Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Am I losing friends when I post menstrual cycle stuff on my Facebook page?

February 16th, 2012 by Alexandra Jacoby

Am I losing friends when I post menstrual cycle stuff on my Facebook page?

I wonder about that.

Actually, I worry about that. But I post anyway.

When someone “likes” a cycle post, every cell in my body tingles with glee, and sighs a little relief.

The other day, a particularly good post (that I learned about on Liz’s Weekend Links, written by Yashar Ali, “If Men Had Periods, Women Would Know All About It”) prompted a friend of mine to initiate a pre-yoga class period talk; we talked about the article – her thoughts on it and her boyfriend’s, and then she told me that she’d started using the Diva Cup. She liked it better than tampons, and was so happy to use a product that was not adding waste to the environment, and  and  and …how come she didn’t already know about this!!

Yeah. I know.

I’ve thought about this many times —

  1. how we don’t talk to each other as much as we could about body stuff in general, and cycle stuff in particular, because we’re embarrassed or ashamed…and how life-changing just getting to ask a question can be
  2. how information isn’t easy to find or understand, and so most of us are just not body literate…and what a difference to our quality of life increasing our body literacy would bring us
  3. as would menstrual products that fit well into our lifestyles, are good for our bodies and the environment improve our lives…and yet most of us don’t know what our options are or expect to have a say in them

I was thinking about that, all that, again, thinking…and then I realized that it was time. Time to take a significant step forward into that space that I worry about, where you can see me and hear what I’m thinking about. Time for me to choose among these three menstrual cycle subjects:

  1. stuff about our bodies we don’t talk about
  2. body literacy
  3. products

and to commit to exploring and writing about one of them for the next year.

Ok. I’m in. (eek)


I can’t decide on which one (a lifelong condition – I find everything to be interesting!) — so I’m asking you to choose for me.

Vote in the comments, or email me if you want privacy. In addition to your vote, I’d love to hear what prompts your choice, if there is anything in particular you’d like to read about, to better understand it, or change it, improve it… I will keep that in mind as I go forward.

Let’s say I’ll start on Feb. 29th, and you have until then to vote. In March, you can read my first installment in this to-be-named series here at Re: cycling.

Totally posting this on my Facebook page!



24 responses to “Am I losing friends when I post menstrual cycle stuff on my Facebook page?”

  1. Tanya says:

    I vote for researching menstrual cups. And yeah, I understand your dilemma re FB.

    I would like to see some hard stats on how much environmental impact by cups vs tampons. The manufacture of cups isn’t without impact either, but I hope it’s less than tampons!

    Also, I must say that after having used flannel pads, I will NEVER go back to paper. So soft and comfortable!

  2. Laura Wershler says:

    I vote for “stuff about our bodies we don’t talk about,” especially, of course, related to our menstrual cycles, which makes the subject matter very broad. And could even include a post about menstrual cups!

  3. Jacqui says:

    and if I find your facebook page, I’m totally liking this!

  4. Heather D says:

    I agree with Laura! There is too much about our bodies that we do not talk about! Thanks, Alexandra, for this post!

  5. Milla says:

    Yikes… I have to vote for body literacy.

    And re: FB. Maybe it’s because I am a Finn but I have no problem posting menstrual stuff on my FB wall if I feel like so (done several times so far). Also, I frequently speak about my periods and hormonal changes with my friends and other people as well. Yeah I get weird looks but so effing what. It’s a major part of who I am and my health! Like now I am approaching ovulation and am in a weird emotional space going more extroverted than normal 😉

  6. Jay says:

    Stuff about our bodies we don’t talk about.

    Re. FB – I had a long-term friend (known since five years old) remove me and she was very unpleasant about it as she was ‘sick of hearing about that menstrual cup stuff’…I had posted one cup link, maybe a handful of menstrual-themed links – I find many women are very aggressive when it comes to this subject. Most of my friends (male) know I’m interested in menstruation and they don’t mind, but it does worry me that acquittance’s would un-friend me or friends will un-subscribe. As an aspie I can’t afford to alienate people.

  7. I have a similar vexation when I post links to my latest blog posts. I write them to raise awareness, but there’s also a feeling that everytime I use Social Media to promote my work, I’m promoting my vanity and it makes me a bit uncomfortable. I have swayed back and forth with my FB use – between social interaction and networking/promotion. My sudden surge of ‘promotion’ makes me feel like a social networking whore and I wonder if it alienates people…but at the end of the day, a girls gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And hey, try talking about Menopause to people…now THAT’S hard. :)

  8. Elizabeth Kissling says:

    I love the idea of adding another regular series to re:Cycling, Alexandra! If I can be completely frank, though, I’m least excited about the idea of “products” — to me that sounds like reviews of femcare products, and there are plenty of other places on the internet for that.

