But when it happened in real life, I found myself leaning away from Clair's lesson (and not just because all things Cosby are a little suspect) and leaning into my own: it became important for me to tell my daughter that periods make you strong.
Once a month, for years and years, girls and women go out into the world feeling not quite like ourselves. We'll likely be in some degree of physical discomfort, if not outright pain. Our emotional balance is a little off-keel. And no one, outside of maybe your immediate family, will accept this as an excuse for not performing as per usual. You're gonna have to go to that class, or sit in the meeting, or finish that project, or fly that plane, or swim in that Olympic meet, no matter how you're feeling because it can't be an excuse. It can't be an excuse because it makes men uncomfortable. It can't be an excuse because it pisses other women off when you try to make it one.
This is a way in which women are inherently stronger than men. Monthly we just deal with it and men have no idea how heavy that burden can be.
Donald Trump would take to his 2000 thread count sheets at the top of Trump Tower with a hot water bottle and a fucking binky, whining through that weird butthole mouth of his if he'd ever had to deal with the mildest of periods because Donald Trump is the weakest, tenderest set of dangling old man balls the world has ever seen. He can take nothing. He is insubstantial.
His veneer of machismo is so thin, so obvious a cover for a massive, trembly core of male fragility.
And yet the media obsesses over Hillary Clinton's health. They excuse Donald Trump any weakness (mental or physical) and accept his claims of power and mightiness because he's rich and has a penis (I assume. Ew). But strong women don't fit neatly into our western narrative, which is just historically fucking lousy with "don't worry your pretty little head over it." Somehow, as a society, we've decided we have to expose Hillary's weakness because women are weak. QED.
Hillary Clinton has pneumonia. She doesn't have consumption. She doesn't have fucking pleurisy. She has an illness treatable with fluids and a couple of days rest. But because she is not allowed any sign of physical weakness, she tried to power through it and after 90 minutes in a 80+ degree weather, in a suit over Kevlar, she got woozy and the whole world said "SEE LOOK THERE! WEAK LADY IS WEAK!"
Had Donald Trump gotten a case of the sniffles he'd be snuggled up in his aforementioned 2000 threadcount sheets, tweeting.
Hillary is a BAMF. She is tough as hell. She is a 68 year old woman who made a career for herself at a time when the world was viciously hostile to women having careers in the law. She has birthed a child (which is way harder than laying your gross seed, Trump). She has stood up to 30 years of focused attack by a press more interested in gossip than news. She's been accused of sneaky lesbianism; been called "castrating" (FYI, gentlemen, when you refer to a woman who is not Lorena Bobbitt as "castrating," that says more about you than her). She's had her character assassinated by political enemies and lazy reporters. And she spent 30+ years bleeding out of her wherever once a month without ever letting that get in the way of her life because that's what women do.
Hillary Clinton is a tough broad. She has a brilliant policy mind. She is a kind and decent person. She will be a great president.
Get on board. And quit pretending that bombastic, trembling, gelatinous male fragility incarnate even deserves to be in the same room as her.