Menarche and slapping- a cultural thing?

Re-reading the Vagina monolgues, and was struck by a thought. There’s a bit which says “when i got my first period my mother slapped me”. I’ve read this before and thought “mean mother with issues”, but I was wondering if this is actually some sort of cultural ritual?

Help me out here.
Is there a culture in which slapping your daughter when she reaches menarche is a tradition?

I’ve heard of that “tradition” from a number of people who say that’s what happened to them. So, apparently, yes.

But it doesn’t happen in MY family!

Yeah, I like my family’s tradition of a bunch of red roses and a shopping trip much more!

It’s a tradition in Judaism. My mother slapped me.

The ultimate origin of this tradition is that the blood is drawn to the face so it won’t drain from the vagina. I know it doesn’t work that way (boy, do I ever!), but who says traditions have to be rational?


My mother was Lithuanian (well, first-generation American) and slapped my older sister, apparently rather reflexively. They were both kind of freaked out by that, so she refrained from doing so when my menarche came a few years later.

I’ve been looking for a good reason to whack my oldest for years now! I think I’ll call her, get her butt over here, and give her what I owe her! :wink:

Did she warn you first? Or did you think you were being punished for it somehow? “First you grow dirty pillows, now THIS!!!”

No, I knew about it. It wasn’t done in anger, and it wasn’t a hard “YOU BITCH!” slap. It was a light slap, enough to redden my cheeks and sting a bit, but not enough that it drew blood or anything like that.


Just out of curiosity – if you ever had a daughter, would you do the same with her?

Are you shitting me?? :eek:

Did she tell you she was going to slap you? Did she slap you hard enough to leave a mark? What the fuck! The customs people come up with.

Probably not. Some traditions aren’t worth maintaining.

Kalhoun, see above. It wasn’t hard.