Christin, August 11, 2012
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This book traced historical attitudes toward menstruation, as well as the products and medical interventions developed to deal with it, mostly from an American perspective, but with occasional dips into ancient history as well. It also focused a lot on the role of advertising and its influence on our feelings toward menstruation.
This could have been a depressing and frustrating book, but the authors wrote in such a friendly, chatty tone and really emphasized the ridiculous nature of a lot of what they were talking about, that it actually turned out pretty funny and entertaining, as well as informative. The funniest part was definitely the chapter covering advertisements of pads, tampons, douches and other associated products. There was a lot of mocking of the vague language used, like when they demanded to know what, specifically, all this generic ”protection” the ads were talking about meant. Like, protection from bullets and malaria? I also really liked the last chapter, which offered all kinds of alternatives. Like, alternative products for dealing with menstrual flow (like cloth pads and the Diva cup), as well as alternative ways of thinking about and treating our periods.
This was an interesting book and a good starter for a conversation we kind of desperately need in our culture.