Well, see… I went to a Catholic High School, despite not being Catholic, so I never had condoms handed to me upon entering the building on the first day of ninth grade, and I can’t say I remember discussing safe sexual practices and yadda yadda, although for some reason I feel we did, I really can’t remember. I know of safe sexual practices, so… uhh, not that I’ve had the chance… to… implement… … I always get an immature, gleeful thrill when speaking to someone about sexuality in a frank, honest way. In the back of my head, I’m like, “Ha! This person thinks I am capable of having a sex life! Me! I look like I’m twelve! Hee hee!”
Digressions aside, I attended a workshop titled “PERIOD: Your Monthly Cycle and Alternate Menstrual Products”. ‘Twas a small group, ’twas an informative, frank and open discussion and atmosphere. I arrived late, for various reasons (my period not being one of them), and hesitated entering the large Hart House Music Room for a bit, being the socially anxious basketcase I am. Across from the Music Room was a large, coat-checked, important-people endowed boardroom meeting thing, and it ended, and they all came out, and they were all talking, and that made me more nervous for why I don’t know, but then I entered and had made a big deal out of nothing. The ladies holding the workshop were very friendly anyway.
I had missed the anatomy of the vagina part of the workshop, but a faint recollection of high school biology enabled me to recognize most of the diagram. I had also missed the part on how one can chart their own cycle, but much of the information was taken from www.womenshealthlondon.org, so… I aside you check that out if you’re interested.
I had heard of most of the alternate products discussed from before, but now had the opportunity to ask specific questions about them. There were organic, 100% cotton tampons, better for you of course because regular tampons contain amounts of carcinogenic substances, like every other product being manufactured on this planet. There were… hmm… ah, the 100% cotton, reusable pads. You wash them. Better for the environment, and, this is my own opinion, but probably more breathable than plastic and blue. Aaannddd… there was, of course, the Diva Cup!
The Diva Cup has apparently been around for 75 years. If you find the regular products inefficient, you shouldn’t have to deal with them because no one wants to talk about menstruation. “Oooh, menstruation! A normal, biological process! Ewww! Gross! Women doing something other than smelling nice and flashing pearly whites! Ewww! Hundreds of years of literature and societal nonsense on how base and unbecoming a woman’s humanity is!”
And there was also some talk of another type of ‘Diva Cup’, called ‘The Keeper‘.–
There was some talk of the various abnormalities one’s cycle can go through, the possible causes, possible treatments, etc. It’s a little depressing to recall how small the group was though. I was lucky enough to be raised by a mom and big sis perfectly okay with telling me what my period was and helping me be informed, in addition to a… decent elementary school Health class.* Was everyone else so lucky? If you, growing up, were taught to believe your body is a temple, but the snake-ridden Indiana Jones kind of temple, or the Milton-esque, dog-spewing kind of temple, guess what! You’re at U of T now! A place where you can form your own judgemental ideas! Go forth and learn and stuff.
Occasionally, the mention of menstruation** in conversation makes.. the conversee, we’ll say, very squeamish, or, they will relate a story of another being squeamish upon… experiencing the reality of menstruation as an existing biological phenomenon. I can think of a million reasons why they would be, and, as a “secular, godless Humanist“, love to delineate and derail them all, but, this isn’t my personal blog. (SO STAY TUNED cough)
Hopefully, the fact that I can write a post like this, and the fact that U of T can and is holding workshops about menstruation, and events all about S-E-X is bad enough for someone. 🙂
Other Sexual Awareness Week events included Thursday’s ‘Sushi and Hentai’, a week long Art Show, ‘Kegel’*** Acrobics, ‘Pornigami’ and Yoga, and… an all-Ontario, LGBT-student excursion to a bathhouse.
I… I like… this school…
*(sudden memories of Grade 5 thought to be lost return, along with a nostalgia for Dragonball Z)
** Ha ha! Get it?
*** I don’t know what a ‘kegel’ is…