Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues

Our Lady of the Precious Blood

Menstruation.

Period. Cycle. That time of the month. Aunt Flow. Have the painters in. Crimson tide. On the rag. Shark week. A 2016 study conducted by the International Women’s Health Coalition found that there are more than 5000 slang terms or euphemisms for the word ‘period’.

I’ve experienced this myself when training for my black belt and was asked to use the word ‘Medusa’ instead of saying I was on my period and would refrain from certain training. I kid you not. I refused to comply or ask any of the women I trained with to do so.

I decided to do this a bit off centered or ‘slightly off’ as I often feel that way when having an aggressive cycle. The extended decorative halo is rough an uneven but still draws attention to her glory! Her halo is an unfurled tampon, a triumphant open flower of womanhood. It symbolizes the fact that menstrual products are often taxable as a ‘luxury item’ rather than a necessity.

She wears armor to shield others from being ‘unclean’. An X is over her mouth to prevent her from speaking about her period, as that would be ‘offensive’ and ‘rude’.

On her right is the full moon looking with disdain at being associated with a woman’s time of hysteria. On her left are the icons of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, 3 religions that have looked at women as filthy, frenzied subordinates because of the nature of their bodies.

In her left hand she holds a toad. In medieval times, the church considered menstruation a reminder of ‘Eve’s original sin’ and so did not make pain relief readily available to women in need. Ingesting powdered toad to relieve cramps and heavy flow was totally acceptable though…

In her right hand she clutches lavender, which was often used to mask the smell of blood that some found distasteful. Both flowers and toad ashes were often worn in pouches around the neck to discretely dispel odor, but Our Lady wears it right out front-so that those offended can be reminded it is their shame that makes them uncomfortable-not hers.

“OMG Becky…”

Our Lady of Maternal Judgement
I’ve been on both sides of this ugly issue…
I can answer why I did it. Fear. Pure and simple. Exhausted, monkey brain fear. Fear that in that moment I wasn’t a good enough mother, wife, woman. Fear that if I didn’t condemn first, I would be condemned. Fear that another mom might know something I didn’t. Fear that another woman might be more confident in her motherhood and womanhood than I was.
Boredom. Anger. Exhaustion. Fear. Jealousy… I’m sorry. Moms, I need you. We need each other. It will only get better if we care for ourselves and SEE ourselves in others.
Here in our exhausted Lady. Hair up, surrounded by her halo of crayon, lovingly scribbled.
On either side she is reminded by the struggle of her choices-the education of her children or her income. In her hands she bravely displays the tools of her trade-her cell phone and her double latte.
Her comfortable green robes are the color of renewal, though she has been wearing them for days.
Across her chest she bears her child outward to face the world with and because of her. His heart is big and new. He waves at us happily, almost brushing his halo of tiny Goldfish, which he has to have in the car or he screams. And he makes a mess and it’s a royal pain the ass to get those damn crumbs out from in between the seats anyway. And have you seen Brenda’s car? Does she EVER clean it?
Its like a zoo in there. I don’t know how the kids don’t have typhus or something…

I Wish a Bitch Would…

Our Lady of Subdued Domesticity

One in three female homicide victims is killed by an intimate partner. Twenty-four percent of adult women have been physically assaulted by a partner at some time in their lives. Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. In my original sketches, Our Lady looked more the victim-bruised, timid, silent. But I decided to take another direction, a triumphant one. Our Lady’s halo is the laurel wreath of victory and honor. Her survival is her dominion. Next to her is the sigil for justice and accountability. She is armed. Will justice come by her own hand? She wears vibrant robes do be seen, not to hide. In one hand she is armed with a Thyrus, wands suggesting uninhibited pleasure. The wands were reputedly tipped with poison. And she WILL defend herself. Do not be charmed by the ‘feminine’ pink ribbon… In her other hand is a shield. On the outer edge repeats the word ‘MINE’. Our bodies, our minds, our spirits are our own. On the front of the shield is the Imperial Orb of Victory in purple, the color of Domestic Violence Awareness. Her self-love and perseverance will grant her ascension. She is not defined by what was done.