As a man I find myself entirely envious of periods.
A period represents a woman’s ability to bear a child, something I will never be able to do, despite the cruel tease of a certain Arnie movie (Y’know, the one where he’s pregnant with Danny DeVito’s child).
Women I have known have always used the fall-back of not having to endure periods and the pain of childbirth as a ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card in various arguments and discussions over the years, and I have expressed my genuine wish that I could somehow transplant myself into a woman’s body in order to have experience of these things. That and owning a pair of boobies.
I admit there are no real comparable acts on the man side of the line and it’s not fair. I’d gladly cowtow to the rigours of motherhood. Without wishing to suggest certain demeaning gender roles, I would happily get pregnant, lug a baby around in my man womb, plurp it out through my hypothetical vagina, let it suckle at the milkless nourishment of my moob and spend years raising it from a thoughtless gurgling shit box into the apathetic, worthless socially awkward layabout it would undoubtedly become.
Now, of course, not every egg lurking around the uterus gets to upgrade via the jism expansion pack into a terrible mutoid chromosone hybrid love fart known as ‘a person’. Indeed, mostly every 28 days (approimately) ladies shed their uterine lining and the egg – now dead – out into the world to be disposed of accordingly. This is accompanied by things like menstrual cramps and varying emotional effects.
However, if a teaspoon full of gentlemen’s chutney works its way up the out spout and gains access, usually via duplicity, to the egg itself, a magical thing occurs, much like in the same way a parasite will burrow under the skin and gradually devour another organism from the inside. This egg turns into a foetus, which gets bigger and bigger until both it and the lady can’t take it anymore and the two have to part ways. Unfortunately, as most parents will attest, getting your kid to move out of its nice comfortable home where it does nothing by laze around all day is more of an effort on your part than the child’s.
Out the ghastly infant comes and, due to a terrible design flaw, the woman’s vagina isn’t a perfect baby shape – like when Daffy Duck runs through a wall leaving an exact outline of himself – and so the whole eviction process is painful at best. (I guess a woman’s vagina doesn’t look exactly like the shape of a baby because that would be really off putting during the sex act.)
I realise this article has thus far fixated on periods as a gateway to kiddlywinks, and, in this modern age where women aren’t treated like cock powered Xerox machines, most of the eggs they produce are going to wind up as so much landfill.
This is a good thing, not only because there are far too many people as is, and far too few people that are actually worth a damn. (Myself included, I mean, my mother gave up a great job in the publishing industry to have me, I think that was a pretty stupid trade off if I’m honest with you…)
So, as a man who wishes to experience the physical life of a lady, in the interests of scientific research of course, I understand that most of my time dealing with my down belows will involve various reddish brown fluids emerging from it, a buckling pain in my lower regions and a sense of anxiety and depression. Thus far, as a man, only option number three is a regular occurence, and, that’s on a far more frequent cycle than every 28 days.
What do I imagine I could gain from experiencing periods in all their glory? Well, primarily, I’d be able to play the “Well actually…” card in conversations from now on, when I whip out my Certificate of MANstruation, proving that I have spent a gap year as a woman and, to some extent, ‘know what it’s like’.
In return for my services one lucky lady got to be transplanted into my body for a year, where she had to endure the terrors of shaving a beard, and, er, being crap in bed… even on his own…
So, what could I possibly learn from all this? I have no idea… If anything I suspect the whole endeavour might just come across as unsettling and, on some level, deeply offensive. But, I think my willingness, no matter how scientifically impossible, shows that I’m keen to understand. Maybe the burden of childbirth and all the associated jazz is responsible for the inequalities and regressive gender roles that shouldn’t exist in this ‘enlightened’ day and age. Perhaps the greatest innovation in medical history would be asexual reproduction?
The radical feminist Valerie Solanas – most well know for attempting to assassinate Andy Warhol – had a great idea called the SCUM Manifesto, which argues that men have ruined the world, so women should overthrow society and eliminate the male sex.
If anything Solanas’ manifesto chimes with my desire to experience menstruation, pregnancy and the possession of boobies, as part of her perception as men as ‘incomplete females’. And, I do have ‘pussy envy’, they’re a far more appealing appendage to me than uselss, untrustworthy winkies. How much of Solanas’ manifesto is deadly serious or a parody of phallocentric, post-Freud thinking is a point of some conjecture, but it is a text that always chimed with me – and during University formed the basis of a – now sadly lost – transposition piece in which I imagined Solanas’ utopia made real.
But, the message of the text, and my flimsy, near worthless curiosity and desire to experience periods and pregnancy in an effort to ‘be like’ or, at the petty least, ‘feel closer to’ the experiences of the other gender are linked. I am envious, I am jealous, I feel inferior as a man, and I don’t feel ashamed of that. The only thing I do feel ashamed of is other men, other troglodytic swaggering arse baskets who do despicable things like bleat “Legs.” with a appreciative ooze as they walk by a lady in a short skirt on a train, or shout things like “I don’t know who you are, but you’re hot, I totally would!” right into the face of women sat at the table outside a cocktail bar on Hampstead Road.
What’s my point? I’m not sure… I was just asked to write about periods and this is what happened. Armchair psychologists have a fucking field day. I’m off to Superdrug to buy some tampons and shove one up my pisshole, it’s as close as I can get to understanding.