It's 2013. Why do women still menstruate? With all the hormone treatment, procedures and gadgets out there, shouldn't we just get rid of menstruation altogether?
The British/Japanese artist Sputniko! (Hiromi Ozaki) created the video above along with the device in the video - a machine that simulates menstruation by dripping blood and using electrodes to mimic lower abdominal pain. The Menstruation Machine was featured in the Museum of Modern Art. Sputniko! believes that periods are unnecessary and modern women shouldn't have to deal with them.
Ms. Magazine's blog asks the important questions below - questions we think are worth asking our readers here:
"Is menstruation still a necessary part of identifying as a woman? Should it be? Are we afraid that if we decide not to menstruate we will be looked on as lesser women by society? Do we, like Takashi, consider menstruation to be a “female experience,” and as such, one that we should go through every month?
Or is menstruation punishing and restricting women by telling biological females that it is our duty to menstruate to prove our femininity–but then ostracizing from the sisterhood transwomen, post-menopausal women and other women who are unable or unwilling to menstruate?"
Those of us that run this blog all have different opinions about this topic. I personally don't take pills to regulate my period or for birth control because additional hormones in my system turn me into a crazy lady. I'm all for women taking control of their lives, but going against my body and getting rid of my period with pills and procedures that aren't 100% time tested and "natural" just doesn't feel right to me. And messages like these end up making me feel like there is one more thing I should dislike and change about my body. I'd rather just embrace who I am intrinsically and work with it.
But what do you think? Do we need menstruation? Am I being old fashioned?
Ashley Seil Smith has a background in Anthropology and is currently earning her MFA in Illustration at The School of Visual Arts in New York City. She's not very good at juggling multiple things at once, but still finds herself signing up for half marathons while trying to run TPS and go to school.