I know you have your position to maintain as a patriarchal consumerist toy but I know this is the real book you would have written if you could have:
Lots of love
I know you have your position to maintain as a patriarchal consumerist toy but I know this is the real book you would have written if you could have:
Lots of love
Sing to lyrics of Beatles- Hey Jude
Hey Brood, don’t make it bad
Take a sad woman and make her better
Remember to implant into her womb,
then you can start to make it better
Hey Brood, don’t be afraid
You were made to be a mother
The minute you avoid contraception,
then you’ll begin to make it better
And anytime you feel a pain,
hey Brood, refrain,
and see a doctor
don’t carry the world upon your thing
For well you know that it’s a fool
who plays it cool
by stopping at two offspring
Hey Brood, don’t let me down
She has limited eggs left in her,
Remember to let him come in her vagina,
then you can start to make it better,
better better better
So let it out and let it in,
hey Brood, begin,
The performance of making another baby
And don’t you know that it’s not just you,
hey Brood, form an orderly queue,
the movement you need is in your hips
Hey Brood, don’t make it bad
Take a sad mum and make her better
Remember to let her have another baby,
that you can start to make it better,
better, better, better, better,
Na na na nananana nananana hey Brood,
na na na nananana I’ll make Baby Brood
nananana hey Brood, hey Brood
Na na na nananana I’ll make Baby Brood,
nananana hey Brood, yeah
na na na nananana nananana oh yeah yeah yeah
Make it Brood
You have been hitting me gently since Omble was born about whether I want that third baby but today you got your sledgehammer out. Thanks to the return of my fertility
a polite way of saying menstruation which has been mostly absent in the last 3.5years of four pregnancies (two successful) and breastfeeding, I am now in what I will affectionately call MEGABROOD as you can see from the fact I was sad enough to write my version of the song above. This is simply ridiculous, babies grow up, babies and toddlers are hard work, I don’t particularly like kids between the ages of 4-14, what the hell am I thinking!?
I know it is hormones as from now on each month I will lose another 40-50 of my precious remaining eggs (every month 40-50 are recruited to develop but all except one become atretic and die except for the precious one that makes it to burst forth from the follicle), but I am 30 potentially I have 10 or more fertile years left in me, I can’t imagine this is it, but I also can’t imagine doing it all again. I have been so lucky with my two and the thought of a third where something was wrong and having to make decisions around that and change our lovely little family dynamic is terrifying. Plus I really adore my job and thought of the affect of any more kids on my career is currently unthinkable.
So dear Brood you are causing quite the conundrums in my brain at the minute and I would be much obliged if you wouldn’t mind buggering off until Omble is at school by which time we might be in a position to possibly consider number three but I will not cope with 4years of MEGABROOD until then because I’ll just keep singing
tunelessly everyday whilst my ovaries scream every time I catch sight of a newborn. It’s no fun.
Just gimme a break for a bit ok? Or at the very least advise me on how to ignore you.
P.S I’m totally picturing you like this – that’s right Br Ood isn’t it?
Okay time to put my hands on my heart and fess up. I’m feeling a complete twazzock now for writing Dear Feminism1, Dear Feminism2, Feminism Lite I’ve come so far in my feminist thinking that I can’t imagine ever not thinking it is important to be a feminist. In my defence though human rights have always been massively important to me, with women’s rights an important part of that but I never really specifically focused much of my attention or energy on them, having other battles to fight, but then I realised part of my other battles would be so much more sucessful if included feminism in my armoury which will probably only make sense if you know me personally so I will leave that bit there for now.
There is often talk in feminism about a lightbulb moment, and whilst my light has been flickering for a while now its only recently that it got properly switched on and is burning bright. I’m not sure why it took me so long, maybe it’s because as a white middle class well educated cis-female who has not really experienced a glass ceiling to her career, and being 30 I grew up as part of the generation that thought that the woman’s liberation battle had been fought and won, and therefore wasn’t as important? I know now I was naive, even as a teenager and in my early twenties when I experienced sexual violence and I brushed it off as just “something that happened to girls”, one boyfriend even strangled 14year old me until I told him I loved him. How did I not know this was wrong, why did I not shout and scream about how wrong it was?!
