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The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies

Bobel, C., Winkler, I. T., Fahs, B., Hasson, K. A., Kissling, E. A., Roberts, T (2020)

Published in: 2020
Pages: 1041

Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore

Bobel, C., Winkler, I. T., Fahs, B., Hasson, K. A., Kissling, E. A., Roberts, T

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This open access handbook, the first of its kind, provides a comprehensive and carefully curated multidisciplinary genre-spanning view of the state of the field of Critical Menstruation Studies, opening up new directions in research and advocacy. It is animated by the central question: ‘“what new lines of inquiry are possible when we center our attention on menstrual health and politics across the life course?” The chapters—diverse in content, form and perspective—establish Critical Menstruation Studies as a potent lens that reveals, complicates and unpacks inequalities across biological, social, cultural and historical dimensions. This handbook is an unmatched resource for researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and activists new to and already familiar with the field as it rapidly develops and expands.

Table of contents:

1. Introduction: Menstruation as Lens—Menstruation
as Opportunity 1
Chris Bobel

Part I Menstruation as Fundamental

2. Introduction: Menstruation as Fundamental 9
Inga T. Winkler

3. Bleeding in Public? Rethinking Narratives of Menstrual
Management from Delhi’s Slums 15
Annie McCarthy and Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

4. The Realities of Period Poverty: How Homelessness
Shapes Women’s Lived Experiences of Menstruation 31
Shailini Vora

5. Opinion: Prisons that Withhold Menstrual Pads
Humiliate Women and Violate Basic Rights 49
Chandra Bozelko

6. Bleeding in Jail: Objectifcation, Self-Objectifcation,
and Menstrual Injustice 53
Tomi-Ann Roberts

7. Navigating the Binary: A Visual Narrative of Trans
and Genderqueer Menstruation 69
S. E. Frank and Jac Dellaria

8. The Human Rights of Women and Girls
with Disabilities: Sterilization and Other Coercive
Responses to Menstruation 77
Linda Steele and Beth Goldblatt

9. Personal Narrative: Let Girls Be Girls—My Journey
into Forced Womanhood 93
Musu Bakoto Sawo

10. “I Treat My Daughters Not Like My Mother Treated
Me”: Migrant and Refugee Women’s Constructions
and Experiences of Menarche and Menstruation 99
Alexandra J. Hawkey, Jane M. Ussher, and Janette Perz

11. Menstruation and Religion: Developing a Critical
Menstrual Studies Approach 115
Ilana Cohen

12. Personal Narrative: Out of the Mikvah, into the World 131
Tova Mirvis

13. Personal Narrative: Caste Is My Period 137
Deepthi Sukumar

14. Menstrual Taboos: Moving Beyond the Curse 143
Alma Gottlieb

15. Transnational Engagements: Cultural and Religious
Practices Related to Menstruation 163
Edited by Trisha Maharaj and Inga T. Winkler

Part II Menstruation as Embodied

16. Introduction: Menstruation as Embodied 177
Tomi-Ann Roberts

17. The Menstrual Mark: Menstruation as Social Stigma 181
Ingrid Johnston-Robledo and Joan C. Chrisler

18. The Menarche Journey: Embodied Connections
and Disconnections 201
Niva Piran

19. Resisting the Mantle of the Monstrous Feminine:
Women’s Construction and Experience
of Premenstrual Embodiment 215
Jane M. Ussher and Janette Perz

20. Learning About What’s “Down There”: Body Image
Below the Belt and Menstrual Education 233
Margaret L. Stubbs and Evelina W. Sterling

21. Living in Uncertain Times: Experiences of Menopause
and Reproductive Aging 253
Heather Dillaway

22. The Womb Wanders Not: Enhancing Endometriosis
Education in a Culture of Menstrual Misinformation 269
Heather C. Guidone

23. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and the Myth
of the Irrational Female 287
Sally King

24. The Sexualization of Menstruation: On Rape, Tampons,
and ‘Prostitutes’ 303
Lacey Bobier

25. (In)Visible Bleeding: The Menstrual Concealment
Imperative 319
Jill M. Wood

26. Transnational Engagements: From Debasement,
Disability, and Disaster to Dignity—Stories
of Menstruation Under Challenging Conditions 337
Edited by Milena Bacalja Perianes and Tomi-Ann Roberts
Part III Menstruation as Rationale

27. Introduction: Menstruation as Rationale 349
Breanne Fahs

28. If Men Could Menstruate 353
Gloria Steinem

29. Introducing Menstrunormativity: Toward a Complex
Understanding of ‘Menstrual Monsterings’ 357
Josefn Persdotter

30. Empowered Bleeders and Cranky Menstruators: Menstrual
Positivity and the “Liberated” Era of New Menstrual
Product Advertisements 375
Ela Przybylo and Breanne Fahs

31. “You Will Find Out When the Time Is Right”: Boys, Men,
and Menstruation 395
Mindy J. Erchull

32. Menstrual Shame: Exploring the Role of ‘Menstrual
Moaning’ 409
Maureen C. McHugh

33. Becoming Female: The Role of Menarche Rituals in “Making
Women” in Malawi 423
Milena Bacalja Perianes and Dalitso Ndaferankhande

34. Researcher’s Refection: Learning About Menstruation
Across Time and Culture 441
Sheryl E. Mendlinger

35. Transnational Engagement: Designing an Ideal Menstrual
Health (MH) Curriculum—Stories from the Field 449
Breanne Fahs and Milena Bacalja Perianes

