Feminist criticism of menstrual suppression



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puddingmouse
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27 May 2012, 11:17 am

I made my own thread for this, because I didn't want to derail another one.

I want to whine about how I feel pressure from both mainstream society and from the feminist movement to live with a body I'm not comfortable with. Mainstream society wants me to remove all my body hair and wear shoes that are really painful to me. I cba. The feminist movement wants be to embrace my periods and overcome a lifetime of gender dysphoria just like that.

I don't know. I often feel like a 'bad feminist' for not wanting periods or babies, but it's my prerogative. I really don't like having a female body, and I think I would still feel this way even if I didn't live in a misogynistic culture. Some women do just have horrible periods because nature sort of sucks like that. It really does. If you stop worshipping nature for a minute and hold it to same moral standards that atheists (like me) hold God to, then the idol of nature also comes tumbling down. Childbirth is painful no matter what you do about it. I hate the fact that I hate being a woman. I don't get to have mainstream society's cred, or feminist cred. FML.

I'm not going to lie about how I feel because it's politically convenient to do so. Maybe I'm trans. Maybe I should go down that route and get a hysterectomy. I don't want to be a man, take T, or have a penis. I just think there are so many downsides naturally to being a woman, even if you take away society's conditioning. I get the feeling there are a lot more 'women' who feel like I do than will admit it. I get told by other feminists to 'grin and bear it' effectively, which is the same thing I get told by mainstream society (but about different things that they regard as 'feminine').


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technical_cat
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27 May 2012, 11:38 am

It's female chauvenists that are applying the pressure, not feminists, but there are a lot of chauvenists that call themselves feminists.

I have an implant now, have been taking birth control that completely stops my periods for 20 years or so now (currently implanon) and that works really well.

Being pregnant wasn't a pleasant experience at all, if my daughter's father could have carried the baby then he would have and that would have been better for both of us. And I didn't really like my daughter at all until she started talking, they get better as they get older ! I'm glad I had her now, but didn't really think it through at the time, but it was expected and he really wanted a baby. I think I'd be just as good without, there are plenty of women choosing not to contribute to the overpopulation situation - I think it's gradually becoming more acceptable to society.

shoes, clothes, dresses, bra's hairdo's and make up, you're not on your own there at all.

I'm a feminist, I have equal rights to men. Stand your ground, resist the pressure, don't read or watch the adverts, don't surround yourself with anyone who'll judge you for not conforming or pressurise you.



puddingmouse
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27 May 2012, 11:49 am

Thanks. :)

I also like kids when they can talk. I really, really, really don't want to get pregnant or give birth. I'd adopt if my partner and I had the money and a big enough house (and if I'd be allowed to, which I doubt). They'd let me foster, I think.

I guess it's a struggle to be yourself, when no-one knows what to make of you. I suppose being odd or unnatural is a small trade off for pursuing happiness.


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Last edited by puddingmouse on 27 May 2012, 12:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Lene
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27 May 2012, 12:00 pm

I always thought feminism was about having the right to be whomever you want to be?

(within reason)



mv
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27 May 2012, 12:01 pm

technical_cat wrote:
I'm a feminist, I have equal rights to men. Stand your ground, resist the pressure, don't read or watch the adverts, don't surround yourself with anyone who'll judge you for not conforming or pressurise you.


This. Feminism is about having a choice, and a voice. f**k all that conformist crap, if it's not your thing. :wink:



puddingmouse
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27 May 2012, 12:07 pm

Lene wrote:
I always thought feminism was about having the right to be whomever you want to be?

(within reason)


Yeah. It's just that there's a movement within feminism to encourage women to accept their bodies, which is all well and good, until it turns into an expectation.


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mv
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27 May 2012, 12:12 pm

puddingmouse wrote:
Lene wrote:
I always thought feminism was about having the right to be whomever you want to be?

(within reason)


Yeah. It's just that there's a movement within feminism to encourage women to accept their bodies, which is all well and good, until it turns into an expectation.


Encouraging isn't the same as forcing or pressuring. And even then, "accept your body", I think, is more about making peace with the fact that one might have a fat ass (by magazine standards). That's all.

We all have to accept some aspects of our biological being. We have to feed our body food and water, we have to maintain it disease-free, we have to let it respire on oxygen, we have to let it sleep. How much of it your physical being you attribute to the nebulous "female" *can* be up to you, within reason.



puddingmouse
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27 May 2012, 12:16 pm

mv wrote:
puddingmouse wrote:
Lene wrote:
I always thought feminism was about having the right to be whomever you want to be?

(within reason)


Yeah. It's just that there's a movement within feminism to encourage women to accept their bodies, which is all well and good, until it turns into an expectation.


Encouraging isn't the same as forcing or pressuring. And even then, "accept your body", I think, is more about making peace with the fact that one might have a fat ass (by magazine standards). That's all.

We all have to accept some aspects of our biological being. We have to feed our body food and water, we have to maintain it disease-free, we have to let it respire on oxygen, we have to let it sleep. How much of it your physical being you attribute to the nebulous "female" *can* be up to you, within reason.


Yes, but periods and babies are optional in this day and age. Part of me is a bit disturbed at them being reconfigured as sacred rites of the Eternal Womyn. Like I have a choice, but only one option is the 'right' one from that particular feminist perspective.

I'm guess I'm sick of feeling like a freak and shot on both sides, really.


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mv
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27 May 2012, 12:23 pm

puddingmouse wrote:

Yes, but periods and babies are optional in this day and age.

I'm guess I'm sick of feeling like a freak and shot on both sides, really.


