Echoes of Menstruation: Spoken Word Poetry

by | Mar 25, 2022 | Uncategorized | 12 comments

Echoes of Menstruation Spoken Word Poetry

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.
Rip.
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

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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12 Comments

  1. Jo R

    Hubby and I literally saw an ad for the movie right before this post went up. When I saw that you excerpted that part of the podcast, I explained the context and why you did it, in response to the sexualization of periods by good old Focus on the Family. His response to the idea that periods are sexual is pretty close to the emoji 😖. So, one more man who gets it!

    He loved the poem. He also loved the “finger scratching the testicles” segment from the full podcast. 🤣🤣🤣 Words, and the visuals they induce, matter!

    Thanks for all you do!

    Reply
  2. Grace

    My husband laughed so hard!

    Reply
  3. Laura

    What a treat to see the words of this poem! Love it!

    Reply
  4. Jane Eyre

    Great poem! I’m cracking up.

    Okay, I can’t help but ask: if periods are sexual because they mean we are sexually mature, does that mean that we are past our sexual lives at menopause?

    Reply
  5. Em

    Wow. I can relate to the blood on white pants around boys. I was older than I care to admit when I found out what a tampon was and into college before I talked about periods with anyone. Something so common should not be so isolating!!

    Reply
  6. Andrea

    I totally understand if everyone is sick of talking about this movie review, but I just discovered one by The Gospel Coalition, which sees a transgender worldview in it. I’m almost impressed with how they manage to make these conclusions. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/turning-red/

    Reply
    • Laura

      I just skimmed through the article you posted. Yep, makes me wonder how they (TGC) come to these conclusions about the transgender worldview and abortion, which are not even in this movie.

      Reply
    • CMT

      Wow. I think that review really make Kyle Howard’s point about evangelicalism having a strongly Gnostic tendency. Spirit is orderly, virtuous. Physical is messy, sinful.

      Also I think it’s telling that the idea of an adolescent girl having some body autonomy seems quite alarming to that writer. That’s an impressive bit of slippery slope reasoning he’s got going on there.

      Reply
    • Katydid

      The Gospel Coalition review reeks of white supremacy, gnosticistic and stoicistic control, and fundamentalist patriarchy. I can smell it all clear as a skunk fart because I was in those camps. I know those words, those arguments, those tropes, those weaponized Bible verses, those manipulative explanations.

      It’s like when Tangled came out and fundies argued not to allow little girls to watch it because Rapunzel disobey her “mother” and is rebellious (read: she escapes her abuser and finds freedom and joy, and her real parents), and the scene where she gives Flynn her crown is a sign of her giving him her virginity. (Flying leap right there.)

      Reply
      • Katydid

        Just to add: I wouldn’t expect a young white dude steeped in this culture to even begin to understand Chinese generational culture, female biology, and teen girl issues. He’s one of the LAST people who should post a representative review of the movie. And, like I said, his review reads exactly how I would expect it to coming from his demographic and representation.

        Reply

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