Tuesday, November 9, 2010

On Being a Woman

I adore being a woman. All praise goes to the Creator on this one. He blessed me with good genes and a body that I am proud to call my own. I love that I am an emotional creature, filled with love, empathy, and compassion. I feel very grateful to be a woman in this generation. I am not as restricted as women in the earlier part of the century who fought tooth-and-nail for the freedoms that I enjoy today: the right to vote, the right to go to college, the right to have a career. All of these things are very important to me, yet none of these are reasons why I love being a woman the most.

My reasons for why I embrace my femininity are the same reasons why most women despise their own. I say this in confidence, for I used to feel the same disdain, but the reason I love being a woman the most is because we are blessed with a menstrual cycle.

Yes, periods. Disgusting, bloody, crampy, achy, bloated periods. I used to dread waking up in the morning, my panties soaked in blood, my stomach, breasts, and back aching incessantly. I preferred to stay in bed in my sweatpants for the entire week, avoiding all human contact until this horrid curse went away.

I don’t even remember when my mind changed. There was no revelation. The facts on how I was different from a man were always there. Just one day my period came, and I didn’t despise it anymore. This may have simply been a result of me growing up or growing accustomed to the workings of my body. Regardless, I have come to embrace this part of my womanhood.

When you consider it carefully, you will find that it is a beautiful thing. Menstruation makes us unique and sets us apart. For centuries, women were revered because of their disparate capability to bleed without dying, but now it has become something to be hated. I think the reason for this is because we do not understand the fascinating history behind this event or the responsibility we have as women to preserve the sanctity of it.

Growing up in the south, with chicken houses at every corner, or even in the backyard for some, you learn a little bit about how hens lay eggs. The equal parts of sun and moon determine a hen’s laying cycle. After the discovery of electricity and the invention of the light bulb, farmers figured out that they could increase productivity in hens to lay eggs by increasing the amount of light that they received. In the same way, women’s cycles are also affected by the amount of light that we receive. In ancient days, the moon’s effect was very powerful on a woman’s body, and the lunar cycles alone determined a woman’s cycles. Another thing that had an effect on menstruation in those days were women’s bonds to each other. They were dependent on each other, and they realized our interconnectedness to all people and how nature heavily influences our bodily processes. As a result of the link that they shared to each other and to nature, all of the women in those days bled at the same time! But today, due to increased amounts of light and our disengagement with other women, or just people in general, our cycles have been disrupted. We hurt more than we should. Our moods are more erratic than what they should be. We ignore or are too distracted by our “plight” that we can’t focus on creating like we were intended to during this time.

Women’s levels of creativity were enhanced during menstruation, and the results of this were pivotal in the development of civilization. One example is that from women’s close observations of the moon due to menstruation, math and astronomy were born. And creativity in menstruating women, did not end in ancient times. During their monthly cycle, females are inclined to make better grades on exams and have a higher productivity level at work.

But with menstruation comes a great and welcome responsibility. We now have the ability to carry life inside of us! And not only to carry life inside of us, but to sustain that life once it reaches the outside world. God chose us, above men, to be a vessel for future generations. He trusts us with that responsibility. Now tell me, how can I not adore being a woman?

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