Sunday 25th of October 2020

Bleeding women


Here old Gus is taking his life into dangerous grounds. But bear with me....

Jane Caro:

During the 2016 American presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump was irritated by some pointed and dogged questions from (then) Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly. He vented his anger by saying “you could see blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever”.

I hope it is not too strange for an old bloke to talk about women. Gus has seen it all — well a lot of it

Girls in remote Indigenous communities are staying home from school each month because they do not have access to tampons and pads, a new survey has found.

There is one moment I can’t stop thinking about. Near the end, Kerr casually mentions that she once tried leech therapy as part of her wellness practice: “One was on my coccyx because it’s really good to, like, detox the body, rejuvenate the body … I had a leech facial as well. And I kept the leeches. They’re in my koi pond.”

See also: The great slide into crap...

One of the things I joke about with my mom all the time is that if I was conventionally hot and I had a slammin’ body, I would be president. Absolutely. Because when I think about how hard I’ve had to work to get to where I am – one of the things that gets under my skin is that I’m always referred to as prolific. And that’s fine. I am prolific.

Some time after that, Russian President Vladimir Putin told interviewer Oliver Stone: “I am not a woman, so I don’t have bad days.” There was not so much outrage about these comments, despite them clearly referencing women’s menstrual cycle; perhaps because we expect less of the leader of Russia than the leader of the US.

Gus: Here Putin did apologise for this "nasty" quip and admitted that men can have bad days too. It’s human and there are natural cycles. men and women cycles are different he said. 

And everyone is at a different stage of the cycles. Nature accidentally staggers the steps of every individuals in order to maintain variability. Dealing sensitively with these variations is our gift to humanity. We learn to be sensitive.

But PMT (or PMS) is not fiction. Not that all women suffer from PMT. With this natural process, comes a certain amount of anxiety and pain. Are we pregnant? Menstruating can hurt. I have seen some women going nuts “once a month”. It’s not an illusion. We are told that PMS (PMT) often includes both physical and emotional symptoms, such as acne, swollen or tender breasts, feeling tired, trouble sleeping, upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea, headache or backache, appetite changes or food cravings, joint or muscle pain. "I have PMS and a gun. What's your problem?" (see: a discourse on feralism .....)




One can sense the air becoming thick with all this hormonal battle. It bleeds a little. Far less than we would think — as shown on this awful show called “Embarrassing Bodies”... Men could actually bleed more. From fights. And it hurts more, but men do it deliberately as a silly proof of manhood. 

“Who killed Davey Moore, why an’ what’s the reason for?” the words written more than 50 years ago by Nobel Laureate, Bob Dylan, should echo throughout Australia following the outrageous test of human brutality staged in Brisbane over the weekend. The aim of each combatant was to render the opposite incapable of continuing the battle by inflicting injury. The main target for injury was the brain.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has warned the Liberal Party is “haemorrhaging members” and needs to change, calling for the party’s membership to be “liberated” from factional powerbrokers.


Blood. Life. Politics...

Finding insults using blood as a theme is not that hard, but demeaning. But to say the least, despite being men, Putin and Trump are not as bad as Abbott on the misogyny scale. Trump’s battle with Mika is a sideshow alley. Mika and Joe tried to “politically” punch Trump in the gonads and got similar in reverse — but not being political animals, they got the blood treatment. Mika got the worst of it. Joe is a wimp.

Many men are silverback brutes trying to pass as gentlemen. Women are cactuses trying to pass as flowers. It’s an impass. We could wonder how we manage to procreate. Apart from a few Adonises and Venuses, men are ugly and women make-up their faces not to look like that of men. 

Let me mention a fascinating documentary shown last night (3/717) on ABC2 on two beautiful aboriginal women going for a body building championship. The process is raw emotional and tense as the women try to find acceptance, especially that of themselves. The food has to be measured to provide maximum muscle and minimal weight. It’s a battle. And they feel naked while wearing the scanty bikini to show their pack of six (or eight). On the day of the competition, their faces are transformed by make-up to make them look “feminine” while their body is like Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger in his heydays. It’s conflicted. but there is nothing wrong with this game if you want to be part of it. 

