A tricky period ….

October 16, 2012

Caught an interesting item on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour today, about girls’ first periods. In some cultures, this pivotal moment is really celebrated – a woman from Mumbai remembered that their doorstep was specially decorated, and she was allowed to have a ‘bindi’ red dot on her forehead for the first time. I’m sure I would rather have died than announce the great event to the neighbours via our doorstep. But that was then. We are all a lot more open about most things now, and thank goodness – for the most part.

Of course, in India, one of the reasons to advertise a first period is that a girl is then considered ready for marriage. A horrifying thought, especially when you hear about girls sometimes starting their periods at 8 or 9. And, with all the stuff swirling about at the moment about the loathsome Jimmy Savile, rogue teachers and men who prey on tiny girls, maybe the less said the better about teenagers’ developing bodies. I am torn between the two extremes. With my own girls, I remember trying to be upbeat and positive, even though I actually felt really sorry that their days of carefree innocence, and lack of PMT, were over. So, while I didn’t pretend it wasn’t happening, I didn’t throw a party either. And I definitely didn’t give them this card:

Um, yes, I think that is an appliqued uterus ....


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  • jenny smith October 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Ugh! I heard that too! I read about it some years ago in Private Eye, that feminists did this card thing. But what about your brothers? And your Dad? The thought of them knowing makes me cringe.

    However that woman’s welcome pack might not be a bad idea – if only a bit more discreet.

    When my daughter started, I panicked more than SHE did!

    Good post x

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Jenny, I would have waved if I’d known you were listening too 🙂 Yes, the welcome pack sounded a really good idea – I googled it but wasn’t sure which of the many was hers. In fact Lil-lets have now been in touch with me and offered me their pack so we’ll be reviewing that soon – though how we’ll do that I’m not sure!! It is all a bit cringey, isn’t it? There are many splendid things about being a woman but I think periods are at the bottom of the list for me x

  • jenny smith October 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Think Jane Garvey didn’t like the idea either!

    • Dulwich Divorcee October 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Yes, she was trying not to say ‘yeuch’ the whole time, I think 🙂