Menstruation was (Pet Peeves was Rude drivers (was Re: tad williams (was Re: : fantasy monarchies))

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 9 18:47:45 EST 2003


--- hallieod at indigo.ie wrote:
> >--- Robyn Starkey <rohina at shaw.ca> wrote:
> >
> >
> >>
> >>  I had to give a lecture on this book when we
> taught
> >>  it as part of a
> >>  medievalism course, and I came across a
> fantastic
> >>  rant about it, which
> >>  isolated the repetition of the phrase "moon dark
> >>  bleeding" as holding all
> >>  the faults of the book (bad writing, faulty
> >>  feminism).
> >
> >Yes where did this menstruation = moon thing come
> >from. I assume women in the middle ages could
> count,
> >and they would certainly have noticed (if they were
> >the traditional 28 days) that their periods didn't
> >coincide with any particular phases of the moon. I
> >know the english word month comes from moon and the
> >english word menstruate comes from the latin for
> month
> >but I don't think that has anything to do with the
> >moon.
> 
> I think you're forgetting the usual association of
> the moon with 
> lunacy, and the belief that women's menstrual cycles
> made them very 
> prone to mental instability.  Today I was just
> reading about the use 
> of "flowers" as the most common name for menstrual
> cycles in 
> Elizabethan England.  Sweet, innit?

My this thread is getting tangled. I still think that
in any society where people were actually aware of the
phases of the moon (and I suspect that many modern
fantasy writers aren't - although JRRT took great care
with them) would not associate menstruation with the
moon. I believe there is a statistical link with
mental instability and the moon, and there is also one
(in out house at least) between mental instability and
menstruation, but not between menstruation (28 day
norm) and the moon (29.5 days). IMHO the menstruation
moon thing is just some New Age claptrap. Of course as
all True Knowledge seems to be found on this List
someone will doubtless be hitting their keyboards with
citations from medieval texts and Pliny to prove I'm
wrong.

Jon

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