Guest Post by Geneva Kachman, MOLT: The Museum of the Menovulatory Lifetime
Back in 2000, when my Menstrual Monday journey began, an ever-reasonable friend had pointed out it took 13 years for Julia Ward Howe to establish Mother’s Day. Being a holidaymaker, and more on the creative side than reasonable, I poo-poo’d my friend’s caution. Seriously – Julia Ward Howe didn’t have the Internet! Thirteen years is two centuries in Internet time!
Eleven Menstrual Mondays later, I humbly look forward to the year 2012, and raising a glass (of tomato juice) to Julia Ward Howe, unmoved by any doomsday scenarios erroneously attributed to the Mayan calendar. Holidaymaking is just not as easy as it looks!
On the other hand, Menstrual Monday parties are rather easy to throw. Here’s all you need to do:
- Check out the official mission statement for Menstrual Monday – of note, the first goal is to create “a sense of fun around menstruation.” One benefit of “silly” party favors and decorations, such as the U.F.O. (Uterine Flying Object), PMS Blowt-Out, and Tampose (tampon + rose = tampose), is that women from all walks of life are put at ease, wondering “what is that?” rather than being focused on menstrual negativity (taboo and shame are such heavy words, aren’t they?).
- Ask everyone to bring something from the Five Menstrual Monday Food Groups: Green stuff, red stuff, chocolate, poppy seed, egg. Or serve a spinach salad with tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and poppy seed dressing, with chocolate for dessert. Before sitting down to eat, why not chant “green stuff, red stuff, chocolate, poppy seed, egg” a few times, just for fun?
- To get the discussion going, you can download A Cuppa Questions from MOLT – the questions are printed on drawings of human ova. Cut the ova out, drop them into a cup, and let each guest select a question. Make sure to download the answer sheet as well. You can also cut out extra circles, for guests to write their own questions on.
- If you haven’t tried reusable menstrual pads or menstrual cups before, a Menstrual Monday party is a good time to learn about them. Two such companies are LunaPads and Glad Rags. You and your friends can decide to try these products yourselves – as well as donate pads to young women, who would otherwise be kept out of school.
If you like working with fabric, check out Have a Hester at MOLT, and learn about scarlet letters and flow-dyeing. Right now I’m enamored of red shop rags – I add glitter glue, and use them to package MOLTwheels – the mini-frisbees in the photo. See what ideas you and your guests can come up with.
- Individuals can purchase a DVD copy of the documentary Period: The End of Menstruation? for $29.95. For more film suggestions for your party, see the FloFilm Index at MOLT.
I notice I’ve mentioned a couple of things that require spending money – the most intriguing question to me this Menstrual Monday is: Where is the intersection of feminism, menstruation, and entrepreneurship? I’m wondering: How can there be a transformation in attitudes toward the red stuff, without a corresponding transformation in where women’s green stuff (money) is being spent?
Strawberries and spinach: Food for thought, indeed.