Women’s rights pitched at tent event

The Orion

Posted: Monday, March 28, 2011 10:01 pm | Updated: 4:56 pm, Tue Mar 29, 2011.

By Hailey Vincent

Cut them open and let them bleed – this medical practice of bloodletting was not out of the ordinary for menstruating women in the seventeenth century.

Whether the theory indicated that menstruation was due to animal spirits, excessive nervous energy or a physiological disorder, one thing was clear – menstruation was the root of insanity.

A few centuries later, menstruation is no longer regarded as any of the above, but patriarchy has still deemed a woman’s period as that “time of month” when something is physically and mentally wrong with her – a deceptive image of women that organizations like the Counseling and Wellness Center and the Associated Students Women’s Center are trying to change, according to their websites.

The Wellness Center and the Women’s Center sponsored the eleventh Red Tent event Sunday in Selvester’s Cafe-by-the-Creek, an event to celebrate women and to fight oppression.

This annual women-only event is meant to bring together all ages and cultures to share their experiences, questions and stories about being a woman.

Kimberly Edmonds, program coordinator for the Women’s Center, helped to put on this event in order to give women the opportunity to share in a safe and accepting place, she said.

“The idea of the Red Tent is to take something that used to be oppressive and turn it into something empowering,” Edmonds said.

In many past cultures, red tents were places meant to segregate women from the rest of society while they were menstruating, according to the Eleventh Red Tent Event Celebrates Women with Art and Music press release. Now, instead of using the red tent as a form of women’s oppression, the Red Tent event gives women the opportunity to reclaim their power.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.