Everything starts as a Thought!
A dissertation, a dress, an airplane, this article, or a national holiday such as Thanksgiving…
The thoughts of Sarah Josepha Hale translated into action: she wrote letters to American politicians for 40 years(!) until Abraham Lincoln eventually proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday of November in the U.S.A. What does this have to do with us? Everything!
It took one woman only 40 years to change the tide of a nation, to create a legacy that is now an established tradition. We can do the same with Menstrual Monday!
Menstrual Monday is the Monday BEFORE Mother’s Day, since menstruation comes BEFORE motherhood (and typically long after…)
Menstrual Monday was conceived and birthed by Geneva Catchman in the 1990’s. Since then, grass root celebrations sprang up spontaneously anywhere a woman heard of the idea and was inspired to action. As one of these women I have been celebrating Menstrual Monday privately and publicly ever since I first heard of it :-)
Popular culture, in most places on Earth, goes beyond devaluing menstruation. It is considered a taboo and the attitudes about it are fraught with stereotypes, distortions, prejudice, and misinformation. This has been the case for a few generations, and the legacy of such distorted negativity has been passed on from mothers to daughters since the times of our Great-Grandmothers (if not earlier), as well as through literature, media, billboards and corporations trying to sell feminine hygiene products to women.
It’s time for us to reclaim Menstruation from the “medical condition” and cultural nuisance status in which it was fossilized, to the empowering, renewing, and intuitive condition it truly is. And what better way to do this than to celebrate it in an international holiday?!?
In 2008, in celebration of Menstrual Monday, I built a temporary Red Tent Downtown Sebastopol (the Northern California town where my family and I live) with the help of a handful of women. The response was surprise, curiosity and awe, as women stepped into the Red Tent to find out what it was all about. Not one negative comment was made! Drivers passing by the plaza playfully beeped in response to our sign that read: “Honk If You Are On Your Period!” More than anything, this was an opportunity to educate women, as well as a few brave men, about the power of Menstruation.
What is the power of Menstruation?
Menstruation is the process by which our body sheds the inner lining of our womb, a highly nutritious life-sustaining tissue, which grows monthly in anticipation for new life, and is shed monthly in the absence of pregnancy. This life-giving substance nourishes any and all life, and will give your garden, or house plants, a shot of life that no commercial fertilizer can ever provide.
Menstruation is also our body’s monthly call for rest, renewal, and regeneration.
Menstrual Monday is one way to acknowledge the power of menstruation, to honor and celebrate it, to remember our unique and magical ability to bring forth life, as well as our amazing creative forces that can be otherwise channeled. It is a reminder that our body speaks to us, monthly, and that we need to listen… Menstrual Monday is also a call for unification in celebrating womanhood around the world.
This is an invitation for you to do just this! In the privacy of your home, in an intimate circle of women, or in a joyous public gathering – celebrate!
If it took Sarah Josepha Hale 40 years to change the tides in a non-electronic era, think what we can do in the age of internet and social media… We can change the world!
Celebrate your Body Year Round!
© DeAnna L’am, All Rights Reserved