Yeah, I said it: “period!” “Menstruation!” Apparently you can’t say vagina in a feminine hygiene commercial. Nor can you say, “down there.”
I also think this is crazy:
“During an interview with Dr. Oz, he started off the show (Sirius radio) by saying he’s not allowed to talk frankly about menstruation on TV, networks won’t allow it.”
“But, it’s ok to run spots that subtly assure women they smell bad, that hawk a pill a day for menstrual suppression, that have Mother Nature chasing down women who are trying to avoid her at all costs because of the “present” she’s carrying. Advertisers can sell us whatever they want as long as they don’t come out and matter-of-factly say what they’re selling.”
Don’t you get sick of having woman’s advertising portraying us the way that they do? Every time a “femcare” commercial comes on, I start moaning and pulling out my hair and bitching to my husband about it. I figure it’s my duty to let him know that I’m not like those awkwardly feminine women on TV.
Up until now, commercials for tampons have infuriated me.
So, I was surprisingly thrilled when I saw this commercial for the first time yesterday:
Messies and Cleanies: Sandra Felton, author and creator of Messies Anonymous, believes that although you can be born one or the other, you don’t have to stay that way. She herself is a born Messie who has learned to act like a Cleanie.
Unlike Messies, Cleanies have mental schedules they themselves are not aware of. Their minds are like computers going down their list of things to do.
The power that activates the computer is in the eyes. Again and again they say, “When I see…” or “If it looks dirty, I…”
Their goals are visual and they become uncomfortable if something is out of place. Cleanies are not afraid to use shortcuts because they are confident in their own cleaning ability and don’t feel it necessary to prove anything by doing things the hard way.
They tend to get up with a bang and get going with purpose. They frequently have a time goal in mind and work fast to meet it. You might think they are uptight people. They don’t seem to be. In fact, they often are gracious, warm, and creative. They can afford to be because they have enough time to do whatever they want to do!
So, Cleanies have innate characteristics that differ from me, and possibly you:
They are sensitive to subtle visual cues that tell them when something needs cleaning.
They just do it. When something needs cleaning, they do it almost without thinking. They certainly don’t waste time thinking about how to do it.
They don’t care about perfection. I like the observation that they have nothing to prove. If you are a born Messie, like me, you may often feel like you need to clean something perfectly because you have so much guilt and shame about being messy that you think there is a right or perfect way to clean something.
They have more time in their lives to do whatever they want to do – they are not weighed down by shoulds because they have already done them!
Sandra Felton on Cleanies:
One thing my Cleanie friends have in commmon is that they don’t understand. They don’t understand at all. I can always tell true Cleanies by the way they react when they hear that I teach a class on housekeeping.
They look blank, very blank.
“Oh, it is a class on cooking.”
“Oh, I see, a class on interior decorating.”
“No, actually it’s housekeeping.”
Silence. How can you continue discussing the inconceivable? Why would anybody need a class on housekeeping?
One blank-faced woman told me soberly that if I did have a class on housekeeping nobody would come. Since I had been having well-attended classes, I asked her why she thought nobody would come.
“Obviously, if people have messy houses it is because they want them that way. And, if they want them that way, why would they attend the class? So nobody will come.”
If Cleanies only knew how we struggle! But housekeeping comes so naturally to them that they don’t understand at all.
Let me know I’m not alone here! Are you a Messy, too?
(***Note: When this was originally posted, I had two kind commenters. Unfortunately, all comments have been lost.)
Well, here it is! My very own Joyful Jessie avatar.
Notice that my golden (dirty) blonde hair is swept back in a clip because I have dishes to do and it gets in my way. Normally I’d be wearing an apron because the water from my kitchen faucet always drenches the front of me. I demonstrate my style by wearing stripes and the only tall boots I have ever owned, that are getting old – and I’m not quite sure if they are even in style anymore. I’d be wearing a knit scarf, but I never finish my knitting projects, so I’m wearing one I got as a hand-me-up from my little sister. I’m trying to look busy, but I’m not very organized. How does this datebook/planner work? What’s a list?
