Today, the FDA approved a new method of hormonal birth control called Lybrel. It's special because it's the only birth control method to date designed to postpone your period as long as you take it--and you can take it 365 days a year.Over on one of our blog-friends one of their contributors says,
No period? Where do I sign up? I don't care that lesbianism is its own form of birth control. If the cost of Lybrel is comparable to buying pads and tampons each month, I'm totally down with that!
It is dangerous to talk of a collective "we" or "women," but I think this is certainly a case where the borderline of PC feminism can be transgressed. With so much money spent on women hiding any sign of their cycles, with dioxin-soaked tampons sold to us by the caseload, with any mention of the goings-on of the non-pregnant uterus being silenced, I am certainly disturbed by the sudden push to treat Lybrel as a miracle drug. To me, a drug that "does away with periods" continues to treat this natural process of women as a disease to be cured.
What ensued over there are the beginnings of a conversation about medical policing of women's bodies and the social significance of menstruation. I am wondering why women would be so quick to be excited to do away with their periods? Do folks think it is internalized misogyny, related to convenience or something less, or more complicated?
I can't help but think about the ways that straight and gay men alike tend to be afraid of or profess open disgust in regards to women's periods and wonder if men are somehow not deeply connected with this conversation in really integral ways.