Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
It could just be watching the Vagina Monologues and/or making pads. Does anyone actually own the Vagina Monologues?
Let's hear some feedback! Is anyone available Thursday or Friday?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
You can tell them the info from your last few periods, and they make a prediction for when your next one should be. It's pretty convenient, and the more dates you know the better they are able to predict; mine's been on the exact day they predicted the past two months. And, if you are working with Fertility Awareness, there's a setting for you to write in your body temperature. They also give you some stats about what phase of your cycle you are most likely in, and when you are most likely to ovulate - but don't necessarily believe these predictions, since every woman is different and they just give you the date when most women would ovulate.
I read this book my sophmore year. It was very, very interesting. I would highly recommend it! You can take it out of carrier library--so it's free!
Proposal for one of our meetings talking on women's rhetoric--a book club. We could recommend books, bring them in, read favorite passages, etc.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
-alternative forms of birth control (we didn't really go into this)
-lady herbs for lady things
-feminism- what is it? what does it mean to you? does it still even exist?
-what it means to be a woman/tales of womanhood
-menstruation products & a new perspective on menstruation
-ayurveda for women
Another possibility could be watching "The Vagina Monologues" this Sunday night and having a "my relationship with my vagina" meeting, in which we could take photos!! I think I like that one the best for this week. Let me know what you think.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Our Bodies (how we cycle)
- MENSTRUATION: The first day of a cycle is the first day you bleed, your period.
-your period typically last 3 to 5 days
-it varies for every woman though….just as your cycle length does too…anywhere from 24 to 40 days!
2. Then we dry up for a bit, our temperatures are low and our cervixes are closed and firm.
3. FOLLICULAR PHASE: After our period ends (sometimes even towards the end of your period) you begin your follicular phase which is when your ovaries start growing a few eggs which will emit estrogen into your body.
-estrogen tells your uterus to start preparing for a baby
-to add a fresh layer of blood to the uterus wall.
-to open and soften your cervix
-secrete vaginal mucus from the cervical crypts! Which will keep sperm alive for 5 days.
-which can start as gummy/tacky then turn to creamy/sticky and turn slippery/eggwhite
-This begins your FERTILE PHASE. Mucus means fertile time.
-and to keep your body temperature cool. Typically somewhere in the 97 degree range.
The follicular part of the cycle will last about 10 days.
*If you have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome this part of the cycle will last a long time.
4. OVULATION (this is when you most fertile): Once the egg is ripe and ready to go it will break free from its shell in the ovary and travels into the fallopian tube.
*The egg will live in the fallopian tube for only 12-24 hours!!!
*at this point you will have really wet/stretchy/eggwhite mucus. Like in the pictures we looked at.
5. LUTEAL PHASE (you are no longer fertile): after you ovulate the shell that released the egg from the ovary will begin to make progesterone.
-Progesteron tells the body to make your bloody uterus lining spongy
-it dries up your mucus. No more vaginal mucus.
-It warms you up your body temperature (typically in the high 97 or 98 degree mark,
youwill see a clear shift from low to high temps depending on your body)
-your cervix becomes firm and closed
*Your shell that released the egg dies in about 2 weeks (12-16 days) after ovulation. THEN YOU BLEED AGAIN!!!!! And start over. From the top.
*your temperature will drop down again once you bleed.
*if your are pregnant then your temperature won’t drop….sorry.
by Ellen Bass
My periods have changed. It is years
since I have swallowed ping and gray darvons, round
chalky midols from the bottle with the smiling girl.
Now I plan a quiet space,
protect myself those first few days when my uterus lets
go and I am an open anemone. I know
when my flow will come. I watch my mucous pace
changes like a dancer, follow the fall
and rise of my body heat. All this
and yet I never questioned them, those slim white handies.
It took me years to learn to use them
starting with Pursettes and a jar of vaseline.
I didn't even know where the hole was.
I didn't even know enough
to try to find one. I pushed until
only a little stuck out and hoped
that was far enough.
I tried every month through high school.
And now that I can change it in a moving car --
like Audrey Hepburn changing dresses in the taxi
in the last scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's --
I've got to give them up.
Tampons, I read, are
chemically treated to
Good old asbestos. Once we learned not to shake it --
Johnson & Johnson's -- on our babies or diaphragms,
we thought we had it licked.
So what do we do? They're universal.
Even macrobiotics and lesbian separatists are hooked on them.
Go back to sanitary napkins?
Junior high, double napkins
on the heavy days, walking home damp underpants
chafing thighs. It's been a full twelve years
since I have worn one, since Spain when Marjorie pierced
and I unloaded half a suitcase of the big gauze pads in the
Someone in my workshop suggested Tassaways, little
cups that catch the flow.
They've stopped making them,
we're told. Women found they could reuse them
and the company couldn't make enough
money that way. Besides,
the suction pulled the cervix out of shape.
It presses on me, one woman says.
So swollen these days. Too tender.
Menstrual extraction, a young woman says.
I heard about that. Ten minutes
and it's done.
But I do not trust putting tubes into my uterus each month.
We're told everything is safe
in the beginning.
the Indians used mosses.
I live in Aptos. We grow
succulents and pine.
I will buy mosses
when they sell them at the co-op.
Okay. It's like the whole birth control schmeer.
There just isn't a good way. Women bleed.
The blood flows out of us. We will bleed.
Blood paintings on our thighs; patterns
like river beds, blood on the chairs in
insurance offices, blood on Greyhound buses
and 747s, blood blots, flower forms
on the blue skirts of the stewardesses.
Blood on restaurant floors, supermarket aisles,
the steps of government buildings. Sidewalks will have blood trails,
like Gretel's bread crumbs. We can always find our way.
We will ease into rhythm together, it happens
when women live closely -- African tribes, college sororities --
our blood flowing on the same days. The first day
of our heaviest flow we will gather in Palmer, Massachusetts,
on the steps of Tampax, Inc. We'll have a bleed-in.
We'll smear blood on our faces. Max Factor
will join OB in bankruptcy. The perfume industry
will collapse, who needs
whale sperm, turtle oil, when we have free blood?
For a little while cleaning products will boom,
409, Lysol, Windex. But
the executives will give up. The cleaning woman is leaving a
red wet rivulet, as she scrubs down the previous stains.
It's no use. The men would have to
do it themselves, and that will never come up
for a vote at the Board. Women's clothing manufacturers, fancy
furniture, plush carpet, all will phase out. It's just not
practical. We will live the old ways.
Simple floors, dirt or concrete, can be hosed down
or straw can be cycled through the compost.
Simple clothes, none in summer. No more swimming pools.
Dogs will fall in love with us.
Swim in the river. Yes, swim in the river.
We'll feed the fish with our blood. Our blood
will neutralize the chemicals and dissolve the old car parts.
Our blood will detoxify the phosphates and the
PCBs. Our blood will feed the depleted soils.
Our blood will water the dry, tired surface of the earth.
We will bleed. We will bleed. We will
bleed until we bathe her in our blood and she turns
slippery new like a baby birthing.
I think that we can comment on posts anonymously, and that could be a good way to tell stories or give commentary that otherwise might be a little embarrassing. Maybe we can utilize that tool sometime?
For inspiration, a photograph!