But yes the lightbulb is well and truly switched on now and I am angry, no I am RAGING that my daughters are growing up to be disadvantaged in jobs, by the maternity policies which need to be so much better,to have constantly have to fight to not be taken less seriously because of their gender, To suffer self esteem/body image issues because of the continual objectification of women. To be likely experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. I’m furious that there are renewed attempts to reduce my daughters rights to abortion if they need one, that their friends may experience female genital mutilation and this country is seen as not doing anything about it, that if they experience sexual violence it is unlikely that the perpetrator will be bought to justice and some people will think it was their fault for getting assaulted, for being drunk or dressed provocatively.
So fuck the badge and the jute bag I wanted in Feminism1- pass me a placard a balaclava and the chains and padlocks. This woman is getting angry strident and serious about her feminism.
For my daughters. For me. For Females.
Bring it on.
P.S and I’m really sorry it took me this long to really and truly properly get it. Will be ensuring I bring my girls (and any future boys) up to understand how important feminism is, so they reach this page before 30!
Dear Ladies with Labia,
Been thinking alot about this lately since I stumbled across this letter to the GMC from Lippy Girl. Previously I have just shrugged my shoulders a bit about labiaplasty after all- who am I to judge?- I had an outsized pair on my body reduced too (breasts) and I am loathe to be hypocritical. However the amount of women having breast reductions in last 2009-2011 has increased by 6% whereas Labiaplasty increased by 70% in just 2008-2009. (these were the only figures I could get hold of in my limited googling time- shout if you have more up to date ones).
So what has happened to make women, in dramatically increasing numbers, so ashamed of their labia they are driven to have them cut down to size? Most people suspect “porn perfect” and the “pornification of our culture” is to blame, and sadly I suspect they are correct. What I don’t understand is that as an adult no-one should see your genitals unless it is someone you trust, and if any of them were to make fun of your most intimate parts then what the hell are you doing with them!? That is a bit different to me with my massive norks there was no hiding my huge breasts- despite my best efforts with dark v-necks, bra’s with supreme engineering and hunched shoulders. I do appreciate the media do like to go on about “camel toe” but that is a problem more easily solved (and much cheaper) by adapting a wardrobe not adapting your genitals.
I recently heard Labiaplasty be referred to as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – and in fact it could be considered Type 2 “Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora.”, and given that FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 then I find it fascinating that such a surgery is legal and on the increase. I appreciate there are differences in that FGM is carried out on (usually non-consenting/lack of informed consent) girls under 15 as a harmful traditional practice often using unsterilised knives and no anaesthetic, whereas Labiaplasty will involve consent, sterile equipment and anaesthesia (and is unlikely to involve removal of the clitoris), however the chilling comparison is that it is removing part of your genitals for your culture. How can you actively choose to do something to yourself that currently 24000 girls are at risk of in the UK (&140million girls worldwide are living with the consequences of FGM) !?
I know I may sound a hypocrite having had part of my “secondary sexual characteristics” removed but it wasn’t for a porny sexual attractiveness reason, I actually wanted to reduce their “sexual signposting”- I had big breasts therefore “I was easy”, “I was a slut”, “I was up for it”. I hated that so often I was reduced to being a pair of talking breasts. A result of the surgery was that my confidence did increase massively and I probably felt (and hence became) more “sexy” as a result. however a side effect of the surgery was that the sexual responsiveness of my breasts has been reduced on one side with permanent nerve damage. I am okay with that as I was incredibly lucky I still have one fully functioning nipple and I can breastfeed from both sides- with the added bonus of the numb side not hurting as much if I get a breastfeeding nipple crack!
Ladies with larger labia- we should all be massively jealous of you- you have more highly sensitive tissue and therefore most probably will be having a much more exciting pleasurable time of it to remove that tissue WILL most likely reduce its sexual function, so to do it for sex reasons (as lets face it you are only doing it for your partner or for your own confidence naked) you are sexually crippling yourself for a “sexy porn perfect” appearance. I find this so sad.
So ladies with labia of whatever size, love them- get a mirror, check them out. They are beautiful. Go see the Great Wall of Vagina (technically Vulva but obviously not as snappy , if your partner doesn’t like your labia- get a new partner (because he/she is a pathetic shallow image obsessed fuckwit and you can do so much better). If after doing the and some counselling and a lot of thought about the procedure and the consequences of it, you still want to proceed then I cannot judge as I understand the mental and physical distress outsize body parts can cause, but do it for you and not for a partner and most definitely not for society/porn expectations of the “perfect cunt”.
Whatever the size and shape of your cunt, it’s yours and it’s beautiful.
