Let’s talk about the echoes of menstruation.
Yesterday on the podcast, we were discussing how Focus on the Family’s PluggedIn movie review of Turning Red put references to preteen girls’ periods under “sexual content”, and warned that the title of the movie had an “echo of menstruation.”
We thought that sounded like a great band name, or that it deserved a spoken word poetry recitation, and so we added one to the podcast.
Many have asked to have just the poem made into a video, and to have the words written out. And so, in today’s post, I shall oblige.
This video is actually the perfect blend of both of my daughters.
Rebecca and I wrote it together in about 10 minutes (Rebecca’s words: “if it takes more than 10 minutes we’re doing it wrong.”) And then she performed it, and Katie edited the video. Katie definitely spent far more time at this than anyone else!
And here are the words:
The Echoes of Menstruation
by Rebecca Lindenbach and Sheila Wray Gregoire
Originally Performed by Rebecca Lindenbach
Drip, drip, drip, GUSH.
Sitting in a dark grey stall
Holding in my hands the loudest piece of plastic ever mass produced.
The wings on a maxipad.
I open it.
The sounds reverberate.
It is unmistakable.
Everyone in that airport bathroom hears the echoes of menstruation.
Walk, Skip, Laugh, Smile.
I’m 14 years old and John has just asked me to the school dance next Saturday
With a spring in my step I do a twirl
His eyes light up in horror
I feel the warmth spread.
The betrayal. The shame. All over my white jeans.
He assures me it is okay
But in his eyes I see echoes of menstruation.
Slam, Lock, Sit, Gasp.
On the porcelain throne I hover,
Tampon already in hand
As I realize, in horror, the guest bathroom garbage can is empty.
Gilded faucets and monogramed towels taunt me.
I’m the only one here; they’ll know it is mine.
I wrap it twenty times in toilet paper and hope they do not recognize
the echoes of menstruation.
For generations upon generations
Women have been bonded by this dot.
Period. Aunt Flow. A visiting Friend. Does the red peony bloom?
We all share it, but we must hide it.
For we know that if they knew, they would never take us seriously.
We know that if they knew, they would say we were just hormonal.
We know that if they knew, they would find us weak.
Instead, we cramp in silence. We bleed with a smile on our face.
Because, as Focus on the Family says, we must be warned
against even an echo of menstruation.
You’re telling me WHAT goes WHERE?!
Talking about sex with your kids doesn’t always go smoothly.
That’s why we created The Whole Story, our online course that walks parents through the tough conversations and does the hard parts for you!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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