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
Several things about the book rubbed me the ...more
But Flow was an engaging enough book to hold me until the end, anyway. The period (in every sense) product ads alone are worth the price of the book, though I'm not sure I wanted to know that until fairly recently, women were encouraged to use bleach-based products to stay "fresh." (Lysol douching, kids. It happened. I'm scared.)
It's the light kind of non-fiction - the one that feels more like a casual chat with someone who knows what they're talking about than a textbook - and just the right book for a certain someone to get started on her New Year's resolution to read more non-fiction. Get reacquainted with real life, you know.
There's some horrifying stuff in here, mostly with regards to how women have handled and viewed their period through the centuries, and at times it can feel a ...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
The tone of the book, however...
*big breath* OK, I don't know what planet these authors live on, but their constant references to a period being only "a few days" of bleeding really chapped my ass. A few ...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
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
I did enjoy the historical aspects of the book on how women have dealt with having th ...more
Something was missing, I can't really figure out what!
The vintage ads were, without a doubt, the best part of the book, and the facts about menstruation in other cultures and countries were interesting. I was scared to learn how it was treated in other centuries, poor women!
I didn't care for the "We're just a couple of girlfriends chatting!" conversational style that the authors took in a lot of places, but overall this was a VERY informative book. I dug all the vintage menstruation-related advertisements, too.
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
- An empowering dialogue starter. We all do it, so why the hush-hush?
- A well of trivia about wacky menstruation related devices. A hormone replacement therapy CD, rubber sanitary aprons, menopause pop-up books anyone?
- An impressive container of yet another proof that pharmaceutical industry is rigged and evil
- Just read it already
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
The book is packed with little tidbits of information that are quite fascinating. My problem, however, is with the way in which this information is delivered. The general layout of the book made reading a bit ...more
This is a very interesting book about the cultural significance of menstruation and the way it has been treated (mostly as a taboo) in modern western culture. A lot of the emphasis is on advertising and the stigma of periods placed on women by the patriarchy, which is definitely interesting and worth discussing, but I was hoping for more historical information. I want to know more about how women dealt with their periods prior to commercially available f ...more