17 Aug 1995 19:07

Superstitions. Theodore Sturgeon's story. Selective rehabilitation of some superstitions by some feminists. Where did I read about a tribe (in New Guinea?) whose men cut their genitals so they, too, can ``menstruate''? Wherever it was, the same book suggested that medicinal bleeding had the same origin, that it was a sort of artificial menstruation.

Sturgeon's story is Some of Your Blood. The library doesn't have it, and nor do the used bookstores.

My question, ``What did women do before tampons?'' has been answered by a number of people thus: ``rags.'' This more than anything increases my admiration for Connie Willis's ``Even the Queen'' (in Impossible Things), which originally prompted this entry. Let us now praise unknown women, and our mothers who begat us.