On Friday, I had to undergo a LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) to remove a cluster of precancerous cells from my cervix. The procedure involves first being grounded so you don’t get electrocuted, then having your lady bits lasered. I lay there, legs spayed out in the stirrups, with my curmudgeon of a gynecologist barking statements like, “Speculum,” “Pressure,” “More Pressure,” “IUD hook,” “Slight Pain,” “More Pain,” “Relax,” “Done,” “No sex for a month.” During that month, it will scab over and slough out. Throughout the ordeal, I hummed “Crocodile Rock;” tried to breathe in and out to the count of eight; and decided that there must be some truth to the whole creationist story. I don’t know if it was Eve, but some woman at some point had to have pissed off the gods in a big way.
Let’s face it, compared to men, women have a horribly hard way to go. From puberty on, our lives are a study in survival. First, we have to face the dreaded menstruation, which no matter how you try to spin it, is not pleasant. You bleed sporadically, with no warning, often during inopportune times like when you’re wearing white shorts in gym class or sitting on a friend’s cream-colored sofa at a cocktail party. When the friend and his partner have a genetically-predisposed aversion to vaginas (and all things related), it makes it especially sensitive. Hallmark really should make a“Sorry, I bled on your Dakota Jackson chaise” card. And the period is accompanied by crippling cramps, fatigue, and mood swings that would suggest demonic possession. But it’s not just the pain, inconvenience, and temporary insanity brought on by becoming a woman, there is the fact that our reproductive organs are especially prone to a slew of dangerous diseases.
And, along with getting the monthly crimson typhoon, we get breasts. From then on, we are judged by whether they are too big, too small, too nipplous, or too not. And, then comes the all-too-necessary concerns with breast cancer. Each year, we are forced to embrace our masochistic side, and get a mammogram. To get a proper picture of the tissue, they have to contort, stretch, and flatten the boob. It hurts like hell. Passing into womanhood is as treacherous as passing into the Bermuda Triangle.
It seems that after undergoing the monthly torture of menstruation for thirty-plus years, we’d be rewarded with an increased metabolism, libido, and maybe a government stipend of $50,000 or so. We should at least get a Post-Period Party. But, no, instead we get menopause with even more severe mood swings, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, insomnia, urine leakage, headaches, and weight gain.
I know what you’re thinking…Donna, you’re forgetting the most important part. Being a woman enables you to bring life into the world. It’s a miracle. NO! If pregnancy only occurred when we had orgasmic sex, a stable partner, and money in the bank AND if it was a euphoric experience involving no morning sickness, bladder discomfort, swelling, exhaustion, or potentially serious risks AND if labor involved the body just gently opening, like a refreshing morning stretch, and releasing rainbows, butterflies, and a baby, AND the stomach then closed up scar-free and the body immediately returned to its pre-pregnancy state…AND if each infant was accompanied by a Nursery Fairy to change all of the diapers, give mommy daily massages, and put the wee one to sleep…That would be a miracle.
In closing, I just wish that all men would have to undergo one bad period, severe hot flash, or long labor. I guarantee if they did, women would be worshiped.
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