Accepting who we are and making “the best of it” is one of the key of our happiness. The second major key is that other people do not give us grief or hurt us for their own pleasure, which often underwrites their low self-esteem or their desire to control. 

Many women in the world are in a second rate position and accept this (often) painless fate because it’s part of the cultural tradition, including religious beliefs. We have lived with this for more than 4,000 years and we’re still in the throes of misunderstanding men and women. 


Where to from here?

The burqua is a form of empowerment of women. Strange for me to say this. It is designed to keep women away from the desires of men, but it empowers the woman — by remaining unknown, with impossible human interaction other than those chosen by “her” men (husband and family members) — yet it is an instrument of submission, akin to slavery as it also limits curiosity. 

If we are a young man looking at a woman with lust, we’re “romantic”, if we are an old man looking a woman we’re perverts. The line is fine. 

If I have an argument (right or wrong) about an idea with a woman, I am labelled a chauvinist anti-feminist. It’s a self-defence and protection mechanism. I can cope and I know when to shut up. From a man perspective, attacking an idea held by a woman is as if a man was attacking her womanhood. If I have the same fight of ideas with a bloke, a lot of red-ned and beer will be drunk and we’ll agree to disagree — or find a common beach on which we can fight them, the other idiots. If a woman attacks a man with an idea, it’s an attack on his “right to be superior”— a fictitious right which has been ingrained since childhood via sneaky religious and annoying cultural conventions. The woman under the burqua is not allowed to have an opinion in public. And when two women disagree, there could be a variety of undermining each others, including later-on gossip while often appearing conversing with civility about mundanity. 

This has been some of my relative observations and no-one is perfect. but we can still strive for equality and less bloodiness in our relationships. People like trump are boorish silverback who resent upstarts pissing in their territory. They also expect female capitulation and they know when to get it. But they will also promote the Amazons, the female fighters, in their own way.

The monkey in us needs to be tamed. Religion has been at the source of much of our antiquated way to deal with each other sexual genderisation and reinforce the monkey by making us believe we're angels. Here Tony Abbott is the epitome of what’s wrong with our social interactions. He is a little shit and wants us to know he is still pissing in the territory of others. He is a liar as well and he won’t change.

But I personally, wrongly or rightly, was worried about a Hillary Clinton victory. I was worried she would have wanted to prove she was more equal to men. She would have pursued Putin is like she did of Gaddafi. This was her stated aim many times in not so many words. This could have turned ugly and certainly nuclear. There far more chance for the two blokes, Putin and Trump to come to deal mano a mano in an understanding of manhood territory. So far, the election of the idiot boofy trump has delayed the main fight. Let’s hope they agree to disagree and leave it at that. It could be the start of a strange but necessary friendship, though unwanted by the media and the hawkish promoters who always want a fight. In this case let them fight like in a wrestling match. Pre-arranged. No winners, just a few bruises and a bit of blood, followed by a drink at the pub.


Gus Leonisky

your local old fart....

the pain of having to be...


More than 700 Australian women will take on pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson when a major class action starts today in the Federal Court.

Key points:
  • Class action begins against mesh manufacturer
  • Women say they've been left with "painful and life-altering complications"
  • Johnson and Johnson says use of mesh is supported by research


The case, which is expected to take six months, will involve women who claim their lives have been ruined by a vaginal medical device made by Johnson and Johnson.

It is designed to treat common complications from childbirth.

The firm behind the class action, Shine Lawyers, claims as many as 8,000 women may have been impacted by mesh and tape implants, which are surgically implanted to fix pelvic-floor damage from prolapse and incontinence.

The true number of Australia women affected is the subject of a Senate inquiry. Estimates range from 3,000 to 30,000 women.

Senior counsel Rebecca Jancauskas, from Shine Lawyers, said her clients had been left "suffering painful and life-altering complications".

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Meanwhile in politics:


Although late United States president John F. Kennedy is celebrated for grandly noble rhetoric (his inaugural address, his speech near the Berlin wall, and more besides), his most penetrating judgment was a quite pithy remark about political success. That ran to seven words only: "there's no such thing as turn".