Part IV Menstruation as Structural

36. Introduction: Menstruation as Structural 469
Inga T. Winkler

37. Practice Note: Why We Started Talking About
Menstruation—Looking Back (and Looking Forward)
with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights
to Water and Sanitation 475
Virginia Roaf and Catarina de Albuquerque

38. Policy and Practice Pathways to Addressing Menstrual
Stigma and Discrimination 485
Archana Patkar

39. Menstrual Justice: A Missing Element in India’s Health
Policies 511
Swatija Manorama and Radhika Desai

40. Practice Note: Menstrual Hygiene Management—Breaking
Taboos and Supporting Policy Change in West and Central
Africa 529
Rockaya Aidara and Mbarou Gassama Mbaye

41. U.S. Policymaking to Address Menstruation: Advancing
an Equity Agenda 539
Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

42. Personal Narrative: Bloody Precarious Activism
in Uganda 551
Stella Nyanzi

43. Addressing Menstruation in the Workplace:
The Menstrual Leave Debate 561
Rachel B. Levitt and Jessica L. Barnack-Tavlaris

44. Monitoring Menstrual Health in the Sustainable
Development Goals 577
Libbet Loughnan, Thérèse Mahon, Sarah Goddard, Robert Bain,
and Marni Sommer

45. Practice Note: Menstrual Health Management in
Humanitarian Settings 593
Marianne Tellier, Alex Farley, Andisheh Jahangir, Shamirah
Nakalema, Diana Nalunga, and Siri Tellier

46. Mapping the Knowledge and Understanding
of Menarche, Menstrual Hygiene and Menstrual
Health Among Adolescent Girls in Lowand Middle-Income Countries 609
Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli and Sheila Vipul Patel

47. Interventions to Improve Menstrual Health in Lowand Middle-Income Countries: Do We Know What
Works? 637
Julie Hennegan

48. Transnational Engagements: Menstrual Health
and Hygiene—Emergence and Future Directions 653
Edited by Victoria Miller and Inga T. Winkler

Part V Menstruation as Material

49. Introduction: Menstruation as Material 669
Katie Ann Hasson

50. Of Mice and (Wo)Men: Tampons, Menstruation,
and Testing 673
Sharra L. Vostral

51. Toxic Shock Syndrome and Tampons: The Birth of a
Movement and a Research ‘Vagenda’ 687
Nancy King Reame

52. Measuring Menstruation-Related Absenteeism Among
Adolescents in Low-Income Countries 705
Anja Benshaul-Tolonen, Garazi Zulaika, Marni Sommer,
and Penelope A. Phillips-Howard

53. Practice Note: ‘If Only All Women Menstruated Exactly
Two Weeks Ago’: Interdisciplinary Challenges and
Experiences of Capturing Hormonal Variation Across
the Menstrual Cycle 725
Lauren C. Houghton and Noémie Elhadad

54. Monitoring Menses: Design-Based Investigations
of Menstrual Tracking Applications 733
Sarah Fox and Daniel A. Epstein

55. “Life is Much More Diffcult to Manage During Periods”:
Autistic Experiences of Menstruation 751
Robyn Steward, Laura Crane, Eilish Mairi Roy,
Anna Remington, and Elizabeth Pellicano

56. Not a “Real” Period?: Social and Material Constructions
of Menstruation 763
Katie Ann Hasson

57. Painting Blood: Visualizing Menstrual Blood in Art 787
Ruth Green-Cole

58. To Widen the Cycle: Artists Engage the Menstrual Cycle
and Reproductive Justice 803
Curated and Edited by Jen Lewis

59. The Modern Way to Menstruate in Latin America:
Consolidation and Fractures in the Twenty-First Century 813
Eugenia Tarzibachi

60. Challenging the Menstruation Taboo One Sale
at a Time: The Role of Social Entrepreneurs
in the Period Revolution 833
Maria Carmen Punzi and Mirjam Werner

61. Transnational Engagements: Smashing the Last
Taboo—Caring Corporations in Conversation 853
Edited by Milena Bacalja Perianes

Part VI Menstruation as Narrative

62. Introduction: Menstruation as Narrative 865
Elizabeth Arveda Kissling

63. Challenging Menstrual Normativity: Nonessentialist
Body Politics and Feminist Epistemologies of Health 869
Miren Guilló-Arakistain

64. Menstrual Trolls: The Collective Rhetoric of Periods
for Pence 885
Berkley D. Conner

65. Menstruation Mediated: Monstrous Emergences
of Menstruation and Menstruators on YouTube 901
Lise Ulrik Andreasen


66. Rituals, Taboos, and Seclusion: Life Stories of Women
Navigating Culture and Pushing for Change in Nepal 915
Jennifer Rothchild and Priti Shrestha Piya

67. From Home to School: Menstrual Education Films
of the 1950s 931
Saniya Lee Ghanoui

68. Degendering Menstruation: Making Trans Menstruators
Matter 945
Klara Rydström

69. Sex During Menstruation: Race, Sexual Identity, and
Women’s Accounts of Pleasure and Disgust 961
Breanne Fahs

70. Normality, Freedom, and Distress: Listening to the
Menopausal Experiences of Indian Women of Haryana 985
Vanita Singh and M. Sivakami

71. The Messy Politics of Menstrual Activism 1001
Chris Bobel and Breanne Fahs

72. Transnational Engagements: Women’s Experiences
of Menopause 1019
Edited by Milena Bacalja Perianes and Elizabeth Arveda Kissling

Bibliographic information

Bobel, C., Winkler, I. T., Fahs, B., Hasson, K. A., Kissling, E. A., Roberts, T (2020). The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore

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