Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What "People" won't talk about

Today I heard that People won't be writing about Flow—they feel the subject matter's too "squeamish." Ok, I get that menstruation is not (yet) a topic that most people talk about over dinner, that we've got an uphill battle getting people to pay attention to the book, that we're fighting against thousands of years of imposed shame and stigma and patriarchal control . . . yes, I can rant and rave about that for a long time.

But squeamish? We're talking about a natural biological function that just about EVERY WOMAN, which constitutes most of their readers, goes through for 40 or so years. Personally, I was sick to my stomach at their coverage of Mackenzie Phillips confessing her ongoing affair with her father. I felt ill trying to explain to my kids the cover story about that poor girl who was kidnapped and spent 18 years living in her captor's backyard, giving birth to his children. Close up photos of John Travolta after his son's tragic death brought tears to my eyes—both for his pain but also for how disgusted I was that someone in mourning should be the center of a media frenzy. Which makes me feel more than slightly queasy at this blanket assessment of our society—we're far more comfortable reading/writing/talking about incest, eating disorders, drug abuse, death, rape, kidnapping, and adultery than we are about periods.



Susan said...

Great post, great observations!

Charles said...

I've always found it interesting that natural things like defecating and masturbation are treated as they they are unnatural, whereas unnatural things like driving cars and watching movies are treated as natural. We are very uncomfortable with our flesh.