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A response to "The Queen's Gambit" menstruation scene discussion

The menstruation scene showed an honest reflection of the experience for many girls in the 1960s and even today.

A response to "The Queen's Gambit" menstruation scene discussion

Anna Taylor-Joy in Netflix's "The Queen's Gambit"

Courtesy of Netflix
I'm a socialist and formerly active trade unionist. Former local authority worker turned translator, now retired. I was a zionist in my youth - until I went to Israel, saw colonialism in action and realised what dispossession of the Palestinians really meant.

This a reaction post to Sandra Salathe's piece, We need to talk about that menstruation scene in "The Queen's Gambit"

While I agree with Sandra Salathe that we should talk about the menstruation scene, I don't agree with her opinion when she rhetorically asks "How could a show that empowers a woman to be unapologetically whole get a pivotal moment so wrong?" Reality and historical experiences - even fiction - should not be edited to conform what we believe the world should be like.


The menstruation scene in "The Queen's Gambit" showed what starting one's period was like for that Beth Harmon (played by Anna Taylor-Joy) and (in my opinion) was an honest reflection of the experience for many girls in the 1960s and even today.

The only unrealistic thing I noticed was the horrible crinkly toilet paper Beth uses, which would've been very uncomfortable, not to mention failing to provide adequate protection. Beth would have either had to have improvised something better or asked what to do with a tampon. If the scene provoked discussions about menstruation, it fulfilled a useful purpose, as well as being a good scene dramatically.

Other than her having supplied me in advance with sanitary towels, my mother had totally failed to tell me anything about periods and how to manage them. Fortunately, it had been a topic of (often laughably ill-informed) conversation behind the bike sheds at school. I well remember a friend giving me instructions through a toilet door on the subject, at least a couple of years after my first period. When I shared the revelation with my mother, she shrieked "But that means you're no longer a virgin!"

Fortunately for my mental wellbeing, I found that hysterically funny.

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