Lots of Labia Loving Love
Dear Alpha Parent,
I read with interest your “NEWSFLASH- Breastfeeding requires effort” post last night. I was conflicted about it for various reasons which I will explain in a moment. I tweeted:
Hmm I am conflicted re. @AlphaParent‘s blog post. I understand where she is coming from but hmmmm I need to ponder more.
— LadyCurd (@LadyCurd) June 28, 2012
and understandably a lot of very upset tweeters tweeted back at me. 144 characters is not enough to do my thoughts justice so I am expanding upon them here.
*Personal breastfeeding story klaxon*
Firstly I need to say I should be one of the 2% of women who actually can’t breastfeed. A bilateral breast reduction when I was 19 removed 7lbs of breast tissue and I was told it was 50:50 whether I would breastfeed. However I was one of the lucky ones. I have written extensively about my exceptionally hard early breastfeeding experiences of Oddler (here, here) and Omble (here, here, and here). I hoped it would be easier second time around but if anything it was harder! But in summary here is a chart of most of the trials and tribulations we conquered.
|Breast reduction- large amount of tissue removed. can I feed? Health care professionals doubtful.||Breast reduction- have predominantly breastfed before, can I exclusively feed this time?|
|14% weight loss in first week. Everyone panics.||9.7% weight loss, most people stay calm.|
|6weeks to regain birthweight- Health Visitors and Midwives worried||5.5weeks to regain birthweight- Health Visitors and Midwives still worried but less so than last time|
|Crazy intense relentless exhausting hellish pumping and top up routine||Crazy intense relentless exhausting pumping and top up routine but this time I have a toddler to care for too and a dad to grieve for.|
|Tube fed baby won’t latch on for first week. Will only latch on with nipple shields for first month.||Won’t latch on for first 36hours, then only with nipple shields|
|Agonising cracked nipples that won’t heal.||Agonising cracked nipples that won’t heal.|
|Tongue tie diagnosed and snipped at 7weeks, latch improves, nipples damaged further||Tongue tie dismissed at birth but diagnosed and snipped at 3 weeks. No improvement in latch, nipples still being damaged|
|Bacterial infection in nipple crack diagnosed at 9 weeks. Antibiotics mean nipple heals||4 bouts of mastitis- 3 I cleared on my own, one requiring antibiotics as my breast was oozing pus|
|Baby on NICU for first 5days of life, I am on a hospital ward away from her. I am given minimal advice on how to establish breastfeeding in that situation.||Treated for breast thrush as deep stabbing pain whenever I feed, treatment doesn’t improve situation|
|Flat almost inverted nipples makes it hard for baby to latch.||Nipples aren’t as flat anymore thanks to a year of breastfeeding Oddler but they are still a very difficult shape to get a good latch in early days|
|Hugely traumatic birth and worries about a possibly brain damaged baby, affect establishing bonding and breastfeeding.||My dad dies when Omble is 3weeks old, I am utterly devastated, milk supply crashes with the stress|
|No skin to skin after delivery- first cuddle at 24 hours old.||Omble gets cold after cold making it very difficult for her to feed from me.|
|Born with a poor suck reflex, it does improve but breastfeeding incredibly hard to initiate.||Very clicky latch despite tongue tie snip. Feeding is very noisy and painful. Tongue tie reassed but not much more they can do- Omble is just a crap feeder.|
I am incredibly proud to say that despite all of this I breastfed Oddler til she self weaned at 13months and Omble is still going strong at 6months. Oddler was mixed fed from birth as NICU put her on a 10ml an hour regime and if my supply wasn’t up to that she was supplemented with formula. When she lost 14% of body weight she was put on 30ml top ups every three hours by the paediatrician, as much as I could manage of breastmilk and the remainder being initially of Diaorlyte but we soon switched to formula as she was just sloshing with liquid. However by 15weeks I managed to get Oddler to be predominantly breastfed with a bottle of formula at nighttime. Omble was exclusively breastfed for 8weeks and although I was hoping to go longer, I was utterly floored by my 4th bout of mastitis so LordCurd took both the girls away to give me a break and I slept and pumped but we didn’t have a store of breastmilk so she had formula and from then on has had a bottle a day too.
By my own success criteria I am a fucking legend. But in your eyes would I be a failure because I didn’t try that little bit harder and not supplement with formula!? I only found out with my second child Omble I could actually exclusively breastfeed and have her gain sufficient weight but I have no idea if I could have exclusively breastfed to 6months like the recomendations. I doubt it somehow. I have started weaning her now anyhow, earlier than 26weeks. Is that another failure? Am I now making excuses?
