I notice a prominent advert for tampax on my Myspace page. 'Discover the Latest Tampax Pearl with the New Pearl Protect System.' I have no idea what this is. But I hope it makes the world a happier place.
It reminds me of something I was thinking about recently, whilst slumped on my couch. I do my finest thinking there. No, that's not true at all. I just lie semi-comatose, watching TV. Often I watch American sit-coms, which I generally like. Or dislike them less than British sitcoms, maybe.
I notice that anytime menstruation is mentioned in an American sitcom, all the men panic. They cover their ears, or even run out the room. It's weird. I've seen this repeated in various programmes. Some woman mentions her period, and the men start panicking, completely unable to cope.
Do men ever really do this? Do any of them really get that upset? Not in my experience. It's difficult to see why anyone would get so upset.
I wonder why this scene is so often repeated? I've never seen it in a British sitcom (On the other hand, I haven't seen anything funny in one either, for about the past twenty years)
I suppose it's just done for comic effect. It seems like a fairly lazy way of raising a laugh, really. And not really liable to make women feel good about themselves if it's implied that something they experience every month is deeply repulsive to the other half of the population. So I was on the brink of becoming self-righteous about this, when I realised that... hmm... that actually, I wrote a scene like that once too. In a Thraxas book.
In Thraxas and the Elvish Isles, at the vital moment in an all-male card game, Makri, female barbarian and waitress, starts talking about her period. The men all become uncomfortable, and indeed, some of them panic completely. Which did lead to a funny scene. My thinking at the time, I suppose, was that in the mediaeval, and quite religious society, in which Thraxas lives, menstruation was a taboo subject, and when the female barbarian blithely starts talking about it, the men can't cope.
It seemed funny at the time. But maybe I shouldn't have written it. I didn't realise I'd be joining in with some global campaign to make menstruation seem like a bad subject. If I had realised, I'd probably have written something different. (It's time for the National Menstruation Festival! Bring party hats!)
Hum. Oh well, in Queen Vex, sequel to Lonely Werewolf Girl, Daniel buys the contents of a shopping list, including tampons, for his female friend Moonglow, and he manages not to panic, or even comment adversely.
I'm currently editing this book. And also trying to think of a new title. It's still on course to come out next year.
Spell-check fact - On spell-checking this blog, I found I spelled 'menstruation' wrongly every time. Ha. Well, it's quite a tricky word.