Monday, December 10, 2012
Mickey Mouse and Sex Ed: The Story of Menstruation
If I told you that a Disney-produced film was responsible for the first on-screen mention of the word vagina, would you believe me? Well believe it, folks--and file that tidbit away in your noggin in case you're ever a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.
The film in question is called The Story of Menstruation and I came across it the other night on--what else--YouTube. This was a 1946 educational animated short shown in American high schools to teach young ladies about their menstrual cycle. I actually think it's well-done for its time; as expected, it does not mention sexual intercourse or exactly how women get pregnant, but it does dispel some old wives' tales about getting a period. My only complaint is that it downplays menstrual cramp pain ("some girls may feel an occasional twinge"...yeah, right. More like pass the ibuprofen before I pass out, please!) It also seems to be saying that if you powder your face and toughen up your attitude, you'll be over your PMS in no time at all. And stand up straight, girls! "Let those organs function the way they were intended."
YouTube says the video was banned, but I couldn't find any information elsewhere that confirms this. Wikipedia claims it was shown in high schools for some time, and came with a companion booklet for each student called Very Personally Yours, which featured advertising by Kotex.
Walt Disney Corporation never renewed the copyright for the film, so it's now in the public domain and can be freely shared.
Here's the video. It would be too weird to say "enjoy", right?