There is no doubt breastfeeding is a very good thing but it occupies such a tiny part of your child’s life and within a few months babies are experimenting with food and given that whilst weaning Oddler I gave her things like quavers and rich tea biscuits as finger foods, and Omble has already tried Jamaican Ginger Cake and I drink alcohol whilst breastfeeding and I have an utterly shite diet, then I don’t think I can be at all smug about giving my kids the ”best start in life”.
Therefore by some people’s “sucess criteria” it might be said that I am failing my children, but I have decided that I cannot judge anyone except myself against my own success criteria, sometimes I feel a failure as a mother, other times I think I am the world’s most amazing mother, and I think most other mothers feel the same. It makes me sad when we judge and compare each other for making different choices to our own. Which is also why your post rankled with me, who exactly are you to decide the success criteria of breastfeeding mothers!?
Originally before I started breastfeeding thinking I would be completely unable to due to the breast reduction, my success criteria was “If I can just get them to have a bit of colostrum then I will be happy” as it turned out I far surpassed that, but I think individuals should decide their own breastfeeding success criteria, not anyone else. If they are happy with their choices then so am I.
However one thing that came out of your post for me, was reading the comments where women highlighted some of the reasons they gave up breastfeeding, whilst other women shared the difficulties they had overcome, the difficulties were fundamentally the same in some ways, the choices different. The reason I highlighted my own difficult breastfeeding story is that I do think it is important to celebrate breastfeeding stories in the face of such adversity and I do get a bit cross that women are expected not to champion their pride in their own achievements for fear of upsetting other women who are dealing with their own sense of failure around breastfeeding. I am not writing this to deliberately make anyone feel bad- those that know me, know I go to great lengths to avoid upsetting people, (mainly because I am a complete wuss when it comes to confrontation!) but I am worried this letter may upset some of the people reading it because the terrible tendency us women have to compare and measure ourselves against others. As I said in my comment on Glosswitch’s post ”Being proud of my own experience and choices doesn’t mean I think other people should feel ashamed of theirs“. I am not other people, I am me, only the expert of my own experience, no-body elses.
However I didn’t used to be so wise
or pretending to be wise. A few years ago I was incredibly naive when Oddler was about 10weeks old and I posted on Mumsnet “Am I being unreasonable” the following “AIBU to think that some women give up breastfeeding too easily“. ie. I thought much the same as you do. My thinking behind such an inflammatory statement was “If I can do it in the face of all this shit then why am I seeing person X, Y, Z giving up after a measly cracked nipple or slow weight gain- pah wimps, I’m hard me!” Of course quite rightly I was completely and utterly flamed on the thread, and then I had the really sad realisation that the ONLY reason I stuck with breastfeeding despite all the shit was because I FELT GUILTY. I felt I had let down Oddler during her birth, I had given up, I had stopped pushing, I wanted to die, I didn’t care if she died, and as a result she was possibly brain damaged. Succeeding at breastfeeding was the ONLY way I felt I could make it up to her, and so I did, despite it being the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I have had a huge amount of therapy since then and I don’t feel that way any more but lets face it – that is a pretty sad and crap reason to stick with breastfeeding and how is that any better than the “crap” reasons for giving up breastfeeding you highlighted in your post?
My crap reason for sticking with breastfeeding my second baby Omble despite it being fucking hard again was because I had done the same for Oddler and I couldn’t give up, as it wasn’t fair on Omble, and it was about equally as hard (or in some ways easier and some ways harder anyway) breastfeeding her as it was to feed her sister and if I had managed it once then I could again. But had I not had my crap reason to breastfeed her big sister and managed it, then the liklihood is I wouldn’t have been so bloody minded second time too.
When I realised that the only reason I stuck with breastfeeding was misplaced guilt I realised therefore that I couldn’t judge other mothers for their choices as who knows the real core truth what was going on for them to make them stick at or give up on breastfeeding, I certainly didn’t realise my own for a good while. I felt so awful about posting my thread on Mumsnet and I persuaded them to pull it as I was too mentally fragile to keep dealing with the fallout. Very kindly they did and thanks to all the posters who accepted my apologies and those that understood where I was coming from, though I hadn’t expressed it very well.
