The Modern Period: why the history of menstruation is about so much more than blood and Kotex

*Half-price sale on my book, The Modern Period: Menstruation in Twentieth-Century America!

Ask someone to talk about her experiences with menstruation for a couple of hours, and she will usually laugh: “What on earth would I have to say for that long, on that subject?” And then, as it turns out, she will tell story after story. In researching The Modern Period, I interviewed 75 diverse American women and men, old and young, about the role this relatively mundane bodily event had played in their lives. Their stories were funny, and moving, and generously intimate. It was a pleasure to spend years collecting, sifting, interpreting, and weaving together these narratives, because they are revealing in two registers simultaneously: the deeply personal, and the seismically social. A story can be simultaneously about a first, awkward attempt to use a tampon and about how Americans became “modern.” Taken together, the stories I collected show how Americans created their modern identity in the very details of how they cared for and thought about their bodies on a daily basis.

Read the rest here at JHUP blog.

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