In class earlier this week we talked a lot about Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English's very informative article about "The Sexual Politics of Sickness". They discussed the large class differences that were seen in the early 20th century and how all women were seen as "sick" just in different ways. Upper class women were "inherently sick" and very delicate, while working class women were "robust" and "inherently healthy". In reality they were exactly opposite of these descriptions but still it was a common belief to see women this way. They also talked about how menstruation was "regarded as pathological throughout a woman's life." As I read the article I couldn't help thinking about the below clip from Saturday Night Live that features a fake commercial.
Now I know it's a fake product and the reactions and everything are fake, but I think this clip tells us a lot about how society still has traces of those same beliefs from the early 20th century. Just the fact that we see this as funny shows how these ideas of women being inherently sick are still around today. We must have had some inkling of how women can be drastically affected by their periods to even know what was going on in this skit. Men especially have this view that women are different people and are not to be bothered during their periods. Maybe its because they know so little about menstruation, but maybe they feel that we do have sick tendencies. I do admit that some girls use this to their advantage though. They say they have cramps so they can get out of work or school, or blame their periods for their emotions or outbursts. So is there some truth to our inherent "sickness"? Are there still common beliefs today about our "pathological" menstruation? Do we still depend on the medical system for social reasons instead of biological needs?