and I've been a Patriarchy smashing,
misogyny battling, eco-feminist for 25 years.
That's right- I'm one of those "Nasty Women".
My path of activism is steeped deeply in the blood of women- the blood of the millions of victims of countless and relentless crimes against females, for being female, for thousands of years. Steeped in the blood spilled in the witch hunts, the genital mutilations, the rapes and stone cold murders of girls and women- blood spilled in crimes of deep misogyny and disease. Also, the precious blood of my foremothers who fought for my rights.
But my path of activism is steeped not just in this blood, but also the life-giving precious blood of women. The blood that forms the bed that human beings are brought into life from. Blood of the womb. Moon blood. Menstrual blood.
And a big part of my personal work has been in the fight to liberate menstruation from the many prisons of this patriarchal paradigm that have not just assaulted, desecrated, and punished our wombs, but that have vilified and demonized our life-giving blood through taboos, oppression, shaming, and many other forms both insidious and blatant.
As a result of all of these aspects that drive me to do what I can to help subvert this destructive paradigm, I am participating in the Women's March on Washington this coming Saturday, January 21st in solidarity with what is estimated to be 200,000 others, as well as countless other thousands participating in satellite marches across the United States.
And I realised today that I will be menstruating as I march.
I will be the literal embodiment of Patriarchy's worst nightmare.
A Kali, a Lilith, a Medusa, a Scarlet Woman.
And then I began to wonder...how many others will be menstruating as well?
And how powerful of a statement it would be to find some form of expression of this menstrual solidarity? Powerful as hell. Powerful.
You want to grab this pussy, do you??
WELL, BUDDY. HERE WE ARE.
When I heard the (not my) President-elect's comment reference Megyn Kelly's question to him regarding his misogynistic language concerning women back in August 2015 during the first Republican presidential debate as her having "blood coming out of her wherever",
I knew immediately what he was implying- no matter what bullshit spin anyone wants to put on it. Women aren't stupid. We've been subjected to this form of disempowerment and degradation all of our lives- along such lines of period 'jokes' and disparaging comments about being 'on the rag' whenever she is angry or upset, or in instances when she has the audacity to dare challenge a man. And it's not just demeaning. It's abusive. These attempts at invalidation and intimidation are straight up gaslighting, which is a component of domestic violence. And now we have an incoming (not my) President who excels in this abusive technique, among others. I fully agree with Gloria Steinem- it's like America herself is now put in a position of escaping and surviving a domestic violence situation.
The scary part is that that's not an exaggeration.
So going back to my realisation, I felt the strong need to write this as a call to my other badass sisters who will also be menstruating while marching. And although I am calling on marchers who will be literally menstruating, I invite those sisters who want to symbolically show solidarity to join this call as well.
I am calling on you in our scarlet solidarity.
I am calling on you to show this system of oppression, to show this incoming 'leadership',
to show the country and the world that we will not accept being vilified, degraded, or oppressed for being female.
For our rights to the autonomy of our wombs, of our bodies, our health care options.
For the rights of all to be free from all systems of oppression.
For being bloody over injustice. For being bloody done with inequality. For bloody all.
Because our blood is POWERFUL.
Because women are POWERFUL, and beyond when we stand together.
So, what is it I am envisioning along with this call?
I am envisioning raised fists with red tied to them- sashes, bracelets, yarn.
I am envisioning red paint on faces, primal streaks, red moons on the forehead.
I am envisioning among the many awesome pink pussyhats of the Pussyhat Project
bright sashes and scarves, bursts of scarlet red,
like handmaids in revolt,
like Hester Prynne getting her vengeance on a big scale.
Because yes, I dare to have both a vagina and a voice, because I demand equal rights, because I demand reproductive freedom, because I demand environmental responsibility, because I challenge injustice, because I do not step down from forms of bigotry like sexism, racism, homophobia, religious persecution, or any form of systematic oppression, because I will continue to smash the Patriarchy every chance I get- and because I do not support a leader who embodies so overwhelmingly all of the tyranny of this Patriarchy, and to encapsulate it all- because I am an American- I will be marching in Washington. #whyImarch
And because I know that menstrual shaming is part of the misogyny and oppression I am marching against, I will be marching wearing my blood, and wearing a burst of scarlet red. It is beyond time to reclaim, proclaim, and show the world that we reject the shame. I hope my other menstruating (literally or symbolically) sisters called to this call will join me.
"Blood coming out of her wherever."
Oh, we'll give you blood coming out of her 'wherever', alright.
One of the many reasons #whyImarch