Using My Brain While Menstruating

I am sitting here in front of my computer and my brain is telling me I should be blogging. I have been staring at the screen for a while, telling myself I’m certain I have something–SOMETHING–to type about. And I do have somethings. They’re in there. They flit across my consciousness, one after the other, and I think maybe there’s a cohesion in there somewhere that I could force into being. Things like this article I read a few days ago about how feminists need to stop sharing misogynist content on the internet because the more they share it, the better stats misogynist stuff gets, and more misogynist stuff gets written, because it gets more hits and websites want hits. How that’s an interesting argument because on the one hand, it makes a practical point and it’s worth thinking about: what’s the best way to talk about why feminism is necessary without encouraging people to look at the misogyny we’re trying to react to? How the guy who wrote that might just be pulling another version of, “Calm down, ladies. You’re being too angry and nobody likes an angry woman.” And how that reminds me of people talking about pornography as a joke, and only ever as a kind of dirty, dark joke that’s ok to be dismissive of because hey it’s just porn, and the longer it gets treated like that the more the bad shit that people are worried about gets perpetuated, and how leaving things alone like that, not shaking things up and demanding a more serious conversation… might be great fodder for bad jokes, but it just lets the bad shit fester, and people demanding that the undignified things get treated with more dignity are really on to something…

But then I get distracted by the goddamn fucking cramping of my uterus which somehow has spread down into my legs and up throughout my back and my stomach even feels a little queasy. And shit, man. I can’t focus. My brain feels like porridge. Probably because I’ve been trying to focus around sporadic bursts of withering pain all day long and now it’s almost 10:00 and I’ve been trying so hard to ignore all the pain going on down there that I’ve managed to burn out all the working synapses.

Dammit. You know, I really want to be one of those powerful women who gets super-awesome when she’s on her moon and makes magic happen and is in sync with nature and stuff. I really do. But how the hell do I manifest all my womanly power when it hurts so much and I feel like I’m on some kind of mild sedative the whole time? This is lame.

But yeah, anyway, seriously. I’m sick of people telling me to stop taking it all so seriously. I mean, I like a joke as much anybody. And in the past I’ve gone along with a lot of the wink-wink nudge-nudge around sexism and pornography, because it all can be quite funny. I don’t think anybody could spend more than ten minutes on a porn set without having a sense of humor about themselves and the situation. And I mean, come on, woman driver jokes can be pretty damn hilarious. But. But. The jokes stop being funny when you realize they’re perpetuating a cycle that allows the people who hear and make the jokes to never be made to think seriously about the issues at hand. These issues are important. But they can be painful. Like menstrual fucking cramps.


Ok. Heating pad applied to lower back.

Anyway, the point is: dehumanization. It’s not that jokes about woman drivers can’t be funny. The concept of an entire group of people being utterly inept at a basic skill is humorous. It is. Poking at that idea is funny. The fact that a bunch of people get together to point cameras and microphones at people’s junk while they go at it on camera? Also funny. Ridiculous even. But by removing one group of people (women, or porn stars) from the rest of the population in order to hold them separate enough to make the joke can, after it’s done enough times and by enough people in positions of power (positions in which they rarely find themselves held at that same arm’s length of joking distance from the rest of the world), make it easier to just not think of those people in that separated population as fundamentally the same as everybody else. It can get easier to imagine them as really separate, because if they were over here with the rest of us, we wouldn’t make those jokes, right? That’s the slipper slope to not-quite-human. That’s where it gets ugly.

It’s not that being objectified is bad inherently. It’s when the objectification is seen as par for the course because clearly people with this set of genitals or that occupation just are treated that way, par for the course… that’s when it’s got to stop being a joke.

SHIT. This hurts.

Anyway. Anyway. This probably makes no sense. But I wrote something! Take that, uterus! You’re not the boss of me!

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