For some reason people throughout history have had a real hard time dealing with the fact that women have periods.
OH GOD BLOOD DIRTY WOMB BLOOD GOD HELP US ALL is the general vibe – and here’s a load of weird menstruation based ‘alternative facts’ olden days people actually thought were true to prove it.
Period blood could kill mice
Had a pest problem in the 1940s? No probs – it was widely believed at the time that menstrual blood was chock full of a poison called ‘menotoxin’, so strong it could literally make mice die. Powerful. Unfortunately for anyone looking to save money on traps, it’s (unsurprisingly) all a load of BS.
Period blood killed crops and turned wine sour
It wasn’t just small rodents in danger from the ol’ menses – Roman dude Pliny The Elder (did he actually make people call him that because lol) was known for his hilariously terrifying theories about periods. Not only did he claim that womb blood could make ‘crops wither’ and turn wine sour (god FORBID), he also reckoned ‘dogs who taste the blood become mad, and their bite becomes poisonous as in rabies’.
Then again he also said that one could part The Dead Sea with a thread ‘soaked in the poisonous fluid of the menstruous blood’, so that should give you an idea of just how sane he was. Fragile masculinity, much?
Babies conceived from period sex would be deformed and ‘stinking’
Period sex is still fairly taboo in today’s society, with some people being all like ‘lemme get the towels out’ and others horrified at the idea of getting jiggy with it while surfing the crimson wave.
HOWEVER, what we can all agree on is that a baby conceived during period sex will NOT be ‘puny, languid… subject to an infinity of fetid maladies, foul and stinking’ – something some French ‘intellectuals’ once believed. Christ.
Heavy periods could be helped by burning a toad
Medieval folk in Europe were convinced that women suffering from a heavy flow (and a wide set vagina? Holla if you got that Mean Girls reference) could ‘cure’ themselves by BURNING A TOAD IN A POT and wearing the ashes STRAPPED IN A POUCH NEXT TO THEIR VAJEEN.
Look, we know the world is pretty f***ed right now, but at least we’re not being told to strap the cremated remains of an amphibian to our vaginas. Then again… we’d totally do it if it meant that Trump would go away forever. So there’s that.
Menstrual blood came from all over the body
Did you not know? Your period blood isn’t the shedding of your womb lining, oh no – it’s actually just excess blood from all over your body leaking out to make some room inside you. At least that’s what was believed in the 1800s. Oh, and if you’re wondering how they explained why this only happened to women, apparently it’s because women have naturally softer and spongy flesh than men. Riiiiiiiight, k.
Women should spend their periods in menstrual huts
This is actually not that funny because this one’s still going on in a lot of places, including Nepal – despite the practice being banned in 2005. Ugh. It was originally part of Hindu tradition ‘chaupadi’, in which menstruating women are isolated because they are considered unclean. Hmmm.
The smell of period blood would repel animals
It’s hardly surprising that the toads were running away what with the whole being burnt in a pot thing, but the Romans believed that a woman on her period would repel any animal in her path. Menstruating females were banned from hunting and other animal related activities for this reason. Pfff, hunting is gross anyway.