More Candid Talk about Periods and Garments

A recent New York Times article about LDS women, garments, and periods really got me pondering the 38 years of my 49 year life that I have been a menstruating Mormon. I am one of the lucky ones who not only started pretty early (age 11) but also was blessed with a very heavy menstrual cycle that hasn’t relented as I’ve aged. Blood. Gushing blood. Oh, the joys of being a high level swimmer with the regular monthly visitor! And then the delight of heavy periods with garments! Let’s face it, garments just aren’t conducive to wearing period protection.

Even before I was an endowed, garment-wearing LDS woman, I still experienced problems surrounding menstruation and my status as an unmarried woman. I mean, tampons. How can a girl be a virgin and wear tampons? (This was an actual question posed by a friend’s mother to my mother.) When I was a student at BYU, I was asked the same question by a few roommates who had still never used a tampon and didn’t plan to do so until marriage. I was made to feel guilty about touching my “area” to insert the tampon. Tell me, how is that different from touching my area to wipe after I pee? Alas, at the time I was way too compliant. It didn’t occur to me that we had an unhealthy obsession with female virginity. I worried.

Continue reading “More Candid Talk about Periods and Garments”

Claiming Individual Worth

MIRIAM: Sandy kept delicate glass-blown unicorns on her dresser. The walls of her room were covered in horse posters, and her white metal-framed daybed was adorned with a life-size unicorn print. To me, another twelve-year-old, this was heaven. Beside her very own bedroom and its luxuries, the turmoil of a barely functioning family overwhelmed their effect. Continue reading “Claiming Individual Worth”