A piece on the required reading list for Zilonka’s class is from Native Appropriations called “Defeating The Stone Man: PMDD, menstruation, and healing,” the author talks about her struggle with Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder and how it relates to the “power attributed to menstruating women” in the myth about the Stone Man. The story is about how a cannibal named Stone Man became weak while stationed around menstruating women, so much so that he was able to be killed by the tribe’s medicine man.
Following his death, the Stone Man was burned. Afterwards, near where his body had lain, the people found “red paint, which they believed brought success.” The moral of the story was “through the power of menstruating women, therefore, great tragedy was averted and good fortune brought to the people.”
The author talks about how she began to think more deeply about her “own relationship” with her body, hormones, and “their power” after reading the section in the book about “traditional beliefs around menstruation, and the misinterpretation of those beliefs.” She says, “Power is something that can be both negative and positive—evil can be powerful, but good can also be powerful.”
She talks about how the piece was “nearly impossible to write” but that she writes because she has “seen how little women (and all people who menstruate) openly talk about these issues, and how stigmatized talking about moon times and monthly bleeding has become in Indian Country.”
Further, she states that she writes the piece “by way of explanation to the many missed deadlines, unanswered emails, unanswered texts, broken plans, the resentful subtweets, and Facebook posts from colleagues and friends.” She concludes with, “I’m sorry,” and a GIF that she felt illustrated “a line of menstruating women stopping the Stone Man.”
Image via Native Appropriations