Celebrating A Girls Coming Of Age

A friend not too long ago sent me this really sweet article about one mother in Ireland who has started a business selling gift boxes to celebrate teenage girls first periods, the gift boxes contain products to help teenage girls manage their cycle such as a diary to record dates, sanitary towels, scented candles, bubble bath, hot water bottle etc.
Both my friend and I agreed this was a great idea to mark the occasion as something celebratory, a way of making what can essentially be a very traumatic experience into something very positive and liberating, so imagine my surprise when I read the snide comments made on the article, such as:
"Good grief." RachelCF2
"Would you celebrate your son's first full ejeculation?" Garethlane875311
"Why Celebrate something that is going to be a pain for the next 45 years?" Schenery
"Think this is going too far, the reaching of womanhood is a private thing and should be dealt with the parents in a sympathetic manner..." ROGER AND PIP
So are we saying that womanhood is a burden and not something worth celebrating? That it is appropriate for young girls experience of this event to be traumatic and not attempt to elevate their emotional distress?

The gift boxes are in my opinion a practical gift that will be used in the context of the occasion it was bought for, to elevate the symptoms associated with PMS (which in my experience are not that easy to deal with!). While I'm not saying this needs to become a 'hallmark moment', I do think it is an experience young girls should feel just as happy and liberated about as wearing their first bra! This just shows how the female experience has be corrupted by patriarchy thinking which give cultural value to the growing of breasts in female adolescence over the starting ones menstrual cycle; unpleasant as it maybe the process is what allows women to nurture, grow and birth the next generation.

I think making this significant moment in a girls life of positive importance a great idea and very progressive parenting, I also don't see it sexist that a boy doesn't have a biological equivalent coming of age experience. Contrary to popular belief wet dreams are not specific to just the male sex, both men and women experience them, unlike periods which is exclusively a female experience.  Though conveniently were nature may fail males, religious cultures compensates with many celebrating the male coming of age such a the Judism with Bar Mitzvah, while the female coming of age is denoted negatively with the need to cover up ones body or the depreciation of women during their menstrual cycle such as Muslim or Hindu women whom are banned from places of worship during menstruation.

On a related note and another example of our cultures depreciation of the female menstrual cycle, it has become known that the government applies a 5% 'luxury' VAT on female sanitary products (and maternity pads), obviously not a luxury and unfair that a female necessity should carry a tax.  Their is currently a national petition challenging this, if you (like me) disagree with the tax sign it here.

Article Link:
Should you mark your daughters first period ?


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