As a woman who went through sex ed in public schools, I felt I was sold a bill of goods. It failed to prepare me for cervical fluids, cleaning my vulva properly, choosing the right menstrual products and more. Sometime in my early 20’s after being on hormonal birth control for several years already, I woke up. I read “Cunt, A Declaration of Independence” and it was raw. It stirred up feelings of anger and betrayal. I wasn’t sure what to do with this newfound information but what I could, quietly, in my bathroom. I found alternative menstrual products that felt better. Soft cups instead of tampons. Cloth pads instead of plastic. It felt like a rebellion going on in my underwear. I dug deeper. I read Ina May Gaskin’s book “Spiritual Midwifery” and was hooked on this line of feminism. Women supporting women. Women educating each other, often times in secret. Shhhh, there’s a different way to be a woman, let me show you.
In my late 20’s, after several years in a monogamous relationship, I ditched the pill. My now husband fully supported the decision to take more control over my body and reproduction. It made me feel like I was a crazy person, even though I know I wasn’t. Yes, it kept me from getting pregnant. Yes, it kept me bleeding every month. BUT, it made me feel like I was lying to my body. Then I learned the truth. It is a lie. Hormonal Birth Control (HBC) is a lie. It lies to your body, for three weeks every month it tells your body you are pregnant. Then when its time to change to the ‘off-week’ pill, miscarry. There is nothing sugar-coated about HBC, except the pill itself. I came to find out that the week I would bleed was actually a withdrawal bleed, not menstruation. Not the lovely free flowing blood that my body was designed to shed each month. Nope. Not even close. Yes, the pill has given millions of women the freedom to express their sexuality however they choose. It has prevented many unwanted pregnancies, and that is a good thing in the overall context of our life. But what if there was another way? Or at the very least, what if you were given the option to CHOOSE your method of birth control. How can we demystify our body and its unique language? To better love and cherish our body rather than despise and hate it?
When Laurel and I very first began talking about being partners, we wanted to teach women about their body, Fertility Awareness, birth control, menstrual products. And the list goes on. We dabbled in creating a curriculum. But then one day, I got a message from Laurel. ‘Fifth Vital Sign is training women to be educators and giving away their curriculum for FREE!’ We signed up that day. If you haven’t heard of these amazing women, please check them out. Seriously rad, progressive, advocates for reproductive freedom.
I am profoundly grateful to be able to share with people this information. Anyone who wants to learn more about the female reproduction system is welcome to come to our class. The introductory Fifth Vital Sign class will always be free. We intend to offer spin-off classes in the future, but we believe that women deserve access to this information no matter their economic reality.
Join us for our first class Tuesday March 14th at 7pm. The class will be held in our office at 106 E Third Street #3B in Moscow. Seats are limited to 12, RSVPs are much appreciated! http://www.palousewomenswellness.com/the-fifth-vital-sign/