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Posts from — April 2010

The Red Tent

A few years ago I read a book and it set me thinking about how culture and society has dealt with menstruation. (Yes, you heard me right :D)


The book was ‘The Red Tent’ by Anita Diamant. It was a first-person story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and sister of Joseph of the Old Testament. Dinah was a talented midwife and proto-feminist. The story revolves round the red tent, which refers to the tent in which women of Jacob’s tribe must take refuge while menstruating or giving birth, according to the ancient law.

The Red Tent seems like punishment and expulsion from home, doesn’t it? But it isn’t, the women in the tent rested, talked, found mutual support and encouragement from their mothers, sisters and aunts. This was their “space”; their “me time”.

Now a culture closer home… The Indian Hindu culture. Growing up I saw and heard of women being ostracised when they were menstruating. There weren’t allowed in the prayer room or kitchen; they ate out of plates kept separately from them. They almost became untouchables. But, this wasn’t the initial intention; the intention was for women to rest and not do any hard labour.

A culture even closer – Islam. Muslim women are not allowed to pray or read the Koran during menstruation. They are considered impure and even unclean during this period.

If you look back at any culture, it’s clear that society then understood that women are at their weakest during menstruation; that they are losing blood; some are in pain and almost all are in discomfort. How can any of this be unclean or impure? To me a woman is at her purest when she’s menstruating, it is one of the surest signs of her having a productive womb.

Why am I saying all this, no idea. Actually it was just an idea I felt like sharing and ranting about. So what do you think of some of our cultures? What’s your experience?

Photo Credit: TwitterviewTuesday!

April 27, 2010   3 Comments

Try Everything! – You never know how or what will do the trick…

My little Cuckoo isn’t little anymore; she’s about 10 months old and well on her way into becoming a doggie teenager. As teenagers they aren’t very different from us, she’s getting stubborn, shows attitude… you know the drill.

Lately, due to the summer heat I’ve taken to sleeping with the dogs in the hall. If you’ve ever slept with dogs around, you’d know how lovely it is to feel them around you. However my Cuckoo has a strange quirk, she’s hates weight being put on her. This quirk causes growls quite often at night as I turn about with her at my feet.

I’ve been trying different tricks to get her comfortable with people hugging her or smothering her. One thing I’ve been doing is smothering her 10 times a day and then giving her a treat. This method has shown marked improvement.

Last night however, as I was putting my bedding down on the floor, Cuckoo as always sauntered across the room and plonked herself at the foot of the mat. This triggered an idea in my head as I realised that maybe she wants to be close to me but not on the floor. So, off I went to get her mat and place it next to mine. We both had a good night’s rest with no growls at all.

Why am I telling you this? My learning from yesterday was sometimes the most obvious things to do can be the solution or what seems most unlikely to work may be a great solution.

What do you think? Do you act on the impromptu ideas you get? Do you think a lot before you act on anything? Do you prefer the “well-tested” solution to the “freak idea”?

Photo credit: Chenthil

April 21, 2010   6 Comments