Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation
In this hip, hilarious and truly eye-opening cultural history, menstruation is talked about as never before. Flow spans its fascinating, occasionally wacky and sometimes downright scary story: from mikvahs (ritual cleansing baths) to menopause, hysteria to hysterectomies—not to mention the Pill, cramps, the history of underwear, and the movie about puberty they showed yo
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Several things about the book rubbed me the...more
I appreciated all of the historical value from magazines, advertisements, scientific stories, and patent information, but the drawn-out and sometimes out-of-touch writing left me hearing the Peanuts teacher "WAH WAH WAH" instead of engaging in a history lesson with a touch of humor and serious...more
However, the writing style was wretched. An interesting topic was degraded through an excessive attempt to be humorous, and it constantly jerked me back to the recollection that I was readin...more
complaints about Flow: it insults my love for the Mütter Museum by insinuating that it is ghoulish and morbid, and that by extension so am I for loving it. fuck that, it’s an incredible collection of a bygone medical era and I can’t wait to go back and hide in it and never leave.
slightly more serious complaints about Flow: it is extremely hetero- and cis-sexist (“all women menstruate!” kind of tripe, as if a uterus defines womanhood) and a bit too light fo...more
The one thing that really irritated me about this book, however, was the tone. I wish I had kept a tally of how many times the words/phrases "hapless(ly)" (to...more
Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"Why have the females, throughout histor...more
As far as education for myself as a woman goes, the book wasn't earth-shattering. The most educational sect...more
Sure, there are some tiny mistakes (for example, doctors endeavoring to produce hysterical paroxysm did not *always* have the patient stand - the patient could also be reclining) but that is being nit-picky. And the tone can be a little too full-on "How can anyone not love their period?" (Quite easily, thank you.) But the book makes up for this by providing you with some eye-opening facts about how menstruation h...more
Ok, the facts are fascinating. The illustrations, product info, and vintage advertisements are a hoot. The page for page moments where I say to myself "Oh that's why..."
It's actually the authors writing style that is really getting me to keep reading the book. I love their frank candor in...more
The authors are women, and often I found myself thinking this sounded more like a day out with the girls than a primer on the history of menstruation and all things associated with it. The writing has a very nice, easy "you-are-there" style, which helps as sometimes the subject matter is just - well - yeah...more
I also believe that Stein’s attempt to give her reader every little detail killed my interest. While reli...more
Although I knew a good amount of the information in this book before I read it--dioxin in tampons, clitoral orgasm as historical cure for hysteria, condescending faux-medical femcare advertising, etc.--I also learned a reasonable amount of new info. For those less knowledgeable about the contemporary western cultural history of menstru...more
The minuses were the constant ranting about the misogyny of the feminine hygiene industry, etc. We got the point the first time you made it, no need to hit us over the head with it.
Also, when complaining about the lack of diver...more
It's interesting and disturbing that menstruation is so medi...more