  9. Julie Sygiel says:

    I vote for #1! I love posting things about periods on my FB…I think people almost expect it now and I’ve never seen an adverse reaction to it (at least that I’m aware of). That said, I do always try to be tactful in the wording.

  10. Tori says:

    I would love to read more about body literacy. I have endometriosis, had symptoms since about age 13, finally got a diagnosis when I was 28 — did not know endo existed until I was 17, and did not know what it really was all about until 23 or so.

    And speaking of endo, my cycle pretty much runs my life. While I try not to be unnecessarily graphic or repetitive on my FB, the bottom line is — FB people who can’t handle reading about my period cannot handle me.

  11. Heather D says:

    Well, I will admit it, I’m mostly a lurker on FB simply because I’m too scared to post what I really think most of the time. And the times when I have defended certain perspectives on FB I have hated the response so much that I pretty much shut down on posting my real views. I think the whole controversy over the breast milk ice cream in the UK was the last straw. I can’t believe how much negativity I got on that one…
    In the end, I need to get braver, I guess.

  12. Belinda says:

    You should see my FB wall!! haha
    Body literacy or products is good for me x

  13. Marla says:

    I vote for stuff about our bodies we don’t talk about. FB is a place for people to post what is on their minds but I think it is different then Twitter. On FB I believe people can be easier offended than Twitter. Twitter is more blog post then FB but I say post whatever you want. :-)

  14. Laura Wershler says:

    Hey, Heather. We better become FB friends so I can cover your back. Mostly I don’t get any comments at all, even when I invite them!

  15. Laura Wershler says:

    I think every topic mentioned could be included in “stuff about our bodies we don’t talk about!” Just saying.

  16. archdiva says:

    I think it would be fabulous if you talked about ALL THREE. They’re inherently linked…If you write about our bodies, you are naturally helping to increase body literacy and oh, by the way, that may naturally include discussing products that help us deal with the stuff our bodies do. Just sayin’. :)

  17. Alexandra Jacoby says:

    I’m seeing that, too…will let the voting and commenting (I hope!) run until the 29th and see what it looks like then, but it does seem to be shaping up as “stuff about our bodies we don’t talk about”.

  18. Alexandra Jacoby says:

    Hey Jacqui,

    Turns out I’m all thumbs when it comes to FB, and I cannot find the post!

    So, I made it a Note, which I think you can find (and like!) and comment on here: Am I losing friends when I post menstrual cycle stuff on my Facebook page?


  19. Alexandra Jacoby says:

    Hey Milla,

    Yeah…my hesitation is rooted in my suburban (conformity-ruled) upbringing.

    Tell us about the Finn way, please.

    I so like you’re spunk!


  20. Alexandra Jacoby says:

    Hey Belinda,

    Thanks for voting :)

    I poked around your website – my Spanish is not great [actually, it’s terrible!], but I did get the gist of it, Mi period al Natural –

    I dig you’re logo – the colors (not the usual femcare palette of lavender or sea foam or pink) and the use of a mirror in it, and… do I see a drop of blood?



  21. Definitely “stuff about our bodies we don’t talk about”!

    I went to a workshop session on menstruation at a women’s conference when I was in my early 30s. The first thing the facilitator did was to ask us, “OK, who’s bleeding today? Raise your hands!”

    Amidst a lot of embarrassed giggling, we all looked around and saw, as the facilitator (I wish I could remember her name!) pointed out, that about a quarter of the women in the room were menstruating. Which, when you think about it, is the statistically likely outcome in a group of post-menarchal, pre-menopausal cissexual women. But we never do think about it, because menstruation is socially invisible.

    And on that note, you may be amused to know that I originally misread your (Feminist self-promotion) blurb about “mariachi bands” as “menstrual bands”. I was picturing one of those stretchy bracelets that are so popular for various causes these days, only this one would be red and you’d wear it on days when you’re menstruating! Raise societal awareness, yeah! 😉

  22. Lucie says:

    I vote number 1! There are tons of things I blush even thinking about but want to know more. Why does there have to be this general attitude of hiding our questions and dancing around the topic of our bodies? It’s funny how even when we are in an environment with all girls, we’re afraid to talk. Let’s change that!

  23. Alexandra Jacoby says:

    Hey Lucie,

    I know, right – that blush! The why of it is definitely something I want to explore out loud among us.


  24. Alexandra Jacoby says:

    What a great question to ask!
    Would I dare ask it? [internal embarrassed giggle…]

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