My good friend Rachel is the kind of hippie you can’t help but love while you simultaneously roll your eyes. She once begged me to purchase a $45 water bottle with an “ergonomically designed” mouth opening. So it was hard to mask my skepticism when she waxed poetic about the Diva Cup.
“Honestly, every woman should have one,” she exalted. “I actually look forward to my periods now!”
After some preliminary research, I warmed to the idea. The Diva Cup was eco-friendly, body-positive and economical. Even better, it seemed to be a general “fuck you” to the stigma associated with such a natural process. I was intrigued. Maybe she was right. Maybe there was no greater assertion of womanly power than to shove a silicon goblet up one’s vagina.
A few weeks later, I was seated outside a courtroom, waiting to contest an unjust speeding ticket (a further assertion of said womanly power), when I felt an unpleasant warmth between my legs. First flustered, then panicked, I rushed to the nearest drugstore and was faced with my first opportunity to forgo the outdated, oppressive tampon for the silicone Holy Grail. Duty called.
Twenty minutes and some Olympic-style acrobatics in a Panera Bread bathroom later, it was in. I waited patiently for feminist self-enlightenment to wash over me.
Only, it didn’t.
In it’s place: gross discomfort. A response for which my inner voice harshly punished me. I took my frustrations to Google, as one does. Here, I gleaned my first piece of Diva advice: “Try cutting the stem off.” Determined to be a convert, I grabbed a pair of scissors and got to work. But still, it felt like a pair of vintage Levi’s – it fit only technically.
“Have a low-set cervix? Turn your cup inside out,” another message board suggested. Again, I gave it a try and, much to my delight, it fit like a glove! #TeamLowSetCervix! But two hours later, my underwear turned a shocking crimson. I’d sacrificed Diva discomfort for…well, its entire utility.
I spent the rest of the week trying to make things work, to no avail. Admitting defeat emboldened the gnawing feeling that this made me a “bad feminist.” Further, maybe it suggested that my save-the-dolphins brand of social justice was not as resolute as I’d previously thought.
But then another idea snuck in: Shouldn’t the goal be to simplify my period? To make the choice that feels right for me? To make me appreciate my body for the miracle of nature that it is? Sure, practicing what I preached to a T was nice (at least psychologically), but I soon realized that trusting myself ultimately produced a higher pay-off.
Since that ill-fated experiment, I haven’t touched my Diva Cup. Maybe someday I’ll give one another try (perhaps with this menstrual cup breakdown in hand), but for now, I’m trying to approach feminism as less of a performance. No one’s keeping score anyway – doing so would just undermine the point.
On the topic of our feminine internals, are you into IUDs or no?