You may imagine that I am constantly on the look-out for books portraying menstruation. Especially because it is a topic that receives much too little attention, I am always excited when new literature reaches my hands. Recently, I have been fascinated by the history of menstruation, or more accurately, how people have dealt with the topic throughout the ages. This fascination started with the book “Menstruation in Twentieth-Century America” by Lara Freidenfelds, which I found quite enlightening, especially with respect to the ideals of the ‘progressive’ woman always available for (re)productive functions.
Then I came across the review of these new books on menstrual his(her?)story on the blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research the other day. More material to add to my ‘To-Read List’ — yay!!
[…] probably due to skewed gender perspectives, taboos, and prejudices, the meanings of menses, what I think of as “the menstrual ecology,” has received relatively scant attention by historians of cultural practice. Recent efforts to redress that absence are found in two fascinating studies: Cathy McClive’s Menstruation and Procreation in Early Modern France (2015, Ashgate) and Sara Read’s Menstruation and the Female Body in Early Modern England (2013, Palgrave).
[…] Among the many enlightening insights the authors offer is McClive’s challenge to what she calls “the myth of menstrual misogyny,” the idea that menstruation has always been viewed negatively, a notion she convincingly refutes
Do you have a favorite book on menstruation? I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations! Share in the comments below.