Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Thursday 19 February, 02004

by Matthew Bartlett @ 3:31 pm

Menstruation, the Pill & Dualism [via Deb]

11 Responses to “”

  1. Deb says:

    Posting an article on menstruation is a sure sign of manliness, methinks.

  2. matt says:

    heh – i was a little nervous about the proprietry of it all.

  3. case says:

    hmm, good points….but sometimes there is no choice….

    I definatly think it’s wrong to take the pill purely for your own personal comfort, but for some people it is the most likely way that they will be able to have children later on.

    …just a thought

    oh yes… matt your manly

  4. Sam says:

    “i don’t trust anything that bleeds for 5 days and doesn’t die”
    — Mr Garrison

    to one-up Matt’s potential sexual fopah, I’m going to argue against the article he linked to… now to see me get shouted off the stage.

    medicine isn’t just about saving lives, it’s about making the life it has saved comfortable. so if you argue “how dare women do this to themselves just to be comfortable”, you’re going to have to also deny a lot of other things, the most common one being painkillers.

    the anti-dualistic argument goes even further – stating “harmonize with our creator’s design” – you imply that human beings are exactly in tune with the creators design – or perfect – to begin with. this is a very slippery slope, and one best traversed by nostalgic Luddites.

    the chief problem with such thinking is that consistently applied leads to the denouncement of most technological advancement – a yearning for “the simple life” of the dark ages. but life wasn’t pleasant back then, quaint though it may seem a millenium later.

    that’s not to say that we haven’t lost something. but just because you lose something in a change, that’s not to say the change wasn’t worth making. ignorance is bliss, but do you *really* want to be ignorant?

    this is not the garden of eden, and if it’s possible to get back there at all, it’s forwards, not backwards.

  5. matt says:

    nah, i think there’s ways of using technology ‘in line’ with existing complex systems (whether developed by tried-and-true evolution over long long time, or carefully planned by loving Creax0r)

    and i think the author is referring to some medical tradition of using medicine to restore health, rather than augment humanity

    i don’t think it’s about ignorance vs. knowledge. it’s about a very specific kind of knowledge delivered by priesthood of scientists from far away in pharmachutical-company-land vs. folklore/evolved pragmatic/stuff you learn from listening hard to your body.

  6. Sam says:

    the “ignorance is bliss” reference was a metaphor. agreed, it’s not about ignorance vs. knowledge… whether or not it’s bad for the body is beside the original author’s point.

    IMO, it does seem like the sort of thing that could lead to complications. the first people to try this will be voluntary guinea pigs; they are taking a risk. but people have been risking a lot, even their lives in the pursuit of whatever it is they are passionate about. this is not a bad thing, on the contrary society is a worryingly risk-averse these days.

    the risks to the body weren’t the main point of the essay however – the point was the relationship you have to your body, the author thought that the relationship of understanding in order to control was bad. i disagree.

    i think that this is the relationship we have had to the world since time began; i think it’s what separates us from the animals, and while not without its problems it’s a beautiful thing – to be admired, but respected for the risks implicit in it.

    speaking as a 20 something amongst other 20 somethings, i will say this: this sort of issue is going to be one of the major spiritual challenges of our lifetime. biotechnology is going to open up a world of possibility for enhancing not just our lives but ourselves – the pill, xenical, and viagra will seem like a drop in the bucket.

    know where you stand, and why you stand there.

  7. Deb says:

    Article was about being your body, and not treating it as a vessel for ourselves, a tool to be controlled. We’re going to be raised at the end as *bodies* – that is who we are. The truth in this has implications for how we see and treat ourselves.

    Why I liked the article was this – Treating menstruation like a disease to be medically suppressed disrespects women. And maybe also God, who made me like this and men like that.

  8. kathy says:

    my main problem with the widespread prescription of the pill is that the patient is rarely explained to about firstly what the pill is actually doing and what it’s long term effects may be. ask any woman on the pill and the likelyhood is that she won’t quite understand what the pill does and almost certainly won’t understand how the pill does this. i guess making an informed choice wouldn’t be so bad as blindly accepting the promise that it will make everything all better. doctors treating patients as though they know better than their patients about everything is crappy. the end

  9. Sam says:

    It’s a fair point that the patient should always know what a drug’s going to do to them. But,

    * The world has improved somewhat in the realm of self-education
    * Many people just don’t care that much, and are perfectly happy to trust doctors, and they’re entitled to.
    * Docors do know more about medicine than most of their patients.

  10. Ange says:

    Sometime in the future i hope there will be a great revival in older woman teaching younger woman about thier cycles,(how to read their own bodies fertility signs). so Girls will grow up knowing there bodies understanding, and not view menstration as a diesese to be rid off.
    http://www.natfamplan.co.nz/index.htm
    http://www.woomb.org/bom/lit/teach/index.html

    The pill for medical reasons is another hard one, many woman go on it to regulate the periods, For painful periods etc, well its only a part time solution to the problem, When they come off it ther symptoms are often worse. I own a book about which covers how to change/understand how nutrition could help or herbs to use to regulate/balance hormones etc, but i guess thats just not as easy as a pill once a day.

  11. david says:

    methinks the pill is less about helping out women and more about cursing the man. When Ange was on the pill, her hormones were all over the place, her emotions were played with, she was more tired than normal, and her ‘desire for schex’ was affected. All this means that I was living with 4-5 different personalitied peoples, all of whom didn’t want schex. That’s ‘fubar’ man.

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