My key learning from that episode is that IT’S NOT A COMPETITION to see who had a shittest time of breastfeeding and using that as criteria to judge others successes or failures because ultimately that is not only cruel but futile, they are incomparable as we are all individuals. In fact Motherhood in general IS NOT A COMPETITION.
But being called the AlphaParent I am not sure you will see it like that. I have my breastfeeding experience, and others have theirs and it makes me sad that we can’t celebrate and comiserate equally without the baggage and judgement which comes with discussing infant feeding choices.
Having rambled on about my feeding experiences for long enough (amuses me how any breastfeeding comment always attracts everyone’s personal stories), I will now try and explain why I was conflicted when I read your post. I think it was because I agreed with an aspect of what you were saying but not how you were saying it. I do agree there is a a “culture of ‘failure acceptance’”which there currently is around breastfeeding. “If Woman X, Y, Z didn’t manage it, then I don’t need to feel so guilty about stopping either.” ie. it makes it much easier for women to stop perhaps before they have explored all the avenues for possible solutions to the difficulties they are experiencing. However there is a huge amount bound up in that- it is too simplistic to solely blame the woman herself for making the excuses. Ledoux made an excellent comment on your post about that. Personally I feel the crucial issue central to successful breastfeeding is support. With the right support I reckon most women would succeed at breastfeeding if they wanted to. I had a group I went to every week, I phoned helplines, I have a very supportive husband and family, I had supportive midwives and health visitors (and some crap ones which I ignored), I had done a huge amount of reading beforehand. All of these things contributed massively to my breastfeeding successes despite the huge obstacles I faced. But I was lucky. A scary amount of women don’t get the support I did. I have read blogposts by women explaining why they gave up breastfeeding for reasons such as “because my baby lost weight”, clearly not realising that it is entirely normal for babies to lose up to 10% of their birth weight in first few days.
I do think the way you expressed your opinions was unnecessarily harsh and unhelpful in the “breast vs. bottle” debate which has trundled on for far too long already. Alvarrson commented very well on your post and I don’t think furthering the guilt mothers feel is helpful to anyone. It is pointless in fact. (Much like the pointless post abortion guilt I wrote about previously) I am viewing my stance on breast versus bottle to be the same as my pro-choice stance. I am pro-choice here too, women make choices right for them and their families, if we stopped with the judging and the guilt and the defensiveness and instead recognised and celebrated individuals rights to truly informed choices then I think the world would be a much happier place. But the caveat is the “truly informed choice”, I would hope that women have the opportunity to explore every avenue for support or solutions to the issues available to them before making the decision to stop breastfeeding (and if they decide to stop after that- they absolutely should- no judgement), but I am realistic, I know this currently isn’t happenings so how can we change that?
Being a solution focussed kinda gal I would like to see the following put into place:
Have to say initially I laughed out loud reading this response to the facebook backlash to your product via @crazycolours.
It took me an embarrasingly long time to realise this was a spoof response penned by the incredibly talented @Hollybrocks. Interesting to note that your Facebook page is currently AWOL.
So yeah even though this poetic response is not real I felt like responding as if it is because
it’s either that or work on my job applications, so I am going to pretend to be “Offended of Roman Spa Town” and respond as a disgruntled feminist parent (however in my usual double standard way I am not going to berate for the use of the more offensive terms for the female genitals as I have come to the conclusion I have no problem with slang for body parts, I have a problem when that slang is used to describe things other than female genitals, which in this case it wasn’t.)
Being a “Wannabe Humourless Feminist” (Glosswitch beat me to it), I have decided to take issue with the response as it completely neglects to address the fact that the product is actually irrelevant and unnecessary for vaginal health as I outlined here yesterday. But I suppose that would be an even worse marketing campaign than Woo Hoo for your Frou Frou, to point out that the product is utterly pointless and actually does more harm than good, so I expect that is why the spoofer (@HollyBrocks- brilliant superb amazing job) also omitted that crucial part to the response. (I wonder how Femfresh will actually ultimately respond- so far they have now responded by taking down the Facebook page!)
