If you know my sister Marnie, you already know she’s a brilliant actor and one of the kindest and funniest people you’ll ever meet. Her loving acceptance of my coming out last year gave me enormous strength.
But today, I’m proud because she’s also an awesome producer and host, and she’s using those talents in service of normalizing the female experience. Her new podcast, The Bloody Business of Being a Woman, features guests Nandita Shenoy and Kaliswa Brewster bringing wit, warmth, and liberating honesty to that work.
The first episode is called “The Shame of THE PERIOD,” and there are many highlights:
- Taking the airtime to sip (and appreciate) their Bloody Marys
- Kaliswa’s story of walking home with “happy meal boxes” full of information on becoming a woman
- Nandita’s mother’s promise of getting marched down the street on an elephant in celebration
- Learning my own mother promised Marnie a period party with me and our brother Allan (we can still do this!)
- Heaps of research on perceptions of the power and stigma of the menstrual cycle.
Of course, I can’t help hearing the episode through my own experience as a trans woman. For some trans women, the absence of a menstrual cycle is a source of pain, and it’s a good idea to never congratulate us for not having them. Some of us carry menstrual products around anyway, either because we’re stealth or because we want to support our cis women friends when in need. A small number of trans women report cyclical fluctuations of mood and emotions that could be generated by hormones. Others scoff at the idea (trans Reddit can be as blunt as it is loving and empowering).
But if the menstrual cycle is one of the more significant differences between trans and most cis women, the shame attached to our bodies comes from the same system of oppression. So let’s lift our Bloody Marys and together toast to the end of white supremacist patriarchy!