menstruation studies!

Critical Menstruation Studies, Week 2: Menstruators and Period Power (?)

Critical Menstruation Studies, Week 2: Menstruators and Period Power (?)

This is the second in a five-week series of posts recapping a micro-seminar I'm taking on Critical Menstruation Studies through the Boston-area Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies.

For week two of the seminar, the stated topic was "Experiencing the Menstrual Cycle." This took the form of readings on the embodied experience of particular groups of menstruators: religious women, masculine of center people and transgender women, and women in relationships (in the context of PMS). Here are the readings:

  • A fact sheet published by The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, "The Menstrual Cycle: A Feminist Lifespan Perspective";
  • Two articles from Sex Roles: A Journal of Research: "Restriction and Renewal, Pollution and Power, Constraint and Community: The Paradoxes of Religious Women's Experiences of Menstruation" by Nicki C. Dunnavant and Tomi-Ann Roberts (2013) and "PMS as a Gendered Illness Linked to the Construction and Relational Experience of Hetero-Femininity" by Jane M. Ussher and Janette Perz (2013);
  • and an article from Culture, Health, and Sexuality, Joan Chrisler et al.'s "Queer Periods: Attitudes Toward Experiences with Menstruation in the Masculine of Centre and Transgender Community" (2016).
  • We also watched short videos on the impact of menstruation in the homeless population (although the video didn't address the intersection of trans issues and homeless issues in this arena, which seems like a strange omission given the high rates of homelessness among trans youth, especially) and women soldiers (fair warning, this is a very weird and problematic video).
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Critical Menstruation Studies, Week 1: Binaries, Vocabulary, and Controversial Norwegian Sex Ed Videos

Critical Menstruation Studies, Week 1: Binaries, Vocabulary, and Controversial Norwegian Sex Ed Videos

This is the first in a 5-week series of posts recapping a micro-seminar I'm taking on Critical Menstruation Studies through the Boston-area Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies.

The first session of the seminar was dedicated to the topic of "Conceptual Frameworks: Stigma, Disciplined Bodies and Commodification." Here's a list of the readings:

  • A chapter entitled "Feminist Engagements with Menstruation" from the instructor, Chris Bobel's, book New Blood: Third-Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation (2010);
  • "Technology and Passing," a chapter from Sharra Louise Vostral's book Under Wraps: A History of Hygiene Technology (2011);
  • "The Menstrual Mark: Menstruation as Social Stigma," an article by Ingrid Johnston-Robledo and Joan Chrisler from the scientific journal Sex Roles (2013); 
  • and Gloria Steinem's fairly famous 1978 piece from Ms., "If Men Could Menstruate."
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