Wednesday, November 16, 2005


When I started this blog, I told myself I would not be discussing politics, for two primary reasons:

1.) There are approximately 2,319,678,432 blogs out there dedicated to politics, churning out the discourse better than I ever could;

2.) Reasonable minds can differ. People of all races, religions, creeds, sexual orientations, and political beliefs may gather at the same table and break bread together at the Trattoria Breve. Those who are not interested in sitting side by side in such a varied group are welcome to excuse themselves to the kitchen, where they may wash dishes. Clean towels are in the drawer under the sink. The rest of us will be eating stuffed yellow squash, prime rib, garlic smashed potatoes, spinach salad with walnuts and dried cranberries, cauliflower au gratin, creme brulee, and chocolate pecan pie. We'll let you know when we're done with our plates.

As you may or may not have noticed, I link to sites where different people express different political affiliations. I hesitated quite a bit before doing this. My readers, though few, are politically and geographically all over the map, and I did not want to facilitate conflict or bad feelings. Ultimately, I chose the links I chose because you people are interesting and write well, and that, to me, is reason enough to go ahead and do it.

I generally will not be discussing my political beliefs on this blog, subject of course to my own personal definition of "politics," and to the fact that, since it's my blog, I may change my mind at any time. Please know, however, that whatever your views are, I respect your rights to hold them and to express them.

That being said, something that Mignon wrote the other day particularly caught my attention. She printed the text of a letter written by a Clare Kelly of Missoula, Montana, to a local newspaper. The subject was "choices men could make that would prevent abortion." One of Ms. Kelly's suggestions was, "Learn your partner's menstrual cycle and track it on your calendar. Most men have no clue when a woman can or cannot conceive."

For that matter, many women have no clue when they themselves can or cannot conceive. Even women who have read Paradise Lost in its entirety and are familiar with L'Hôpital's Rule. There is tremendous discourse concerning sex education in the schools, in general, and condoms, abstinence, spermicides, bananas, IUD's, etc. Why is it that one scarcely hears about teaching women to track their menstrual cycles and recognize ovulation? Even in the absence of sex, this is basic body-cycle information, far more relevant to human beings than learning about the circadian rhythms of insects, yet likely taught less frequently. Please correct me if I am wrong.

The details of an individual woman's cycle, like world cuisine or the work of a great but obscure artist, is one of those wondrous things that we must generally learn about on our own instead of in school. For any women or men interested in reading about how it works, I recommend Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH. I found it well-written and full of good information.


Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

The boss's wife gave every employee, male and female, a copy of this book when she was trying to conceive. I scoffed at the time, but it was a great resource when we started trying (which is still continuing). Plus, now my husband knows more about my cycle than he ever thought possible - and he asks about the state of my temperature every day. :)

10:20 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

I never got sex ed in school at any level, and my husband knew much more about my cycle than I did (he's also a biology geek) when we started trying to conceive. Never one to go in half-assed, I read everything I could on menstruation and conception and (dorky sentiments to follow) feel much more like a woman for understanding and recognizing my potential now.
In fact, and this may be stretching things, I used to be an engineer and would try to make my way by being one of the boys all time. I quit that after having a baby and kind of 'let it all hang out', so to speak. I've found I now develop much more fulfilling relationships with other women and I don't feel as if I'm stifling my femininity any more. I'm wondering how I would be different if I knew as a awkward teen what I now know.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

The boss's wife and both of your husbands sound very cool.

Mignon, I know what you mean by "letting it all hang out." I definitely think it fosters closer connections with other women.

3:12 PM  

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