The Shame of Menstruating

Menstruation Matters

Un año de aventuras en Ecuador

**This blog post was originally published on the Days for Girls International Blog here: http://www.daysforgirls.org/#!The-Shame-of-Menstruating-Menstrual-Hygiene-Day/c2g3/556743480cf24874176403b3.

#MenstruationMatters because every woman & girl deserves to feel EMPOWERED by her period, rather than ashamed. #MenstruationMatters because every woman & girl deserves to feel EMPOWERED by her period, rather than ashamed.

I remember my first period. I was fourteen years old and it was just before Easter. I actually remember feeling excited. My grandmother sent me a tree of life necklace shortly thereafter – she sent one to each of us. She wanted us to remember that our periods were a symbol of the beautiful power of the female body. The tree symbolized the female power to create and sustain life. My mother told us that our periods were our “power time,” and encouraged us to see them as a gift rather than a burden.

Yet, I can say with confidence that my experience was pretty unique. Most girls around the world are not encouraged to talk publically about…

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SHE

A good piece by Lorraine Stitch

lorrainestitch

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I
I was nobody’s. .
And if I was, it was only for a little while.
I was somebody’s till her mistakes took her from me.
Ha!
I was free, free to roam.
No hand to cuff me,
No tongue to lash me,
No rod to strike me.
It was what I thought wanted..finally.
Daughter you are loose.

But I was no daughter,
I was no little girl..
I went about and left foot prints everywhere
Nasty ones..
They tried to clean after me.
Tried to warn me but
How dare you?
Who told you I could be tamed?
Can’t you see how well I am doing?
They left me..
I thanked them.

She
She twitched at the thought of a little girl
All alone, afraid with no one to run too
She hurt just thinking of it.
How come?
Whose baby girl?
Let her come  to me..
No I…

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Real Jamestown.

The Jamestown Experience

lorrainestitch

DSC02272[1]What I heard of Jamestown was first of all the stench that greets you when you arrive, thank you George. Then I heard about how the people are habitual road blockers. On a sunny saturday, men and women in black under the covering of a canopy, in the middle of the road, blocked, just blocked, and nobody can say a thing, hey its community, its all about togetherness.

Now here’s what I read about Jamestown,(Paraphrased Wiki 2014): Located directly east of the Korle Lagoon, Jamestown is the oldest district in the city of Accra, Ghana and emerged as a community around the 17th century BritishJames Fort and on the Gulf of Guinea coast, and it goes on and on. I’ve learnt we only see parts of things, I couldn’t rely on wiki, or my friend George, I had to see for myself.

So I went with potential friends…

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SUMMER

Metaphorical Ghanaian Summer

lorrainestitch

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Summer…
Folks wait for Summer,
They hope for him because he’s warmer.
Summer came and then a new song.
Not very long with music twas sung.
With noses high in the air..folks breathed him down.
I swear I can smell him now.
Gallant, high, strong fellow.
Summer came and we knew he was hero.

I…
I was something before summer
I wasn’t as bright but I burned
I wasn’t as loud. .but I hummed

But Summer was softer,
He always brought folks together.
And I, I just kept them apart, it seemed forever.

Oh! She is coming we have to prepare forher” they said.
Not like a welcome but like a disease they feared.
I came and no one to greet me,
No bright faces, just puffed up coverings
I had been quarantined, infectious
They wouldn’t cover up if I wasn’t so odious.

I grew wild because…

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What Makes a “Real” Writer?

Writers

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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I’m finally home from speaking in Pennsylvania. Was honored to keynote for The Write Stuff Conference and super sad to leave. I get so attached to the writers and miss them when I have to go. Their passion, imagination and enthusiasm never fails to inspire me. I’d keep them and collect them in my basement except apparently this is called “taking hostages” and is “illegal” *rolls eyes*

…that, and I don’t have a basement.

I never prepare a speech. I’ve tried. But I am too ADD and end up ignoring/forgetting everything I prepared, so why not save time? Also, I present quite often and never want attendees to feel like they will hear the same things from me. Every class, every presentation is new. I love listening to those around me so my content fits better because it’s custom made.

This said, when I arrived in Pennsylvania, I had no…

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Dealing With Trolls And Assorted Hate Online

Hate Online

Erin Matson

I have experienced a fair amount of trolling in my day. The trolling has occurred in my Twitter mentions, on Facebook, by email, in comment boxes, in paper mail, in voicemails, on blogs, and by call-ins to television and radio programs on which I have been a guest. It has been directed at me personally and organizations I’ve been affiliated with. Garbage like this can come with the territory when you’re a feminist, and especially when you’re a woman on the Internet.

At it’s most garden variety, the trolling is a never-ending stream of comments on my sluttiness, my stupidity, and my appearance. The trolls can’t decide if I’m super ugly, or hot and have good “jugs.” The focus is never my actual appearance so much as baldly sexist attempts to reduce my worth to my appearance. Ah, and how could I forget — I am an advocate for reproductive health, rights, and justice…

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