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This post is going to put forth a bit of a philosophical hypothesis, so to speak. I want to stress that this piece is not intended to be some “girl power” or “we are all goddesses” bit. Nor is it meant to alienate or diminish men. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of western feminism, which misguidedly tries to elevate and empower women in part by diminishing, hating on, and, bizarrely or ironically, mimicking men. [1] While patriarchy is historically relevant, as a humanist that is astutely conscious of power and class politics, I know that the majority of men are presently as powerless as women in modern society. So I want to put that out there for all of my brothers and male readers.

Now back to the point of this post. A while back I was reflecting on the moon and how remarkable it was that this celestial body seems to be intimately linked to the female menstrual cycle. Despite the imposition of the Gregorian calendar, which arbitrarily gave us 30 and 31-day months (except for February), the lunar cycle—or natural planetary cycle—is 28 days long. When it is perfectly balanced, a woman’s menstrual cycle is also 28 days long. It is traditionally believed that the moon affects humans. We have all heard of people acting “strange” during a full moon. The moon appears to especially affect women. Some traditional cultures even refer to the menstrual cycle as the moon cycle.

Modern science, however, emphatically refutes the notion that the lunar cycle and female menstrual cycle may be linked. The wikipedia page on menstruation states that: “Even though the average length of the human menstrual cycle is similar to that of the lunar cycle in modern society there is no relation between the two. The relationship is [scientifically] believed to be a coincidence.”

I’m not so convinced. Just because modern science—which can be rather myopic at times—cannot explain or measure something, does not mean it is not real. In other words, just because science cannot explain or measure the connection between the human menstrual cycle and the planetary or lunar cycle, does not mean it does not exist. Scientifically we know that the moon does have a strong effect on the earth. For instance,  it is able to effect bodies of water on earth and the ocean tides. So why is it hard to imagine that it could affect the human body? It’s interesting to note that the human body is 50-75 percent water, with women containing more water than men. I personally do not believe that the water composition of the human body is the reason for the connection between the lunar cycle and human menstrual cycles, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Whatever the cause for the connection between menstrual and lunar cycles, that there is one indicates an ethereal effect since the agency of the moon’s force is arguably ‘ether’,  or the quintessence- the thing that all things are made of. Newton, the father of classical gravity, understood gravity as an etheric effect. Beyond gravity, I believe electro-magnetic fields may play an equal, if not larger, role in both the moon’s force and the female menstrual cycle. But I am not a scientist and this is just my personal hunch. Either way, if the moon is known to effect the earth and if the human female menstrual cycle—and the hormonal changes and cycles associates with it—is on average exactly as long as the lunar cycle, then it is possible that the moon (and the cosmos in general) and human menstrual cycles are connected in ways that science cannot yet measure or explain [3].

All of this is to say that, there is a natural cycle and rhythm to the cosmos. And this natural lunar or planetary cycle and rhythm is “coincidentally” the exact same length as the female menstrual cycle or rhythm. If we suspect that the human menstrual cycle is somehow connected to the planetary cycle, then this means that it is connected to the cosmological cycle and rhythm. We must understand the cosmological cycle as a natural rhythm inasmuch as nature encompasses the cosmos.

So if a woman’s menstrual cycle is connected to the natural cycle and rhythm of the cosmos then one could argue that if women seem more “off” than men it could be a reflection of the human made rhythm—meaning the man made world and society—being out of sync with the natural rhythm that women are slightly more aligned with (for better or worse and whether we like it or not!). Let me explain what I mean by this. It is no secret that women are often thought to be “overly emotional” and moody, especially in the week before or during menstruation. Certain elevated hormones may play a role in this. Even beyond menstruation, a general negative stereotype or accusation of women is that they are “crazy.” Obviously this generalization is intended as an attack on women. However, even science suggests that women have higher incidences of mental illness. [4]

But if we take a close look at what the research actually shows it is that a) women are more likely to be treated for mental illness than men and b) women are more likely to have depression and anxiety, while more men report substance abuse. But we also know that women are more likely to report mental illness and seek medical help, so it makes sense that they are more likely to be treated for it. And the second finding that women are prone to depression and anxiety while more men suffer from addictions suggests to me that those men who do not seek and receive treatment for mental illnesses—such as depression and anxiety—may tend to self medicate with drugs and alcohol and become substance abusers. So it could just be that when dealing with metal illness, women are more likely go to the doctor and men are more prone to hit the bottle. Clearly, this is a generalization, but I am just putting the statistics in perspective.

I tend to think that neither sex is immune to mental illness, especially of the acute nature. However, I do observe greater general anxiety and tendency to worry in females than males. Either way, if we accept (for argument’s sake) that women are more prone to mental or psychological illness, I argue that we can use this as a type of barometer or measure for society; a way of measuring how out of harmony the human made-world is with the natural rhythm I spoke of earlier. Stay with me here. Basically, if we accept the premise that women appear to suffer from greater mental unease, and if we also believe that women’s cycles—which govern the ebb and flow of very powerful hormones that affect emotions, behaviour and physiology—are somehow connected to the planetary cycle and rhythm of nature, then if the women are out of sorts (or more out of sorts than the rest of the population) this may be an indication that our society is also out of sync with the natural rhythm, thus negatively affecting those that are more connected to or governed by (for better or worse and whether they like it or not) the natural cycle and rhythm of the cosmos.

I would be curious to know if tribal women or women living in nature or on farms who mainly ingest real food—i.e., nothing processed, chemically and hormonally enhanced or altered through GMOs, etc—report PMS symptoms or mental health issues at an equal rate as women living in industrialized, modern societies with a diet high in processed, chemically and hormonally altered foods, GMO foods, etc. For instance, women in China, who ingest far less fast and processed food, containing female hormones like estrogen or estrogen-like synthetic substances, and hormone pumped milk and red meat, report far less menopause symptoms. It seems pretty obvious that societies overly saturated with certain female hormones would observe more problems—both mental and physical (estrogen related breast cancer has sky rocketed in recent decades)—among females. And females are not the only ones affected by the inundation of estrogen or estrogen mimicking chemicals in foods. In scientific studies certain chemicals in foods and herbicides were found to have very deleterious and “feminizing effects”—i.e., the growth of ovaries and female reproductive organs—in male frogs and crocodiles. [5] One has to wonder about the effects on human males!

Overall, putting all of the above points together, next time we hear or use the phrase “all women are crazy,” perhaps we should stop and wonder: so what does this say about modern society? If female humans are more connected to nature and the natural cycle and rhythm of the cosmos, then maybe “female craziness” is a warning sign about how out of balance our (chemically toxic) human-world has become. Maybe this can be a guide-post or a barometer; a way to “measure” how out of sync we are with the natural, cosmological flow and begin to restore the balance.

Notes

[1] 3rd World feminism is very different than western feminism. It does not seek to make women more “like men” but to have “female roles”  and qualities honoured and represented in society.

[3] It would be interesting to investigate whether there are other animal (or plant) cycles that are the exact same length as the lunar cycle. If there are, this would lend proof to a real connection between the lunar and menstrual cycle.

[4] http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/may/22/women-men-mental-illness-study

[5] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-dpbibeWig

 

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