Men & Menstruation: Are They Ready?

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I had the privilege of offering an opening ceremony for a local performance of The Vagina Monologues.

The evening was produced and performed by (women) students and faculty of the Santa Rosa Junior College, yet the audience was going to be co-ed.

I typically speak to audiences of women, with an occasional man in the hall, while my teaching events are attended by 100% women. Preparing to give a “menstrual revival” to an auditorium of at least 50% men, I wasn’t sure what to expect…

I decided not to dilute my message, come what may. I was prepared for the guys to be angry, bored, grossed out, but I never expected them to be as moved as they were by the end of the evening…

The evening was a series of mesmerizing performances in which each Vagina Monologue was brought by a different woman, none being a professional actor. Ranging from women in their early twenties to a 70-year old regal woman, and representing the spectrum of colors, cultures, sexual orientations, beauty and pain that women embody, this was an unforgettable affair of the heart.

At the end of the evening I was approached by a couple of men who were probably in their late fifties, early sixties. One of them was Caucasian, the other African American. I was ready for a blast. Instead, they each proceeded to tell me how moved they were by my words, and the ceremonial act, which I invited the audience to participate in: reciting the names of their mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers… Honoring them for their years of bleeding: invisible, unacknowledged, uncelebrated… They both spoke to me about awakening to an aspect of their mothers they never thought of, a connection to their Mothers’ Line they never had.

I was stunned.

Sharing my surprise with them, they were puzzled to hear I don’t speak to audiences of men. “We all need to hear this,” they claimed, and I experienced a momentary mind-quake!

I guess the time has come…

I guess we, as women, don’t need to wait until the last woman on Earth reclaims her cycle as sacred, before we share this empowering knowledge with the men in our midst. Men who are partners to women, fathers to girls, teachers to both girls and boys, role models in a multitude of capacities…

Like the image accompanying this article, offering a chalice to men in our lives may well be the antidote to the burden of their armor.

For over a decade now I have been hearing from men about their rejection of the armor within which they were raised. However, it never occurred to me to open a window to them into women’s mysteries, to offer them a reviving cup from the well we drink of.

Like women, working on reversing “the curse” of cultural negativity about menstruation which we are all fed, men can be shedding this lie as well, and they are surprisingly ready for it!

I know, I know, maybe not all of them, and maybe not the man you personally live or work with, but, as Nietzsche said: “The difference between one and none is infinite!”

As long as there is one man who is moved by the message of empowerment that menstruation has to offer women and girls who listen to their bodies, the bridge between one and none has been crossed! And once a bridge of consciousness has been crossed, there is no way back…

So what do you say, women? Are you ready to not only reclaim your menstruation as source of inner power and spiritual renewal, but to also shatter the myth of “the curse” with which men in your life may be living, and see where the chips fall?

They may well be seeds of consciousness falling on a fertile ground…

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© 2011 DeAnna L’am, All Rights Reserved

5 Responses

  1. Hi as step father to my 12 year old step daughter at the time of her first period 18 years ago and the only other person in the house as she called out to me with a distressed look on your face to ‘do something’ !
    I congratulate you on the work you are doing and thank you for exploring ways to embrace men into your lives.

    Do you know of anything like the Red Moon Tent for men ? Seems to me there are a few blokes around who could change/share their perspective on some things.
    Thanks
    Neil
    ps: My step daughter and I share a special friendship to this day & she has been successfully self employed for 5 years
    My step d

  2. Thanks for your comment, for your openness, and for your presence when your daughter needed you!
    I don’t know of any Red Tent work for men, but interestingly enough I have been approach by a few Dads recently (which hasn’t happened before… ever :-)
    I am open and ready to work with fathers of girls as they come forward, and will respond with delight to requests and initiatives!

  3. Thanks DeAnna,
    I’d like to share with you that as I was guided to gather songs for the women meeting in Red Tents I had no idea how those songs, songs of bleeding, birthing, and becoming crones, would touch the men. I have offered Womb~n~Songs several times now and in over half of those circles we had men attend as well as women. In one of those circles I heard from more men interested in attending than I heard from women ahead of time! The healing has been immense for the women and the men to share our circle in honor of the Sacred Feminine. I invite the men to sing for their inner woman, their partners, mothers, sisters, and daughters. Inevitably they end up in tears expressing profound gratitude for being included our Sacred Circle. And furthermore, they have brought to the table discussion about what it means to be a man, Divine Masculine, healed from the wounding they have experienced in our culture. I am watching them step into the fullness of who they are in response to us claiming our feminine bodies and beings as sacred.

    My experience and yours inspire hope and trust in me that we are indeed healing as individuals and as a culture. And perhaps we will one day experience the grace and power of the Sacred Union. I honor the work you are doing and appreciate you taking the time to forward your newsletter.

    Blessings,
    Karly

  4. DeAnna,

    Surely you have read or hear something that as you read and listened – great big gigantic crocodile tears of relief and joy sprang from your precious eyes.

    That was my experience reading this post and the comments here tonight.

    I have been expressing many of these sentiments for several months now – perhaps a year. Until now I had not seen any meaningful response from women in solidarity with this revelation about men. (I’ve been exclusively interacting on Facebook.) I am so enchanted and excited by what I’ve read here. I’m gushing with emotion and words.

    I feel it is so important to wake the circle and include our men in our healing. While it is a joy to stand with our sisters, our men need us too. They are calling out to us in so many ways.

    Everything is either and act of love, or a call for love. Our men want to be included. Some are not yet aware of it, it’s true. So many are though.

    I’m really looking forward to our sharing this next week.

    Blessed Be!

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