Being a wannabe humourless feminist mother, I did decide to take exception to part of the rhyme though. “Fuck mums and dads“- as I am a mum and I have written extensively about naming of genitals (here, here, here). As a mum I have absolutely no problem with the correct scientific terms being used for the female reproductive organs for me and for my daughters. I refuse to euphemise them (although Oddler has euphemised “vulva” into “buddha“, but that’s okay she is only two!). I think you may find many parents feel like me- a vagina, a vulva, a clitoris, the labia- parts of the body- nothing to be ashamed about and we probably don’t appreciate being sworn at as part of a collective idea that all mums and dads are uncomfortable with the correct names of the genitals. Many of us are quite comfortable with these terms, although I appreciate some are not but to be quite honest those parents need to get over themselves. IT IS A VAGINA- 51% of the worlds population has one. But that’s just something I felt the need to point out, as it made me cross, now I have to get my humourless feminist badge right? Please?
I can’t be the only mum in the world calling a vulva a vulva, a vagina a vagina, and a Spade, a diggywoowoo can I?
Dear Ladies with Curd,
Okay so my name inadvertently relates to Candida Albicans so I feel in an excellent position to discuss more about the issue of Ladies and their various curds at differing times of the month.
The reason I am writing this letter to you is because recently there has been a outpouring of rage towards Femfresh and their Woo Hoo for your Froo Froo Campaign. I particularly liked @Glosswitch’s, @Stavvers @girlonthenet (1&2) @CathyBussey and @allotmentmumresponses. This is also well worth a read about what the male equivalent wash might be!
Rather than repeat the same rants (which I wholeheartedly agree with), I feel a little bit of education is needed about LadyCurd. Well okay okay will stop calling it Curd incase it is putting you off your lemon curd on toast, your vanilla yoghurt, your organic houmous (ladies if the contents of your knickers are like any of the aforementioned foodstuffs then get thee to a doctor).
When trying to decide terminology other than “LadyCurd”, @other_red helped me with the following brilliant suggestions: “lady liquids”, ”womanly waters”, “feminine fluids”, (and the especially brilliant late additions of “Cunt Custard” &”Gash Gravy”), all of which I love but think I shall stick with the non-alliterative yet scientific “vaginal fluid” (I could also call it “vaginal discharge” or “vaginal secretions” but personally I prefer vaginal fluid).
Now ladies, vaginal fluid is an entirely normal and natural state of affairs. The amount and consistency of fluid your vagina (well more technically the cervix) produces will vary dependent on the time of the month. As a very rough guide:
Day 1-7ish Can be Blood as your womb lining is shed (your period), a brownish fluid (tale end of period) or a thicker milky fluid once bleeding has ceased.
Day 8-12ish maybe dry or clear and watery
Day 13ish-16ish Thick “eggwhite” jelly like – this is a fertile mucus produced by the cervix, it is a sign your body is gearing up to ovulate. The last day you see this mucus is likely to be the day you ovulate.
Day 16ish-24ish often “wetter” at this point of the month- more clear and watery fluid
Day 24ish- 28ish Often a more thicker white slightly milky fluid in the build up to your next period.
Obviously your cycle maybe longer or shorter than this, and you may ovulate earlier or later than this, therefore the types of fluid your body produces may not follow this exact pattern but can help as a guide for what to expect. Remember things like how much exercise you do, how much sex you are having (and if it is using a condom or not), whether you use tampons or not, may affect your vaginal fluid quantity and consistency.
If the fluid your vagina is producing is strong smelling, itchy, yellow or green then this indicates an infection is most likely present and you will need to go to your doctor for treatment.
Common infections include:
Thrush – Candida Albicans- a yeast infection that produces a thick curd like yeasty smelling discharge
Bacteria Vaginosis- An overgrowth of bacteria- Produces fishy smelling greyish discharge.
Trichomonas Vaginalis- A parasitic infection- causing a green frothy foul smelling discharge (I learnt about this one at university- my lecturer used the exact phrase “green frothy foul smelling discharge” it kind of sticks in your head!)
Now why am I telling you all this in relation to Feminine Hygeine Products?
CuntCleansers? Your reproductive tract is an amazing self cleansing organ, it naturally has a delicate balance of micro-organisms in it- this is entirely normal and healthy. Washing them away with soaps even ones specially designed for the vagina basically washes all the good bacteria away allowing the more harmful bacteria or yeast organisms to increase. All your vagina needs is water and a clean hand. Using such products will potentially increase your infections which may make you feel unclean and want to wash more- by using such products you are creating a vicious cycle for yourself.
So ladies- please do the following:
Be aware of what fluids are normal and natural for your vagina, don’t take over the counter treatments for Thrush, Bacterial Vaginosis etc unless you are positive you have it (preferably with confirmation by a swab at the doctors) this is because any treatment- antibiotics or anti-fungals will then again affect the delicate balance of the Vaginal flora and it is not uncommon for women to ping pong between vaginal thrush and bacterial vaginosis as they over treat and use vaginal washes etc.
