a couple weeks ago this article by sheena mckenzie appeared on cnn.com in response to great britain’s number 1 women’s tennis player, heather watson, hinting (indirectly saying) that she might have been eliminated in the first round of the australian open last month because of the impact of her menstruation.
the headline was this question
Did you lose because you had your period?
does the black skirt mean communists are in the summer house? (sqmagazine.co.uk, zimbio.com)
period is a synonym for menstruation. in contrast, the first line of the article is another question
how much information is too much information?
too much information indicates more than necessary and usually implies that the level of information supplied is making people feel uncomfortable. tmi is a widely used, fashionable abbreviation.
in answer to that question, the article continues
it often feels as though nothing is out of bounds when discussing the physical and mental conditions of elite athletes. javier mascherano didn’t bat an eyelid as he told reporters he’d torn his anus in a goal-saving stretch during last year’s world cup.
javier mascherano, arguably argentina’s most valuable player at brasil 2014, appears to have held arjen robben’s hand as he tore his anus making this game-saving tackle.
as though means like or as if. out of bounds is a clever expression to choose here because it applies to the ball leaving the playing area in sports such as tennis and football, but in the context of the article it refers to information that athletes are willing to talk about in interviews like periods, or anus tears. didn’t bat an eyelid (or an eye) is used to show that it wasn’t a big deal for mascherano to talk about his torn anus, it didn’t embarrass him.
a digital representation of a tennis ball that hit out of bounds (hawk-eye innovations)
karen houppert, author of the curse: confronting the last unmentionable taboo, menstruation also shared her perspective
i wish [heather] could have just been direct about it, because i think that adds to the weirdness surrounding this topic. our history of talking about menstruation is really full of euphemisms that people have used for centuries: wrong time of the month; communists in the summer house; the misery; under the weather; weeping wound; package of troubles.
counting down to ‘that time of the month’
taboo is something people are prohibited to talk about.
when wishing for a result different from what really happened, it is typical to use the structure for hypothetical situations in the past, in this case, houppert wishes heather watson could have been more direct. watson referenced her period as “girl things”.
weirdness, is a noun based on the adjective weird (eccentric, strange, odd).
weeping wound is one of the many alternative names listed for menstruation. wound is a synonym for injury or cut. weep is a synonym for cry but in this expression indicates a wound that continues to discharge fluid. so though the article calls weeping wound a euphemism (a nicer or softer way to say something) it is really not much of a euphemism.
what do u think? is menstruation an acceptable excuse for losing? is it ok for women to speak openly about their periods? share your opinions under leave a reply