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
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 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 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
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
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
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
While the book addressed some historical experiences, rituals, oppressions, etc, from around the world, across (some) religions, etc, it felt quite l...more
As far as education for myself as a woman goes, the book wasn't earth-shattering. The most educational sect...more
My biggest problem with the book is that it is totally exclusive of trans* women and trans* men. Apparently, they don't exist! The authors often use huge (dangerous) generalizations such as "all women", which just makes me want to projectile vomit all over them and punch them in the faces. NOT all women get a period. NOT all...more