Right, because those things are optional, it's up to you to decide how far you want to go in suppressing both. The wonderful thing is that you have those choices. Can you imagine living 500 years ago and having no choice? It was either breed or else you would starve to death because no one would feed you without your breeding worth? That's an aside, I know. :lol: As far as that sacred womynhood crap goes: it's crap. No mammal reproduces without male input. There is no "one way" to be a woman, to be a *person*. I'm sorry you're feeling that subliminal "no dogs allowed" message.

I'm sorry, also, that you feel like a freak. That's just a state of mind, you know. You aren't a freak. You're a loving, thoughtful person, from what I've read on here. If you're of a certain age, you can easily ask a doctor to give you a hysterectomy. You might want to leave the ovaries in, though. The hormones that make us "female" also protect us *greatly* from many disease conditions. There are many nonsurgical ways to suppress your periods, too, but I suggest caution there.

I think what I'm saying is that it's ultimately up to you to label yourself however you feel comfortable (or deny all labels). I'm lucky, I couldn't care less what someone labels me. I don't identify one way or another. They tell me I'm female, and that's fine, I don't really care. I don't feel "female" or "male", I'm just me.



puddingmouse
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27 May 2012, 12:41 pm

mv wrote:
puddingmouse wrote:

Yes, but periods and babies are optional in this day and age.

I'm guess I'm sick of feeling like a freak and shot on both sides, really.


Right, because those things are optional, it's up to you to decide how far you want to go in suppressing both. The wonderful thing is that you have those choices. Can you imagine living 500 years ago and having no choice? It was either breed or else you would starve to death because no one would feed you without your breeding worth? That's an aside, I know. :lol:

I'm sorry you feel like a freak. That's just a state of mind, you know. You aren't a freak. You're a loving, thoughtful person, from what I've read on here. If you're of a certain age, you can easily ask a doctor to give you a hysterectomy. You might want to leave the ovaries in, though. The hormones that make us "female" also protect us *greatly* from many disease conditions. There are many nonsurgical ways to suppress your periods, too, but I suggest caution there.

I think what I'm saying is that it's ultimately up to you to label yourself however you feel comfortable (or deny all labels). I'm lucky, I couldn't care less what someone labels me. I don't identify one way or another. They tell me I'm female, and that's fine, I don't really care. I don't feel "female" or "male", I'm just me.


Non-surgical menstrual suppression works fine for me. I haven't really had any negative health effects from taking the pill. I have depression whether I'm on the pill or not, and the pill actually makes me feel better about myself, so slightly less depressed. I am a little bit worried about my bones in the long term, but I will take steps to look after them if that ever becomes an issue. I think the negative health effects of a hysterectomy would be worse than those of taking the pill for many years, but I'm not qualified to say.

I only considered to hysterectomy thing out of frustration. Menstrual suppression through hormones is made out to be fundamentally misogynistic in some sections of the feminist movement (not limited to the second wave types). The attitude is 'if you want to suppress something that's so fundamentally feminine in yourself, you must either be brainwashed by mainstream culture, or trans.' Amongst people who reject mainstream culture, any dislike of being your birth sex = trans. Maybe if I identified as trans and did trans things like getting a hysterectomy, that section of society would accept me more. It was just a silly thought. :lol:


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Last edited by puddingmouse on 27 May 2012, 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mv
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27 May 2012, 12:48 pm

I reject wholly pigeon-holing "feminist" thought. It's simply not feminist. I don't care what they want to call themselves.



puddingmouse
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27 May 2012, 12:53 pm

mv wrote:
I reject wholly pigeon-holing "feminist" thought. It's simply not feminist. I don't care what they want to call themselves.


To be fair, I don't think they mean to alienate women like me intentionally. I don't think they even considered how gender-queer people feel. Their intentions were pure.


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Lene
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27 May 2012, 12:56 pm

Quote:
Like I have a choice, but only one option is the 'right' one from that particular feminist perspective.


It's impossible to please everyone, so don't stress yourself out trying to fit in with what one group (whose beliefs you don't even agree with!) think you ought to do! :)



Senath
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27 May 2012, 2:12 pm

puddingmouse wrote:
Menstrual suppression through hormones is made out to be fundamentally misogynistic in some sections of the feminist movement (not limited to the second wave types). The attitude is 'if you want to suppress something that's so fundamentally feminine in yourself, you must either be brainwashed by mainstream culture, or trans. :lol:


Oh, please. :eew: Like you said earlier, nature isn't this great and perfect thing. I don't see what is fundamentally feminine about vomiting and passing out from pain every month when my period starts. I'd like to have that type of feminist take a trip through MY roller-coaster of hormones for a couple of months and see how they feel.

Yes, I made the decision to keep my monthly periods for now, but that was a personal decision. This just seems so similar to the anti-abortion/anti-birth control attitude of giving a complete generalization about what all women should do with their bodies.



puddingmouse
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27 May 2012, 2:20 pm

Senath wrote:
puddingmouse wrote:
Menstrual suppression through hormones is made out to be fundamentally misogynistic in some sections of the feminist movement (not limited to the second wave types). The attitude is 'if you want to suppress something that's so fundamentally feminine in yourself, you must either be brainwashed by mainstream culture, or trans. :lol:


Oh, please. :eew: Like you said earlier, nature isn't this great and perfect thing. I don't see what is fundamentally feminine about vomiting and passing out from pain every month when my period starts. I'd like to have that type of feminist take a trip through MY roller-coaster of hormones for a couple of months and see how they feel.


Oh, but you see, it can't be the way your body naturally (mal)functions. It has to be due to lack of exercise, poor diet, or stress. You're not in tune with your body when it's trying to tell you something.

:roll:

Yeah, I know exactly how patronising that stuff can seem. :lol: It's also frustratingly difficult to argue against because hardly anyone has a perfect lifestyle. They're a bit like the anti-antidepressant crowd, in that sense.


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