"A menstruating woman can't make mayonnaise": where does this myth come from?

“Une femme menstruée ne peut pas réussir une mayonnaise” : d’où vient ce mythe ?

Perhaps you've already heard of a belief that indisposed women fail to make mayonnaise. We explain where this myth comes from.

A popular superstition in France

The period taboo has long been present in society. The belief that a menstruating woman is unsuitable for making mayonnaise is rooted in religious beliefs. Indeed, mayonnaise is a preparation made from eggs, and more specifically egg yolks.

In the West, eggs are associated with Easter (the anniversary of Christ's resurrection). It's also traditional to paint Easter eggs red, the color representing the blood of Christ. This is why it used to be said that menstruating women couldn't make a good mayonnaise (the eggs couldn't be emulsified...).

Of course, this old belief is totally false. It's a very old legend, which implies that menstruation is synonymous with impurity and dirt. So, if a woman touched food while menstruating, she'd run the risk of making the food rot. In those days, food was a precious commodity.

A myth that shows how little is known about menstruation

This age-old belief is, of course, false and unfounded. It shows just how little people knew about menstruation in those days, and just how much menstruation were misunderstood.

In those days, women were forbidden to make mayonnaise, touch cheese, tend the vegetable garden and so on.

Not just mayonnaise: other superstitions too

Of course, beliefs didn't stop there: it was also common to admit that :

Rules make for good wine

There were religious prohibitions that prevented women from touching certain foods, including bottled wine, on pain of it turning to vinegar.

Menstruation makes the land barren

At the time, some philosophers believed that menstruation could render farmland barren by touching it, just as it could by touching a fruit tree, cereal or other....

Menstruation... still taboo!

All these beliefs highlight a very clear fact: menstruation has always been a very taboo subject.

A taboo that has long been responsible for a lack of knowledge about menstruation (and vice versa, lack of knowledge about menstruation leads to taboo). For this reason, many people, including women, believe that it's perfectly normal to suffer during menstruation. In the past, women used to suffer in silence. Today, society is more inclined to recognize that it's not normal to suffer during your period. When you consider thatendometriosis (a disease that causes severe pain) affects 1 in 10 women, it's very important to seek medical advice if you're prone to pain.

In some parts of the world, where women's place is still restricted, they are still shunned and confined during their periods. The taboo is such that it is sometimes very complicated for women in these countries to have access to sanitary protection. They end up using methods such as cloths, sheets and newspaper, which are not only ineffective but can also create hygiene complications.

And even in today's Western society, certain taboos and embarrassments surrounding the subject persist. This is illustrated by the many nicknames given to the subject, such as "the English are coming", "ragnagnas" etc., to avoid using the word menstruation. In fact, some studies show that 44% of French women are still embarrassed when they have their period. Disposable sanitary protection brands are also to blame: for a long time, they showed blue liquid spilling onto sanitary pads rather than blood in their advertising.

Fortunately, things are tending to change nowadays, and people are (finally) speaking out about menstruation, but also about gynecological diseases such as endometriosis.

The painful periods are of course not normal , and it's important to consult your doctor if you suffer from, or experience heavy periods that are bothering you, etc.

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The information contained in the articles on www-elia-lingerie.com is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.