In a few days we will elect the 45th President of The United States. This is a momentous decision, and, as with all momentous decisions, asking questions is important. However, a question posed by Carl Unger of Montgomery, Pennsylvania in his letter to the editor revealed a sexist motive and almost unbelievable depth of ignorance.
In a question referencing Hillary Clinton, published on October 15th by The South Williamsport Sun Gazette, Unger asked, “What if that time of the month comes and she is sick at the same time?”
I know what you’re thinking. Did he really just ask that?! Not only is this question sexist, it is totally ridiculous. First, on a practical physiological level, Hillary Clinton is sixty-nine years old, an age at which a woman no longer menstruates.
Secondly and more importantly, physiology aside, whether or not Clinton is menstruating is none of our business. The intellect and decision-making processes are not compromised when a woman is menstruating.
Believe it or not, studies have been conducted which reveal “no evidence of a relationship between estimated cyclical fertility changes and conservatism, and no evidence of an interaction between relationship status and cyclical fertility in determining political attitudes.” That’s right. Menstruating women are capable and of sound mind. It baffles me that any person would doubt this.
I recently came across this article on a site that claims to be “for women.” That’s right, a website supposedly aimed at empowering women published an article entitled, “Things that are really hard to do when you’re on your period.” This strikes me as irresponsible and deeply disturbing. This article comes at a critical time when people are questioning the capabilities of women (and one woman in particular, albeit erroneously) relative to monthly cycles.
I am so disappointed that a website claiming to be feminist would publish such an article- an article that says appropriate emotional responses and basic coping skills are difficult to employ when a woman has her period.
Trump supporters belittle women for having bodies that function and Trump blames women for having bodies that function as we saw during his campaign, when he alluded to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle as the motivational factor that made her question Trumps past sexist comments. Trump said, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever.” Trump’s misogynist bullying has built a safe and solid foundation for his supporters to indulge in rampant sexist ignorance.
So there you have it. Periods either make women weak and irrational or belligerent. It is so disheartening that such falsities have found such a large national platform, and loud national spokesman. Menstruation is a powerful biological experience and the stigma around it must be shed.
As election day approaches, we can and should question each candidate’s policies, stances on social issues, proposed legislature, and moral code. Ask the important questions, not those fueled by innuendo, ignorance and misogyny.