It’s brilliant shit. Her honesty is refreshing, if not at times blush-worthy — and well — kinda gross. But I like her for that. Jess DC of Lost Girls wrote a recent blogpost about it and made a telling statement.
It is unfortunate that so many of us grow up not in wonder and excitement about turning into women, but horrified at all the changes and taught to hide them (out of shame) as much as possible.
Jess is so right. And this is why I love Caitlin Moran. She’s honest. She’s open. And that honesty and openness makes puberty seem “doable.” Scary — but doable. And comforting in the knowledge the we ALL as women will bleed out of our vaginas and get boobies, among many other things. If only this book were appropriate for adolescent girls.
I was lucky that my mom was very open with me. When I was 8 years old, I picked up a copy of Time Magazine with a picture of a teen mom on the cover. This confused me immensely as I was taught that only married women had babies. Yes, I had it in my sweet little 8 year old brain that when you got married you magically became pregnant whenever you wanted. So my sister and I went to my mother and asked THE question. Or rather, questions.
How are babies made?
How does the baby get IN THERE?
How can she be pregnant without being MARRIED?
My mom looked at us in her motherly way and sighed.
“Well, girls,” she said. “After dinner tonight I think we need to have a lady talk.”
Oooooh. This sounded enticing. Special. Secretive.
After dinner my mom gathered us into our bedroom. She had a chalk board. And the woman launched into the story of sex. The details. How babies are really made. And she drew pictures. This was the craziest shit I’d ever heard… or seen.
We would eventually have periods. Yes. We would, in fact, bleed out of our vaginas once a month for about three or four decades of our life.
Holy shit. This was some big mother fucking news right here.
But my mom made everything okay. She reassured us. And even made it sound special. Having a parent who is matter-of-fact with the details and supportive is so essential for any girl approaching puberty.
And Moran obviously had the opposite experience.
My mother never told us about them [periods] –“I thought you’d picked it all up from Moonlighting,” she said vaguely.
Which is funny, of course. But the lack of information is what probably made the idea of menstruation all the more terrifying for Moran. But either way. Puberty sucks. It just does. And I love the following Moran quote.
Sex hormones are a bitch that have turned me from a blithe child into a bleeding, weeping, fainting washerwoman. These hormones do not make me feel feminine: every night, I lie in bed feeling wretched, and the bulge of my sanitary napkin in my knickers looks like a cock.
Yeah. Periods. They DO suck. But they’re doable. And having a period is kinda nice — especially when you don’t want to be pregnant.