Menstruation is the periodic discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina.
- When the menstrual purgations appear in the wives, their husbands should not approach them, out of regard to the children to be begotten. For the Law has forbidden it when it says: “You will not come near your wife when she is in her separation” [Lev. 18:19]. Nor, indeed, let them have relations when their wives are with child. For [in that case] they are not doing it for the begetting of children, but only for the sake of pleasure. Now a lover of God should not be a lover of pleasure.
- Apostolic Constitutions, as compiled by Philip Schaff in Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 7, 463
- Why have eunuchs sore and ulcerated legs? Is it because this is also characteristic of women, and eunuchs are effeminate? Or, while this is true, is the cause in women as well this, that the heat has a downward tendency? (Menstruation shows that this is so.) So neither eunuchs nor women grow thick hair, owing to the presence of copious moisture in them.
- Aristotle, Problems
- Then he started his period.
one week in bed.
two doctors in.
three painkillers four times a day.
to the powers-that-be
demanding full-paid menstrual leave twelve weeks a year.
I see him now,
his selfish pale face peering at the moon
through the bathroom window.
The curse, he said, the curse
- Carol Ann Duffy, "Mrs Tiresias"
- Plato was aware that divination is something inferior that pertains to the non-rational soul. The main point is that they [clairvoyants] name their illnesses, especially chronic nervous disorders that are not yet fully developed. Also, rheumatism, toothaches, yield to magnetism. Remarkably, it seems to have an effect on the maladies of menstruation. The somnambulists especially know how to specify these disorders and it is easy to admit that they discover deficiencies. They describe these conditions, but in an entirely ordinary manner, not in the manner of one who understands anatomy. Then they indicate the remedy for their disease.
- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of Spirit, 1827-8
- Males or females that are unclean through running issue, and a woman after childbirth, must in addition bring a sacrifice, because their uncleanness occurs less frequently than that of women in their separation. All these cases of uncleanliness, viz., running issue of males or females, menstruations, leprosy, dead bodies of human beings, carcases of beasts and creeping things, and issue of semen, are sources of dirt and filth.
- Moses Maimonides, The Guide for the Perplexed
- Their anger in darkness turning, unreleased, unspoken, it's mouth a red wound, its eyes hungry...hungry for the moon.
- Crosses her knees and wags left leg to rhythm. Type of by-words: a two-hundred-forty-two word area of the commonest pubescent slang fenced in by a number of obviously European polysyllabics. Sighs a good deal in class. Let me see. Yes. Now comes the last week in November. Sighs a good deal in class. Chews gum vehemently. Does not bite her nails though if she did, this would conform better to her general pattern — scientifically speaking, of course. Menstruation, according to the subject, well established. Belongs at present to no church organization. By the way, Mr. Haze, her mother was —? Oh, I see. And you are —? Nobody’s business is, I suppose, God’s business. Something else we wanted to know. She was no regular home duties, I understand. Making a princess of your Dolly, Mr. Haze, he? Well, what else have we got here? Handles books gracefully. Voice pleasant. Giggles rather often.
- Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
- In the developing world, menstrual regulation is still a crucial strategy to circumvent anti-abortion laws.
- National Abortion Federation, Plan Parent Chall, International Planned Parenthood Newsletter (1): 30–1
- In India, the lunar calendar, possibly one of the first of its type, is still in use today ... the total for 28 days is both a menstrual and lunar cycle, with the full moon as a cosmic representation of pregnancy, and the new moon standing for the promise of rebirth. These beliefs are apparently universal, for the lunar markings found on prehistoric bone fragments are thought by many to represent women's cycles.
- Beth Richards, Herizons Magazine, Winter 1994, vol. 7
- So what would happen if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not? Clearly, menstruation would become an enviable, worthy, masculine event. … The truth is that, if men could menstruate, the power justifications would go on and on. If we let them.
- Gloria Steinem, "If Men Could Menstruate"