Psst! That is not actually my kitchen that I’m standing in. You can tell because,
There are fresh flowers in a vase,
The counters and floor are clean,
Where are the dirty dishes?!
I’ve never cooked a turkey before – and probably never will!
And now, the results of an interesting poll that I’d been wanting to post – until I lost the book it was in for a couple of weeks.
From The New Messies Manual, by Sandra Feltion:
How often do Americans change the sheets on their beds?
Once a week – 52%
Twice a week – 31%
Once a month – 12%
Less than once a month – 2%
I read this question to my husband to see what he’d guess, because he is the trivia king. I don’t want to tell you his guess, or our actual answer, because it’s like bearing a dirty little secret. Let’s just say we are not in the majority.
You know me – I believe life is not a race – so I think you’ll forgive me for posting my Marriage Monday reflection on Tuesday. I’m so determined start a dialogue about marriage that I’m committed to attempting a weekly post about it.
I just….haven’t been able to do it regularly yet.
This week, I’ve been reading Flux, by Peggy Orenstein and I came upon a paragraph that mirrors feelings I’ve had about my husband that I hadn’t been able to put into words. The emphases are mine.
As I turned back to my computer screen, Steven came in, bearing a bowl of udon, a kind of Japanese noodle soup, for my lunch. He set it down beside me, then quietly left the room. It was a small gesture, but I realized that in our relationship, those gestures were usually his. He was the one who worked the garden, who cooked, who found special things to display on the walls. He had made our home a sanctuary. It occurred to me that he was the kind of person I wished I were: the kind who could be accomplished in the outside world yet create a cozy environment at home without either role threatening the other. He had found the balance that I lacked. The longer I was married to Steven, the more I appreciated what he brought to our relationship. Ironically some of his strengths are those most associated with women.Through him I was slowly learning that I could have connection without submission, domesticity without a betrayal of self. Those lessons did not come easily to a woman whose feminism was built on the primacy of autonomy and achievement, who saw any step toward traditional spheres of femininity as backsliding. I write about women, but it took a man to teach me this.
Wow! This blew me away. I feel so fortunate to have met a man who is as unconventional as I am. Just as I’ve not been overly comfortable discussing certain “women’s topics” such as purses and shoes, he’s never been really comfortable talking sports. I remember him telling me in the beginning that he didn’t believe in traditional gender stereotypes (Boy, did I score when I met him!) and I’ve been well aware that knowing him has changed me, but I didn’t realize that his nurturing actions could have so profound an effect on my perception of myself as a woman.
Like Peggy, I grew up thinking that “any step toward traditional spheres of femininity as backsliding.” For much of my life I saw taking too much of an interest in such things as cooking and sewing as moving away from my opportunity to reach my potential. I grew up with the belief that I could and should “do anything” (that is, anything that wasn’t traditionally “women’s work”). I rejected the idea that I should sacrifice myself for a husband and children.
I think I’ve developed this blog as a way to address my ambiguity about these issues. I’m obsessed with the idea of the housewife – how I’ve never wanted to be one – how I’m beginning to question what it actually means to be one in the 21st century, now that women are no longer stuck “inside,” but are always connected to the rest of the world through the internet, continually networking and creating new definitions of “work.”
My husband’s generosity and care for me reminds me that caring for a family and making my home a sanctuary from the outside world is pretty much what gives my life meaning. Work is important in my life, and it has brought feelings of accomplishment and confidence that nothing else has, but it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive of settling into domestic life with my life partner and future children.
The fact that my husband – a very accomplished man – can cook, buy plants for the house, be the one who remembers to water said plants, garden, and get excited about buying a vintage rug for the living room, proves that I can do such things without giving another thought to what it says about my gender or my potential to be “successful” in this world. Cooking for my husband (and myself) or packing his lunch, does not undermine my autonomy or my or my ability to “be accomplished” outside the home.