Movie Moment: “The Story of Menstruation.”

I am Mary’s poorly drawn ovary.

“The Story of Menstruation” is a Kotex-sponsored ten minute animated short intended for educational uses (Walt Disney, 1946).

It is narrated by an extremely serious but I think a little bit cranky older woman, who kind of sounds like Lady from Lady and the Tramp, or the dark-haired fairy in Sleeping Beauty: you know, that two-pack-a-day husk to the voice and sort of lecturing, grousy delivery, like she is about to threaten not to tip the waiter at a Chinese restaurant because he has not come back to refill the water, just generally kind of crabby and lightly gravelly in that weird old-people-racist way. Does this make sense? I think you know what I mean.

For the record, I’m not presently on the rag, I’ve just been organizing my bookmarks in to folders and I stumbled over my youtube link to this gem. Did a googly-moogly for screencaps cause I didn’t much feel like capping the whole thing myself, and found a set that were pretty much what I would have done, although I have supplemented with a couple stills of my own.



Why is nature always called Mother Nature? Perhaps it’s because, like any mother, she quietly manages so much of our living without our ever realizing there’s a woman at work.



Try not to throw yourself off-schedule by getting overtired, emotionally upset, or catching cold. And if your timing goes seriously wrong, or you’re bothered by severe cramps or headaches, you will want to talk to your doctor.

Are you getting this? Stop crying and don’t even think about sneezing — you might delay your menstruation, which makes you a failure. Don’t you dare trouble your doctor with your uncleanly shenanigans. (Clapping hands for emphasis) Timing! Is! Everything! You bleed right or you go to h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

What they are looking at is, like, this weird black puppy thing that floats up from the carpet, I think it is supposed to be a metaphor for all-women-share-this-secret? or some such likely chicanery.




The booklet [Very Personally Yours, provided by Kotex and meant to be passed out concurrent with the film's screening in health classes] explores, among other things, that old taboo against bathing during your period. Not only can you bathe, you should bathe!

I have never heard of a taboo against that, because that is stupid and also gross. Unless they are referring to that murky, veiled crap in fucking Leviticus? Yeah, there is also shit in there about piercing the heart of a dove if you eat non-Kosher pork, and making a bunch of animal sacrifices for, like, pretty much every imaginable offense (where you would even get the number of animals necessary to slake Leviticus’s bloodlust is beyond me).


But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness. (Leviticus 15:28-30)


Turtles? Really? So every Israelite woman, if she was a woman of faith and law-abidance, is being told by Moses and Aaron that God said she should be going through 24 turtles a year? And she had to do this, follow through, sacrifice effing turtles? And every woman did it? Where are you even going to have that many turtles in the desert?! Doubt it. I’m coming right out and saying it: doubt it. Long story short, thanks for the concern about the taboo, Kotex-sponsored narrator, but I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been ignoring Leviticus for quite some time, ma’am.




Some girls have a little less “pep,” a feeling of pressure in the lower part of the body, perhaps an occasional twinge or a touch of nerves. But don’t let it get you down: after all, no matter how you feel, you have to live with people.

I have to what?! But these wolves are like family! “People?” I just don’t know about that.

(Damn near killed ‘im.) According to the wiki, Disney hired gynecologist Mason Hohn to make sure all the science was accurate. I take it he blinked during this drawing. I am not a stickler for biology, but I’m pretty sure my rectum is not just a tube with no discernible placement or beginning and ending, and I am almost positive my bladder and uterus are not shaped like golf clubs. Also, question: where is the vagina in this drawing? Why is the rectum even important to show? A tacit endorsement of anal, I say.

Menstruation’s relationship to readiness for sexual reproduction is absolutely never even once mentioned; you may imagine that sex itself also does not come up. But the production is, most film historians agree, noteworthily forward in its script — it is likely the first movie to use the word “vagina.” Too bad a crabby Virginia Slim smoker was the utterer and not someone more exciting and significant, like Bogie or Orson Welles. Wow, I now have to search every audio source possible to see if Orson Welles has ever been recorded saying “vagina.” Project! Anyway, like I said, the subject of exactly how babies get made is not broached, but the goal of getting a boy and making some in order to be all-growns-up is still endorsed.

I hope you have enjoyed and learned from “The Story of Menstruation.”

Most caps courtesy _sargasso on the lj. Thanks!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Movie Moment: “The Story of Menstruation.””

  1. Movie Moment: “The Story of Menstruation.” « The Thought Experiment « sex99 Says:

    [...] here: Movie Moment: “The Story of Menstruation.” « The Thought Experiment Comments [...]

  2. Anonymous Says:

    well that was dumb

  3. mickey Says:

    see, this is why you should still be writing this blog… your humor, insight and investigative prowess etc. are valid, worthy, appreciated and lacking elsewhere… for the love of humanity— write!.. please examine your life, again… don’t make me examine my own (it’s much less fun reading)…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: