and energy. I can't even begin to tell you what a world based on a greater balance of feminine and masculine energy would look like because I live in what has been millennia of masculine-based systems.
I'm just guessing though that if we lived in a world where the bodily systems of the life-givers on the planet were honored; if menstruation, for instance, was a time of nurturing rather than shame, the world would be a more peaceful place. Just a wild guess.