Friday, October 30, 2009

fighting a bloody battle, social media style

Forgive the graphic title folks, but the claws are now officially out. I woke up this morning to find this brilliant REDBOOK parody posted on my facebook wall. It was created by people I literally met the day before yesterday.

This, to me, sums up the power of social media. That RB snub (for those of you not in the know, RB suggested to their readers that instead of buying FLOW, they should pick up enough ice cream for a 3-5 day binge) was posted on a blog (Society for Menstrual Cycle Research), which I came across during one of my many FLOW google searches. f it wasn't for them, I don't know that'd ever have seen that dismissive snip-fest. People aren't all all that quick to bring negative press to my attention. In fact, I have a feeling my mom read the review—yesterday she tried to say something about FLOW but stopped herself. Now I get it.

But, back to the story. By the next day I was hearing from women at the forefront of the menstrual awareness movement. It was that slap in the face (sorry, another menstrual reference, this to the Jewish custom of slapping a girl when she gets her first period), that prompted people to reach out and be in touch. Seriously funny women, writers whose work blows me away, people who have been fighting this fight for openness and conversation far longer than me. And all I can say is HOW COOL IS THAT?! While FLOW may be ignored by traditional media, it's not the end.

Being me—at this point you must all know that means grappling with self-doubt and angst—I've been feeling like FLOW, which has the power to change minds, break through silence, teach every single person who picks it up something they don't know, would quickly disappear. While I'm surrounded by (and I'm ever grateful for) friends and strangers, who believe this book will be big, that's been really hard for me to hold onto. And so I'm even more BLOWN AWAY by the edgy humor and creativity of people motivated to turn RB's snub into a powerfully funny statement. My knight's helmet off to Chella at

There's more. Yesterday two facebook friends separately contacted different NPR shows, suggesting that I'd be a great guest. Someone on twitter edits these posts for me every day, sending messages letting me know what mistakes I need to fix. People forward my thoughts, my rants, my FLOW pitches. Strangers (and friends) read this blog and are really open about what they think/how they feel. People are sharing this journey with me. I feel like, at any moment, I could slip into a sugary sweet filling-the-world-with-togetherness-and-love conclusion, but that's not my style.

So thanks folks. You make this all worthwhile.

Day 30 is starting with gratitude and a really good belly laugh.


Jeremy said...

Slapping a girl when she gets her first period? Now that's a Jewish custom I've never heard of. I'll have to ask around about that one.

People have strange customs.

Jane said...

I have friends who broke out the champagne when their daughter started her periods but frankly I have always found gin to be best!

I guess you are going to get brickbats and bouquets in equal number with this 'contentious' topic, although heaven knows why something that happens to half the population shoud be contentious!

I take my hat off to you and offeryou a large glass of gin, with ice and lime. To you!

Susan said...

I told my 23 year old daughter about the Redbook Comment...she said "That is really demeaning to women...what do they take us for?"