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joyce
another sociological query... 
29th-Apr-2003 08:27 pm
i promise, i'll credit everyone in my thesis, one of these days. :)

so... my essay this week has to focus on some aspect of adolescent sexuality in differnt cultures. i'm focussing on how we handle mensturuation, because, frankly, it'll be easy to tackle. this is mostly for girls, though guys are welcome to jump in if they want. how did your family handle your first menstruation? did you get taken out to dinner because you had "become a woman?" did it get ignored? were people embarassed?

i always have anonymous comments turned on, by the way.
Comments 
29th-Apr-2003 08:41 pm (UTC)
Evidently, my mother was pretty in tune with my emotional status leading up to my first period..

When we were shopping, she threw in a box of feminine products. Knowing they weren't for her since she'd had a hysterectomy, I queried...

We ended up in a minor embarassed tiff over what she wanted (pads) vs. what I wanted (anything but 'diapers'), but within a few weeks I got my first dot.

I don't remember ever having a discussion about it, with the exception of once asking my mom to buy me some when I was broke and my dad telling me to go to my room until I was 18.

It was a non-issue. Like most personal things in my family, we never talked about it unless we were telling a joke or making fun of it.

That may not help your paper.

Anonymous? I'm a female past the age of brastraps and P.E. :)
29th-Apr-2003 09:27 pm (UTC)
the age of brastraps and P.E.

I have nothing useful to add to this conversation, I just wanted to mention that that (a) brought back a ton of middle school memories and (b) would make a great book title.
29th-Apr-2003 11:39 pm (UTC)
This is a good one...

I got mine just before my 10th birthday. Mom was surprised, Dad was surprised, I was NOT surprised. I'd been reading the literature on periods for ages, and my girlfriends and I had been gossiping about who would get it first. (Why we were all so excited is beyond me; I'd have been happy to avoid having the thing for another twenty years, really.)

OK, so Mom offered me maxi pads and apologized for not having "the talk" with me; but she'd gotten hers at 14, so she wasn't really ready.

Dad?

Offered me porn.

I shit you not.

"In case you want to see what sex is like," he said.

He also cried for a week and got extremely stoned, mumbling that his baby was gone.

That was pretty typical of life with Dad before he was sober...
30th-Apr-2003 10:03 am (UTC)
There are tears coming out of my eyes because I'm laughing so hard.
Thank you :)
30th-Apr-2003 10:05 am (UTC)
You're welcome!! :)
30th-Apr-2003 01:07 am (UTC)
Interesting question. My story's boring, ordinary, really. I like it that way, but it's not much help to you, I don't think.

I was 12, pretty average age...and I just went and told my mom, who was in the bathroo, washing her face. She hugged me, and gave me pads and told me to let her know if I wanted tampons. She told dad and whoever else needed to know, but discreetly, so it wasn't a big deal.

I was the first of my friends to get it, by a month or so, which was kind of a big deal as I had a friend who was a year older than I was, and she hadn't gotten it. So for the first time I got to lord something over her.

It wasn't as cool as I had thought it would be.

good luck with the paper!
30th-Apr-2003 04:32 am (UTC)
In 3rd grade some of my friends asked me if I knew what a period was and I said yes. I though "Duh! I do know how to end a sentence." Then they told a joke I didn't understand, and I pretended I did.


In 5th grade they took all the boys out of class to do something else, and had a little program with a nurse or something to teach us about periods. At the end she handed out coupons for pads, and asked if anyone had already gotten it. No one said they did, but a year later I found out that a couple of girls already had but didn't want to say in front of class.

The day before 6th grade started I got my period while I was at my Grandma's house. She told me we were going to have to get something with belts to hold them on, or *something*. I guess she didn't know about modern pads. (no idea when she went through menapause) We went to the store and got some pads, but we were both really confused. When I put it on it was sooo uncomfortable and I felt like I was wearing a diaper. When Mom came to get us we told her. I don't remember her being excited or surprised. I doubt anyone ever told Dad. I never mentioned it to my friends till much later, and I was really scared that the people in school would be able to tell.
30th-Apr-2003 05:41 am (UTC)
Oh god, those belts. They're atrocious.
30th-Apr-2003 05:38 am (UTC)
I happened to get my period on one of the weekends I was staying with my dad. I was 11. I asked my dad to take me to the drugstore asap and had to tell him why, even though I was mildly embarassed to do so. He was mildly embarassed as well, especially since my stepmom or any other woman wasn't around, but he handled it well. Asked me if I felt OK, and said that if I had any questions he could try to answer them. Luckily I was already pretty well-informed, between Mom-talks and school and books. When I got home I told Mom, and she told EVERYBODY. Everybody in the whole wide world. She called family, she told my stepdad, she told the lady at the bank and at the grocery store, every person she encountered for the next three days. I thought I was going to kill her. She was rather proud. :)

My sister got her first last Christmas, on Christmas Day. She's 15. She says Mom didn't make as big a deal about it to strangers as she did with me, lucky girl.
30th-Apr-2003 05:44 am (UTC)
Oh, and Mom was pretty gung-ho about making sure I was comfortable with tampons. I never could imagine wearing pads anyway.
30th-Apr-2003 12:35 pm (UTC)
You know, I barely remember. I remember that it was summer, I think the summer before 8th grade. And I know I was wearing red underwear that day. We were having a family from church over for a cookout; they may have already been over. They have a son a year or so younger than I am, who I had a bit of a crush on, mainly because he was the least objectionable guy I spent much time around. So I was annoyed at the timing. I don't remember if I knew where Mom kept pads and got one, or if we'd put some in our bathroom in case they were needed, or what. I'm not sure I even told my parents at the time. I probably did, I just don't remember it.
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