Say “menses”

My friend gave her daughter on her first ever day of menstruation a red rose and pointed it to the moon. Welcome to womanhood.

Today whilst sighing at the lack of interest in any discussion about  the force of the burka in making women mysterious and defiled and irked by the tiresome references to a character called Jesus, a Mary woman and an alien top of canvas some called “The Holy Spirit”, I stood amongst some women and learnt about symbols and myths which swirled around the art elite and how those dictate the appearance of women in art over the centuries. Talking of white women it has to be said

.women in art

It was informative and full of conjecture and pseudo something. The two hour tour was extremely well-researched in a Gallery which hides art by women and changes pictures around without notice. Our hosts were truly professional and welcomed us one and all, we who came through Up Your Street mainly from Leyton, Hackney and Stratford east. Some people had never been to the National Gallery before, ever.

The annoyance was in the truth that since 1979 and of course  before but with Thatcher in power women were legitimized, nay expected to chuck in anything about women and their perceived roles in our man society, little change is really happening in the media. I could feel women around me holding back astonishment at the backwardness of others. You have to blame the Zumba dancers’ apprentices who come out bums a-wiggling on every March 8th.

The main thing that came across was that men paint what men want and if that’s naked white women with all the virtues of silence, a caring nature, a  fruit bearing pair of hips, and all,  sans menstruation and nasty bloody vulvas, then tough titties; that’s how it was. As Sylvester Stallone’s mum says through her botexed lips  “It is what it is”.

We can’t change history but as Lon Art Org says people can educate ourselves as to how  women are portrayed in art and in the media. No-one I know is a Trappist monk.

But first those today have to be on the same page if they are not to aggravate each other. If women are unable to hold in their minds an image of a man holding his own kids then they are holding back themselves with pictures from their own pasts and a universal culture where men are never carers, never at the kitchen sink and rule the roost, they need to get onto the internet and see other images besides the one being doshed out on ITV adverts. And ditch the dependent Cinderella global fairy-tale. Change the words. Raise daughters’ aspirations. Read Maya Angelou.

Women I know need to roll around their tongues the word “vagina” to know who they are.

A definition of menses. The monthly flow of blood and cellular debris from the uterus that begins at puberty in women and the females of other …

“Cellular debris” kinda says it all really.

“Say ‘cheese!'”

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