I’m delighted to greet you in the latest edition of Lali’s Newsletter! This time, I’ll take you on a mesmerizing journey of menstruation through time. We will explore its evolution and the cultural significance this natural process has held throughout the centuries.

Ancient Beliefs and Superstitions:

In ancient times, menstruation was surrounded by myths, superstitions, and mystery. Different cultures believed that menstruating individuals possessed mystical powers or were somehow tainted during their monthly bleeding. In some societies, menstruation was considered sacred and a life-giving force, while in others, it was seen as impurity.

Let’s take a look at some ideas that the greatest thinkers of their time had about menstruation:

  • Philosopher Plato wrote that the “womb wandered in all directions.” He saw it as a living being that roamed freely within a woman’s body, constantly seeking children. Sometimes, the womb would travel all the way to a woman’s throat and become very angry and lonely if it couldn’t find a child.

  • Hippocrates – yes, the father of medicine – proposed that the womb was, in fact, the source of women’s emotions. If a woman had the misfortune of having an irritable and temperamental womb, it manifested as a condition called “hysteria.”

  • What about Ptolemy, the inventor of maps? Well, let’s just say he believed that the deepest desire of a human was immortality. And ultimate enlightenment could only be achieved by consuming ambrosia. And what was ambrosia? You guessed it – menstrual blood!

Influence on Medicine and Science:

As time passed, a more modern understanding of the menstrual cycle began to emerge. Unfortunately, in the Middle Ages, menstruation was closely linked to the idea of “female hysteria,” leading to bizarre medical treatments for its supposed cure. It wasn’t until the 19th and 20th centuries that medical science started to investigate the hormonal and physiological aspects of menstruation.

Changing Perspectives in the Modern Era:

The 20th century marked a turning point in how menstruation was perceived. Feminist movements played a crucial role in breaking the stigma surrounding menstruation. For the first time, menstruation became an open topic of discussion, leading to improvements in menstrual hygiene products and overall awareness.

What About Today?

In recent years, there has been a movement towards a more positive perception of menstruation. Advocates are working to normalize menstruation, encourage open conversations, and challenge outdated stereotypes and taboos.

The goal is to create a world where individuals can embrace their menstruation without shame or discomfort. As we reflect on the journey of menstruation through time, it becomes clear how far we’ve come in understanding and accepting this natural phenomenon.

It also becomes evident that, despite the progress, there is still much work to be done in raising awareness on this topic. I believe that, together, we can make it happen! ????

Thank you for being a part of our community. Together, we can continue to break down barriers and foster an open and accepting conversation about menstruation.