So, what did you think? Is this a liberal representation of menstruation, or at least liberal for 1946, when it was released? To the older women out there, how did you find out about menstruation?
When I first saw this video, I was shocked that Disney would release something like this at all, especially over 60 years ago! I was impressed that Disney used the word "vagina" in a film. But I watched it again tonight and really noticed that it isn't really all that informative and enforces some disempowering rhetoric to impressionable young girls. Not to mention other telling things: all the girls featured in this video are white. "Most of your daily routine" involves cleaning.
The narrator describes the symptoms of menstruation as a mild problem. There's no reference to the intense pain and intense mood swings that so many of us experience. Way to minimize my experience, Disney. Then she says, “You’ll find it easier to keep smiling and even tempered” as the crying girl's mirror image poses cutely.
Then the scene breaks to the girl slow dancing with a boy, smiling politely as the narrator explains that during their periods, girls can do "practically everything" they normally do. Then the music changes and she and the boy start to swing dance.
The narrator says “Come now, we said practically everything.”
The narrator then tells girls to take “common sense care of yourself.” Translation? “Be ladylike. Calm. Quiet.” It’s almost as if girls are being trained to think they should hide their period and not talk about it.
I’m not sure why vigorous activity is not recommended for girls during menstruation here, but it seems to me that menstruation was thought of as something that made women weaker. Something that made them difficult to deal with. The emphasis in this video is on women looking pretty and acting pleasant during their period. That bothered me.
I did like the discussion of the biological process of menstruation, though. The simple animations made everything that much clearer.
However, in this film there is no explanation or description of the process that causes the egg to be “impregnated, which happens when a woman is going to have a child.” If anyone knows what this missing information is, please explain it to me.