Ladies, We Need to Talk

Ladies, we need to talk.

And I don’t mean that in the sense of “come here, I’m going to tell you something.” Not the way it’s usually meant, when someone says “we need to talk” and then proceeds to berate you for something that you’ve done, or sits down and tells you horrible news.

I mean that in a whole other sense, with emphasis on the “we” and the “talk” part. Emphasis on the communication. Emphasis on our voices, and our ears, and our minds.

We need to talk. We need to talk to each other, to ourselves, to our children and our partners and the world. Despite that old commonplace about how much women talk, our voices are being lost and our words are being twisted and we are growing up ashamed and ignorant and wounded, so many of us. Our bodies are cultural battlegrounds, and we know so little about them.

I tried to make a list, earlier, of all the things no one told me about my body until they thought I needed to know. Things about menstruation that I didn’t learn until after I’d started having a period; things about pregnancy and childbirth that I didn’t learn until I bought a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting during my 2nd trimester; things about being a girl, being a woman, having a body. I was overwhelmed by how many, how very many things, I didn’t know.

  • I didn’t know that it might not hurt, and I might not bleed, when I lost my virginity.
  • I didn’t know that more than 7 days of bleeding during a period was outside the norm.
  • I didn’t know that my extreme mood swings were more than PMS.
  • I didn’t know that I had more options than Tampons and pads.
  • I didn’t know how birth control worked.
  • I didn’t know that periods weren’t actually gross.
  • I didn’t know I would bleed for 6 weeks after childbirth.
  • I didn’t know anything about breastfeeding beyond that breasts supply milk and babies drink it.
  • On and on, so many things I didn’t know.

Talking about the messier parts of our bodies and our lives isn’t something that we like to do. And if talking about it is difficult, than conversing about it is virtually impossible.

But we need to talk, and we need to talk loudly.

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Comments

  1. says

    Yes, we do. As I’ve progressed through menopause, I’ve often wished for a circle of women to walk me through things and let me know what’s normal and what’s not. Sure, I can read books (and I have) or look things up on the internet (and I have) or talk to my doctor (who couldn’t care less because she’s not there yet!), but it isn’t the same as being able to sit down and have a good chat with someone who has been there and might have some good advice to offer based on their experiences. It’s also not the same as having someone treat it all as normal and beautiful and another transition in life that ought to be celebrated somehow.

    I agree about all the things you’ve listed, too. I don’t know why it’s all so hush-hush when it’s LIFE.

    Liked by 1 person

    • says

      See, I have next to zero clues about menopause, other than hot flashes and hormones being out of whack and menstruation stopping. It’d be useful to have more information than that, but it’s just not something that is talked about. I don’t really understand why we hold all of this stuff to be so taboo.

      Like

  2. says

    I so agree. Where do we start? I’m soooo nieve and clueless about so many things! I mean seriously… I’m 63, and have had to ask my daughters and older granddaughters about ‘stuff’. Its rather embarrassing to be so ignorant!

    Liked by 1 person

    • says

      I look a lot of things up, and I learned a lot of things from watching TV. But why on earth? I had health classes and parents—at some point, there should’ve been more in depth conversations!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. says

    Bravo, Diana, this is beautiful! Let’s talk a let’s not be ashamed. How did these subjects become so taboo when they’re so natural? They’re part of womanhood and yet so many of us remain completely out of the loop about what is actually happening in our bodies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • says

      Thank you!

      I think it’s so strange how our bodily functions are taboo as conversation. Almost as though we want to forget that part of ourselves or sanitize it somehow. But it’s not bad…It just is.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. theshanreid says

    This is something I recently commented on. How very many things no one bothered to tell me until I became pregnant. It’s borderline cruel lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. says

    This is a great post. I have never understood why these topics are taboo. I think it is a product of society trying to marginalize women throughout history. It is sad that so many of us grow up without the basic knowledge of how our amazing bodies work and what they are capable of.

    I am raising two girls, the oldest of whom is 12. I have promised myself that I will do better than my mother did with me as I usher my daughter into adolescence and adulthood. She’s already gotten more conversation and guidance that I did so hopefully I am doing a good job.

    I would also add to the list that “1 in 5 recognized pregnancies miscarry.” Early pregnancy loss is so common and so many women experience it and yet very few talk about it. Until it happened to me, I had no idea how isolating it was.

    Liked by 1 person

    • says

      Thank you so much.

      I’m sorry to hear about your miscarriage. It’s definitely a hard experience, and it’s not one we talk about much at all–though as you point out, it’s very common. It’s difficult to talk about, but maybe that’s all the more reason to talk about it.

      Liked by 1 person

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