Fortune favours the brave, winner takes all, nice guys finish last – there's no such thing as turn.


What Kennedy meant by that comment is outlined in a remarkable, retrospective insiders' account of his four-year-long presidential election campaign in 1960. That is The Road to Camelot, by Thomas Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie. Why Hillary Clinton should have read and heeded Kennedy's advice is set out in the best of many books on her failed, doomed campaign in 2016. That is Shattered, by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes.

read more:

Gus' note: cartoon at top By Jim Russell, Melbourne Punch, 1965. Russell resurrected a Strip called "You and Me" by Stan Cross published in Smith's Weekly from 1919 till 1939. Jim Russell called his "The Potts".



Recycling is not a new thing... For the youngsters of today (and middle aged person as well) used to the throw away society, you have to understand that recycling has been part of sustaining the poorest of us in our societies — and the richest if your name is John Dialla Kingbin. This cartoon from The Melbourne Punch, 1925, gives a subtle interesting take on the difference between men and women on recycling...



audience sniggering at the blood...

I’m not one of those “Ladies, let’s talk about periods” people, though, of course, it goes without saying that I will fight for those people’s bloody right to do so. Their right to say, when you ask how they are, that they “need to bleed”, even if they know I’m going to pretend to vomit right afterwards. Or to discuss quite openly the complications of rinsing one’s mooncup in a unisex toilet, or to have any number of conversations about the time they lost their tampon inside themselves quite loudly in a café in Rye. Maybe if I was one of those people, comfortable with saying the word “menses” out loud rather than secretly thinking it should be banned, I’d find it less radical – the sudden realisation that all women who have periods share this fear, that you will bleed and strangers will see, and know, and laugh.

Anyway, standing there washing up, listening to the radio and squinting with recognition, it occurred to me there’s a whole half of the population who has no idea about this silent anxiety most women share. That there are millions of people who, upon seeing a friend’s new white sofa, will have absolutely none of the flashing premonitions of standing up to see a spot spreading towards the cushion. Who will have no damning associations with pale trousers, who will never have tied a jumper around their waists, just in case. Who haven’t, since they were 12, been almost obsessive about checking their reflection from behind, about locating the nearest bathroom, about walking slightly behind a group. Because from right back then, being female involves a certain viscerality, a certain shame.

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what is happening in there?...


The Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, introduced on Tuesday by Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), is a bold move to improve the care and treatment of the nearly 13,000 female inmates locked up in federal prisons. Among the bill’s critical provisions, it would ban shackling pregnant women or placing them in solitary confinement. And it would help incarcerated mothers maintain close ties to their children by easing visitation restrictions and allowing for free phone calls.

It also acknowledges that for those behind bars, there are unnecessary hurdles to coping with menstruation and managing periods in a healthy and hygienic way. The bill includes a directive to distribute quality pads and tampons to inmates, free of charge.

The proposal seems so sensible – and the alternative so inhumane – that one might wonder why it hasn’t been raised as a legislative priority before.

It has been raised on the local and state level: New York City passed a law last summer requiring the same in all of its correction facilities (shelters and public schools, too). Earlier this year, Colorado mandated funding for tampons in its state prisons; and Los Angeles County did in its juvenile detention centers.

What none of these proposals regarding menstruation fully addresses, though, is the reality that the availability of sanitary products isn’t simply a matter of budget lines and purchasing orders. It has little to do with stock, supply, or actual need.

Rather, it has everything to do with power.

In correction facilities across the country, from county jails to federal penitentiaries, the varied ways in which menstruating prisoners are disregarded or disrespected is staggering. When access to basic hygiene supplies is withheld, it is often the direct result of an abusive culture – one that many facilities tolerate and few laws can adequately address.

In 2016, a Kentucky judge was stunned to find a defendant appear in court for arraignment wearing no pants and menstruating. She explained that correctional officers refused to give her pads or a change of clothes when she told them she had her period, despite repeated requests. Footage from the courtroom went viral – an intense scene in which the outraged judge called the jail staff from the bench, demanding an explanation and shouting to the courtroom, “Am I in the Twilight Zone? What is happening here?”

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