After all these years as a professional writer and blogger, people still find ways to surprise me. And make me laugh! Apparently, a gal named Minsy was quite put out by the Primer on Periods I posted for dads about a month ago.
I am sick and tired of you all telling a girl that her dad can discuss her period. I did not want my dad to know I had on much less discuss it. All my friends feel the same way. You all give too much information about girls’ stuff, but you never talk about erections, wet dreams, semen, jock straps, and cups. You are so bold when it comes to saying private girl stuff. And yes it is private. What girl in her right mind wants to be that close to her dad. It is just plain disgusting. You all make me sick!!
Wow! Where do I start?
Well Minsy, first I want to say thank you for taking the time to read The Tired Feminist and to leave a comment. People are very busy and the online universe is full of pointless blogs. I’m glad you found your way to mine! And people hardly ever comment on my posts, so thanks!
I did think it was weird that your started your comment by saying that you are “sick and tired” of me talking about girls, fathers and periods. I think that was my first post about the issue. But hey, thanks for using the word “tired” in your comment. Nice call back to my blog’s name!
Minsy, I don’t normally respond so formally in a blog post to comments, but I feel like this deserves some discussion. Clearly, I struck a chord with you, and not in a way you like. But isn’t this response a giant, blinking, billboard pointing directly at the problems I was trying to address? The strict gender rules of our society make menstruation (and any other aspect of the female reproductive system… genitals, childbirth, nursing, menopause…) a landmine of a topic.
The goal should be to demystify the female reproductive system and its machinations, not cloak it further. What is the point of that? A generation of fathers who can’t help their daughters? A generation of girls who fear their fathers? Fear having these conversations? Fear the word “vagina”?
And what about the single dads? The gay fathers? Male teachers, counselors, clergymembers…? Should we be so quick to reinforce the patriarchal paradigm that it’s okay to make girls and their fathers casualties of the the gender politics war?
I don’t want to live in that world!
I want my daughter to celebrate her body! I want her to know the correct names for her body parts and feel comfortable and free to talk about them with me and her father. And when the time comes, I want her to feel comfortable in her own skin and respect herself, which is something that comes when you have no fear of your own body and its place in the world. And because she will respect herself, she will hold to a higher standard those she shares her body with as a young woman. And so on.
Really, Minsy. Why wouldn’t you want those things for yourself and others?