Wear cotton pants and give your undercarriage a good airing from time to time.
Wipe from front to back to avoid transferring fecal bacteria.
Don’t use vaginal douches.
Don’t use Femfresh, Lactacyd, Vagisil or any other ridiculous product designed for your fanjo.
Do all this and you too can have a “Happy Vagina”, “A Merry MaryLou”, “A Footloose Foof”, “A Gleeful Gash” (With thanks to @other_red for those suggestions!) and that truly is “Woo Hoo for your Frou Foo“. NOTHING ELSE.
Lots of love
P.S This post is based from knowledge in my head because being LadyCurd I am dead interested in LadyCurd, but I ain’t a medical professional and this letter does not constitute medical advice. Any concerns about your own LadyCurd Please please see your GP.
P.P.S If you ever read on an internet site that a home remedy for thrush is to insert a garlic clove wrapped in a muslin- for the love of your vagina- DON’T DO IT. All that will happen is you will have a Garlicky Gash for weeks and weeks afterwards. It will be most unpleasant. Not that I am the voice of experience on that one or anything. Ahem.
As usual I am writing to the female anatomy. One might think I was obsessed or something (see here for Breasts, Vulva, Cervix, Uterus, Pelvic Floor as well as musings on gendered genital related insults).
On Friday a female politician was banned for saying “vagina” in an abortion bill debate, this has been dubbed #Vaginagate, so I suppose technically I should have called this letter #VaginaGate but the phrase has been making me giggle as I imagined a gate over the entrance to the vagina, preventing anyone from getting in or anything from getting out
(unless full term) although I suppose given the subject matter, this is strangely appropriate.
One of the Republican politicians present Mike Callton said he found the word “so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.” This is a
moron man holding a bachelors degree in biology- Eh!?
Since the news broke I have been reading some fabulous responses to it:
The simply brilliant Glosswitch wrote my favourite post ever on this whole affair- “Total Cunt Avoidance- we have the technology!“
SonyaCisco made me laugh out loud with A nice day at the Orifice
Naomi McAuliffe wrote that Vaginas aren’t dirty- even in Michigan
Sarah Ditum wrote Why right-wingers shouldn’t stop women saying “vagina”
So there isn’t much more for me to say other than-Dear Vagina -You are not a dirty word, you are not an offensive word, you are a lovely scientific word to describe the birth canal, you are often inappropriately used to describe the vulva, but I’m working on correcting that. I could wax lyrical for hours about the vagina but it’s getting late and LordCurd wants to go to bed so I need to get of the computer. So I shall end with Vaginas are completely amazing and wonderful and I am shortly going to be writing a very detailed informative letter to women about vaginal secretions (LadyCurd by name, LadyCurd by nature). So watch this space (oh and I will totally publish that next letter while you are eating your breakfast. Preferably yoghurt.)
Lots of muscular tubal love
P.S. If you read the gendered insults posts you will see I have a strong dislike of the word “Cunt” but I realised in those letters I did not make an important distinction, the word is absolutely foul and horrible as an insult, and I virtually never use it in such a way, because what it effectively says is “Cunts (ie. Vaginas) are disgusting scum of the earth, lowest of low, vilest of vile”. However I am also inclined to agree with the person the lovely @SarahDitum wrote about in this article “During sex I’ll accept ‘pussy’ but my preference is ‘cunt’.” I have no problem at all with actual vaginas being called cunts, after all “Vagina” doesn’t really “roll off the tongue” in the heat of the moment now does it.
Dear Intisar Sharif Abdallah,
I am in floods of tears reading about your current situation. I cannot believe that in this day and age there are still countries that treat men, women and children so despicably, barbarically, inhumanely. In fact those words don’t do your current situation justice at all. I am so upset that you have been imprisoned with your four month old baby and separated from your other two children.
I am so so sorry that your brother beat you into confessing to adultery (something which isn’t even a crime in my country). I am devastated that the courts saw fit to sentence you to death by stoning, based on this extremely flimsy “evidence” of your guilt. I abhor the very legislative existence of the death sentence, even for much more heinous crimes than yours (which I am not at all convinced at all you are actually guilty of), but that particular method of execution is the most disgusting, cruel and horrific.
