I am often surprised at the amount of secret women's business we have in the world today. When women get together in a group, chat often turns to things that we just don't discuss in front of men. Usually this is because they just get all awkward and flee the room the minute someone says the word "period."
I work in a hospital and our lunch room conversations often involve abcess puss, drainage of fluid which smells so bad it permeates your clothes and hair, organ biopsies and other gross things and we eat while chatting about these things but throw in the words "period blood" and suddenly the guys remember they need to be somewhere else.
It strikes me that it's a little bit funny that women seem to know a lot about the male reproduction system and aren't particularly squeamish discussing, it yet many men prefer that we ladies just keep our ovaries a mystery. Periods? Ew. Keep it to yourself. Of course, this isn't everyone, but a large percentage. Think I'm kidding? Bring it up in casual conversation next time you're out with friends on a Saturday night as see how it goes.
Men, however, will usually have no great issue discussing loudly, with their mates at the pub, their own bodily fluids. Pee, snot, vomit and in less polite circles, semen. These are all socially able to be turned into jokes and are accordingly hilarious. That time a guy threw up in the beer garden and it went everywhere and it was so gross and their were chunks in it and he sneezed and it came out his nose? So funny.
Imagine, if you will, that the group discussion included a woman who added, "Oh, yes! Reminds me of the time I had my period and had a sneezing fit so hard I flooded my pad and it was just like the time my waters broke, just so funny!"
You know that's not going to happen. That's not funny because it's perioooood blooood ewwwwwww!
And therein lies the difference of the sexes.
Medieval men were almost as helpful in setting this kind of attitude up by insisting that menstrual blood was extremely poisonous, an attitude which we don't share today. Luckily, that menstrual blood might be put to some good use, and I'll be telling you more about that later.
If you have a story where you've unintentionally or purposely made someone uncomfortable by mentioning your reproductive system, feel free to share it with me in the comments.