When I got my period for the first time, my mom wanted to throw a party. She had the whole thing planned. There would be a circle of women — many of them her friends, who would talk about womanhood with me, share their womanly wisdom, and tell rousing tales of menstruation. My mom would present me with a special bracelet, ordered from a catalog of all-natural products, that somehow symbolized my transition from girlhood to womanhood. The red beads were supposed to represent my various life-stages. Or congealed menstrual blood, or something.
“Ohgodpleaseno,” I said, when she told me about her plan. Keep reading »