Guest post by Laura Wershler, Sexual Health Access Alberta

Canadian comic, Elvira Kurt, broke the menstrual silence taboo on Friday, September 25, on Q, “Canada’s liveliest arts, culture and entertainment magazine”. Q, with host Jian Ghomeshi, airs weekdays on CBC Radio One.

During her weekly appearance on the show, Elvira started off by saying that she and Friday Live guest artist Jann Arden had been having a laugh fest backstage. Jann is a singer/songwriter with a notorious sense of humour. Elvira said that she’d laughed so hard she felt like she was going to get her period early and that she could feel her uterus contracting. She followed that with this comment – but wait.

I wanted to share this public menstrual mention with re: Cycling blog readers by posting a link to the podcast of the September 25 episode. But something strange had happened. To get to the bottom of it, I sent this letter to Q’s host:

Dear Jian,
I tuned in Friday, September 25th to hear your interview with Jann Arden. Loved her new songs. But the real delight for me was hearing Elvira Kurt bring a little menstrual cycle humour to the show. I could hear you blushing when she noted that you looked like you were ovulating. Now being an ardent menstrual cycle advocate I was hoping to share the clip with my friends and colleagues of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research. You can check out the society’s blog re: Cycling at

You can imagine my disappointment when I re-listened to the podcast to pinpoint the exact minute of Elvira’s period moment only to find – that someone at CBC chose to edit this bit from the podcast.

Why Jian? I will try to refrain from making assumptions about why Elvira’s 30 seconds of menstrual cycle humour went missing from the podcast, if you can offer an explanation about who made this decision and why. Kudos to Elvira for breaking the silence around menstruation. The podcast edit suggests CBC made a decision to silence her. Oops! Sorry. That was an assumption.

The menstrual cycle is a fascinating topic – why not a show about it on Q? We can bring Elvira back to share her take on the podcast edit.

I can report that I have not as yet received a reply to my letter. And after listening to the show every day since sending it, I am also able to report that it has not been read over the airwaves, let alone given “letter of the day” honours by Jian. The menstrual silence continues.

The ironic thing is that Elvira’s weekly spot on Q is called the “Cultural Hall of Shame”. She nominates two inductees each week. I can’t help but think that the CBC podcast editor should be her next nominee.

Ever the rabble rouser, I also wrote to Elvira through her website. I told her the escapade would be mentioned soon on this blog. No word back from her either.

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