I also read a really great book a few years back, "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant. Read it!
I think that you are right on with a woman starting the whole thing way back when. Now women only get the break when their periods are really bad. Mine have never been bad, therefore I've never been able to use the "cramps" excuse.
I can't find anything about menstrual blood toxicity, although I'm still searching.
By the way, I admire you for your adherence to a raw foods diet. I am not a raw foodist. Is that obvious?