|Kiki Wilson · Science, Gross · July 12th, 2012|
BOOK REVIEW: MENSATION: THE SCIENCE OF WOMANLY BLEEDY-TIME
Mensation: The Science of Womanly Bleedy-Time
Vera Milian. 2011. Concord Press.
I was quite skeptical a few months back when Bitchy Amiee gave me this title as a must-read. I had health class same as everyone else; what more could there really be to learn about Aunt Flo? How wrong I was. Milian offers a truly penetrating, scientific glare at the reproductive-sludge-purging time of the month, and it’s a hoot to read as well! How many times did I slough my uterine lining, without ever really thinking about it? It’s a shame really.
Mensation (a combination of the words menstruation and sensation, for the drooling morons out there) covers a lot of ground rather succinctly, from an evolutionary history of bleeding for fun and profit to Menopause: breaking the drip-o-cycle to Lip-syncing: how women synchronize their bleeding (chapters 1, 3, and 5 respectively). To help make the material digestible, Milian punctuates points with fun anecdotes about menses:
Much later, after I had already grounded Billy, I realized the “crime scene” on the couch was actually my own doing, and not the murder of his guinea pig as we had supposed. Boy was my face red!
Mensation is hysterical. Get it? The cover promises science and delivers in spades. Here are just a few of the fun facts about routine uterine puking that I learned:
- The average menstrual release is enough fluid to drown a Labrador
- Many mammals menstruate, but only humans have fun menstrual accessories like Ibuprofen and maxi-pads (mine are Hello Kitty!)
- In many pre-modern cultures, a menstruating individual is afforded greater respect, spending those days locked in the “honor hut,” so as not to be disturbed by anyone. (We could learn something about respect for women from these people!)
- It’s recommended not to swim in the ocean while menstruating because that’s pretty gross, really. Other people are trying to swim and don’t need bits of uterus in their snorkel, thanks.
I highly recommend this book to readers interested in the disgustingly feminine, even if you don’t have a uterus yourself.