This was one of the first contributions I sent to the kagablog in 2006. Back then, I just put it out there, not really knowing why or not having read much on menstruation and art. I found it in an old archive and I still find it beautiful.
The text below is out of New Blood, Third-Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation by Chris Bobel. Her Bobel writes about Kami McBride, a feminist spiritualist.
“During her training, McBride had a second pivotal experience;this one awakened her to the links between the politics of women’s health and the role of menstruation.
During the lunch break of a class with herbalist Jane Bothwell, the students went swimming to beat the heat. When McBride declined an invitation to join everyone in the water because she was menstruating, her teacher encouraged her “just do what we do—bleed on the ground and wash it off in the pond.” McBride recounts her epiphany: “I don’t really remember anything else we talked about that weekend, but that statement rocked my world. Something cracked open and I saw that the shame around my blood was part of what kept me suppressed in general. . . . It was on this summer day that I realized how political women’s health issues were.” These two experiences changed McBride’s life in profound ways. Since 1988 she has taught a full schedule of women’s health classes. In 1994 she founded a herb school, which she built on a pristine patch of northern California forest. Her classes include a yearlong workshop, “Cultivating the Medicine Woman Within,” and a three-day workshop, “Women’s Wisdom: Health and Well Being for Menstruation, Fertility, and Menopause.”