I have sent an appeal on your behalf to President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, and I will do everything I can to raise awareness of your current plight, to fight that this sentence is not carried out and that you are reunited with your family.
You might wonder why I am doing this? Well it’s because I also have a baby not much older than yours and previously I might have found myself in situations that in your country could also lead me to the same sentence, but only by virtue of my birth and geography I would never find myself in your situation. This is not right.
I am thinking of you and fighting for you.
Stay strong for your children.
Dear Body Image of 5 year old me,
As a birthday present my grandma had bought me two new swimming costumes, a royal blue one with florescent trim and a red and white striped bikini pretty similar to this one but with red frills and pants instead of shorts.
I was totally in love with both my new swimming costumes but I especially loved my bikini, it felt so grown up to have an actual bikini. I knew my mum didn’t approve, she didn’t think little girls should wear bikini’s, but the top was a crop top rather than a bra like one. I was five I didn’t have breasts I needed to hide, but now I am a mum myself I understand more about her reservations about girls and bikini’s.
Anyhow I wore it swimming for the first time and my overriding memory of that day was being embarrassed about having my stomach on show. I thought I was too fat to wear a bikini, and I kept trying to cover my stomach up.
I was ONLY FIVE YEARS OLD and somehow I had already been warped into thinking my tummy should be flat and I must be skinny. Where the hell did I get that idea from!? Remembering that makes me so sad. I was a normal healthy 5 year old girl. I wasn’t skinny but I definitely wasn’t fat or overweight, I just had a normal child’s tummy. It worries me how I must have received these messages that girls must be slim from such an early age.
I suspect partly it was my family and my relationship with my mum and her own relationship with her weight and food, partly my peers- at that time my best friend was Becky- she was slim and beautiful and everyone always commented on her looks. I don’t think it can have been the media too much- I wasn’t allowed to watch that much telly and my mum never really had women’s magazines, but maybe it was also the billboards, the adverts, thin obsessed society that seeped into my consciousness and invaded my self esteem?
Whatever it was, I never want my girls to feel how I felt that day at the swimming pool (I don’t think I ever wore that swimming costume again), but I feel powerless to stop them feeling like that. What can I do as a mum to make them confident in their own bodies? I hope my own reasonably happy in own skin body image will help (it took a lot of work and I didn’t get there until I was in my twenties), for example I never ever diet, and I am not particularly obsessed with my weight (although I am aware I eat too much cake at the minute and when I stop breastfeeding I may need to reign it in a bit) as I do think mothers own body image has a massive impact on how daughters perceive their own body image.
On the other hand I worry about Oddler’s diet- she has always been in the 99.9th centile and she eats a lot. At the minute we try not to worry too much about it, we encourage fruit and veg but are not too fussed if she doesn’t eat them, I really don’t want to get into food being a battleground as it was with my own parents. Also as my diet isn’t optimum so I can’t really force stuff on my kids that I tend to avoid if I can (I really need to work on that whole role modelling lark!). We do encourage activity and as she grows up she is a normal healthy two year old on the big side but not overweight for her age. She is exactly like me and I can see she is going to have my build and I can see already the differences in her sister- her baby sister is always going to be a skinny one (like her dad) and I wonder how this will be for them both growing up, especially in the teenage years. I think we just keep doing what we are doing on that front and hope for the best.
One thing important for me to do for their body image is to curb my critical tongue, I inherited it from my mother and I can often come out with a negative instead of a positive. I know the effect it had on me growing up and I don’t want to have the same effect on my girls. I’m hoping my own experiences will help me not make the same mistakes my parents did, but I also know I am likely to make other mistakes (plus Philip Larkin had a point), and ultimately I do know my parents love(d*) me and wanted what was best for me, just as I do for my girls.
So dear 5year old body image- the memory of you makes me so sad- as does my 15 year old body image, however ultimately I am cheered that as a 30 year old woman I am pretty happy in my own skin. I am never going to be a skinny minnie, I am never going to have a flat stomach and I’m always going to have my childbearing hips and proportionate build, but that’s okay because I am happy and healthy (
could be healthier admittedly) exactly how I am. So now I just need to work on my girls being at the point I am now without going through the same body image blips I did! Is that even possible?
Raising girls with good self esteem- it’s a minefield innit! Help!
Lots of Love
*P.S Love(d) because my Dad died recently but I know he loved me, I know my alive Mum still loves me. I have no idea of the correct grammar in such cases!