I was amused by a tale told by Dave Coombs at Manchester University. A
rare event, the discussion of menstruation in an archaeology classroom
some 15 years ago! Anyhow, the tale was about the possible 'defiling'
nature of menstrual blood. In some community (forget where) it was bad
news for a menstruating woman to prepare or touch food. So they were
exempt from cooking. This sounds like a good idea to me, a few days off
per month, guaranteed!
If the women were upset with their menfolk in some way, they would let
the non menstruating women do all the cooking and then deliberately
touch the food just as it was being served so the man could not eat it.
A 'get your own back' sort of thing.
Taboos can be positive things!
Trevor Ogden wrote:
> 3. Defiled with, or as with, menstrual blood (in the Old Testament
> regarded as a type of pollution). Hence (esp. in the 17th cent.):
> designating something regarded as corrupt, polluted, or unclean. Obs.
> 1560 Bible (Geneva) Isa. xxx. 22 Ye shal..cast them away as a menstruous
> cloth. 1560 Bible (Geneva) Isa. lxiv. 6 (margin)