When I was 6 years old, my grandmother died from womb cancer. Due to an unhappy series of coincidences, I was convinced that it was my fault. A year later,my mother was diagnosed with the same disease. How could a simple human organ become the cause of such great sadness?
Then my first periods started. In my eyes, the pain and depression that came along with them every month were nothing but a fair punishment for my crimes. But then, why did millions of other women suffer just like I did? What were they paying for?
As time passed by, I realized that neither my grandmother’s death nor my mother’s disease were connected to my actions. However, I was irremediably trapped in the menstrual etiquette.
Conditioned by the clear message from my mother: “No men should ever know you are menstruating”, I carefully hid the evidence from my father and brother, first, and later on, from most of the other men in my life. And no matter how bad I felt, I pretended I was fine.
It was obviously the right attitude: everybody at school – then in college, then at work – behaved just like me! The taboo far exceeded the scope of my family: it was all around. Periods were a “girl thing”. Periods were shameful. Periods were inappropriate for public discussion. End of the story?
Something in me was reluctant to accept and suffer in silence. How could this natural process be “inappropriate” when a quarter of the female population was experiencing it at any given time? Why did the sign of what all societies consider a blessing – women’s ability to give birth – happen to be described with sweet names and expressions like “the curse” in England, the “English war debarquement” in France or the US “to be on the rags”? Why couldn’t we even imagine the ideal bodies we see in magazines and on TV being indisposed? How could prejudices as stupid as “a menstruating girl can’t make mayonnaise” possibly survive until nowadays? Was the cause of all this negativity and denial just the inconvenient bleeding and cramps? Of course it wasn’t.
By questioning the culture of concealment surrounding these issues, by showing what women actually go through, by listening to men also, MOON INSIDE YOU aims to deconstruct the menstruation phenomenon, until its twofold nature clearly appears: an intimate experience and a social construction.
Let’s talk about menstruation on our terms now. Let’s distinguish between what our society says about menstruation and what we really experience.
Also, since menstruation is much more than a physiological reality, the body of information of the film is built around my meeting with experts chosen from different fields: medicine, sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy… as well as from some more alternative ones as the yoga taoist therapist or the dance therapist.
The prejudices about periods are faced and hopefully revealed with the most efficient weapons: creativity and humour. I hope the devices used in the film help some of us to mourn the old superstitions and social archetypes. Or at least recognize them as such. Both familiar and unmentionable, known and unknown, Moon Inside You aims to offer not just women but also the male audience the chance to achieve a greater understanding of a neglected yet important human experience, thus helping them to overcome the traditional definitions of gender.