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Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation

November 7, 2009

9780312379964Mark the date! Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation, a book written by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim, will be released on the 1oth of November for everyone’s enjoyment. If you’re as impatient as I am, you can always pre-order a copy on amazon here

What’s the hurry you ask? Check out the website and you might just figure it out for yourself, but if you want a hint, I’ll tell you a little something about it. 

Flow is filled with fantastic art, thought-provoking concepts, up to date information, and historical facts that will blow your mind. 

Talking about your period or menstruation in general isn’t as taboo as it once was, but every public discourse about this subject seems to be tied to a sales pitch for “feminine hygiene” products. If you’d like to read a little something about the history of menstruation and maybe have a laugh or two along the way, I strongly recommend this book, if only for the amazing array of old school ads. I’m excited! Aren’t you? 

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2009 5:22 pm

    So cool you guys are hyping FLOW before it’s out. Please please let me know what you think. It’s FLOW time ladies.

  2. November 8, 2009 5:45 pm

    I’ll let you know as soon as I read it.

  3. November 9, 2009 11:24 pm

    I need to read this book when it comes out! Thank you for spreading the word.

  4. November 9, 2009 11:27 pm

    My pleasure.

  5. Naturegirl permalink
    November 11, 2009 3:30 pm

    What this & the “my bloody Diva cup” threads have done is reinforce what I have just started to realise, that is: natural bodily functions don’t have to be taboo.
    It wasn’t alway thus for me though, only last easter I faced a situation that made me think “ooh, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with what just happened!”
    The explanation is unfortunately long, but I’ll try to be brief.
    I’ll start by asking “who would you feel happy to change a tampon in front of?”. In my case the answer would be: my husband, a doctor/midwife/obstetrician/gynaecologist and lastly my closest female friend.
    My friend Jacky who I’ve known for 31 years is by far my best friend, she helped me through the breakup of my first marriage (I returned the favour when she split from her first husband!), we have slept together (not in the biblical sense!), cried together, laughed a lot together, peed together &, yes, changed tampons together. But last easter, a situation arrose where Phil (my husband) was getting out of the shower in the bathroom while Jacky & I were getting ready to go out, also in the bathroom. Now I should add that Phil & I have no secrets as far as Jacky & her husband Garry are concerned, we have all seen each other naked before so the sight of Phil drying himself would have been nothing new to Jacky! Neither would the sight of Jacky going for a pee have been anything strange to Phil, which is what happened. But when Jacky reached down & pulled out her tampon in front of Phil I was a bit surprised! He, on the other hand, didn’t bat an eyelid!
    I don’t think I would be so relaxed about changing my tampon in front of Garry back then, but now? I think I would not feel so inhibited. He’s seen me naked, I’m certain he’s seen me peeing, so why would changing a tampon be so different?

  6. November 11, 2009 4:19 pm

    That’s amazing. I’ve never thought about what it would be like to change a tampon in front of someone else, I suppose it has never come up. I’m pretty free when it comes to the bathroom and such things. I live alone at the moment, so I have no need to ever close a door, something I tend to not think about if I’m taking a piss at a friends house. Come to think of it, we never really close the door of the bathroom at my Mom’s house, something I would never do at my Dad’s house. I find it interesting to grow up in two completely different households…sometimes it makes for contradicting personality traits.

    Anyway, getting back on track, I think that in a lot of cases people don’t really question their reactions to the situation you wrote about or my bloody diva cup post and things of that nature. It really only comes to mind if you are faced with the situation or someone actually voices those types of question. One thing I find fascinating is how people react to menstrual blood versus regular ol’ blood from a cut on your finger or something. There is clearly a more negative reaction towards menstrual blood, which is a reaction I would like others to question. Ask yourself why? You learn a lot about yourself if you can understand the environmental and societal factors behind your reaction to a specific subject. The reasons behind the scenes might surprise you.

  7. Naturegirl permalink
    November 11, 2009 4:36 pm

    It really is a psychological thing, as I’ve metioned before, Phil & I have indulged in a little gentle “swinging” over the years, having sex in the presence of others also having sex holds no fears for me, so it’s not a reluctance to be intimate that would have made me shy about changing my tampon in front of someone else, it probably would be the notion that menstrual blood is somehow “unclean”.
    It obviously isn’t, but prejudices can run deep & I come from a generation that was educated in the 60s when you wouldn’t have seen an advertisement for feminine hygiene products anywhere, let alone have such an open discussion on menstruation!!

  8. November 11, 2009 6:32 pm

    I hate how they (the ad men who brought these products to our attention) refer to them as feminine HYGIENE products. I never ever thought about it until recently, but the branding of these products and euphemisms like “feminine hygiene” has just reinforced the idea that menstrual blood is unclean and that the whole process is unhygienic to begin with.

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