About five years ago something started to worry me about my work with helping women to recognise their Cyclic Nature and its changing skillsets and perceptual abilities: what if unscrupulous people started to use this information to manipulate, exploit and put down women?
Interestingly there ARE people and organizations currently collecting a mass of data about women’s menstrual cycles – but they are not from the medical profession, who could use the information to validate our Cyclic Nature and provide better care and well-being for women, but rather it is commercial companies and NGOs. And this information is being collected and shared without our consent or knowledge. See this report: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/some-apps-send-data-about-menstruation-home-buying-facebook-wsj-n974711
What is the most dangerous knowledge of all? – discovering that the menstrual cycle is linked to changing abilities and perception in women. Why is this dangerous? because of the potential there is to use this information in a negative way to manipulate and influence women.
What if an advertising company knew about the cyclic nature of women and held details of your individual menstrual cycle? They could easily target your social media and web browser with adverts and products which would utilise this information for profit – or more sinister motives.
A ‘fun’ example would be the chocolate, ice-cream and popcorn companies creating targeted advertising of their products to you in your pre-menstrual phase. But what if it was more manipulative than this – perhaps timing your subscription renewals to your menstrual phase when you are less likely to read all the details, or identify a scam, an increase in charges or a change in your consumer rights? I don’t want to give more examples because I don’t want to give these companies any more ideas!
It’s true, many of us do not have regular cycles – but there is still a good percentage of women who are regular within a few days, regardless of the length of their cycle.
Another thought: what if companies asked for your menstrual details at work to provide you with a day off each month at menstruation? This sounds great – but there are other implications. This information could be promoted negatively to show that women are not as consistent as men and therefore should not reach the higher positions in the company. It could be used to deliberately put women at a disadvantage – for example, interviews and exams, deadlines and meetings could be targeted for women’s pre-menstrual or menstrual phases in a deliberate attempt to make things more challenging for them.
At this moment, no one knows what phase of our cycle we are in at any particular time, so they cannot take negative advantage of this information. But we know and we CAN take intentional advantage of our enhanced or ‘optimized’ skills in each cycle phase (See my book ‘The Optimized Woman’ for more information). But if our specific phase was known, it could be used to imply that women are less able to do the same tasks as men at certain times. We women have enough fights with unequal pay, ‘glass ceilings’, sexual harassment, and unequal rights without creating more barriers!
So what do we do with this ‘most dangerous knowledge of all’?
Hide it again as it has been in the past?
No ! We share it!
We let every woman know about her Cyclic Nature and the huge benefits and optimised skills it brings.
We tell them to be careful who they give their menstrual information to online.
And we tell them to notice the online adverts alongside their cycles to see if they are being targeted. BECAUSE IT WILL HAPPEN. Perhaps not yet – the world is still catching up with women – but technology and business act fast when they see an advantage.
We women are not vulnerable or stupid or lazy or less able at certain times of the month. We are not inconsistent. We are not less than men. We are amazing!
Just think about what we have achieved WITHOUT our Cyclic Nature being taken into consideration. We are equal to men even when society is geared to favour the masculine, linear way of working!
Think about what we could achieve if we were given the freedom of our Cyclic Nature and accorded respect for these changing abilities within us.
My hope has been that women would become more cycle-aware before the advertising companies.
It looks like it will be a close thing.
Author of ‘The Optimized Woman – Using your menstrual cycle to achieve success and fulfilment’ – available in English, French, Spanish, Italian.