Loading...

Media is loading
 

Start Date

30-4-2021 12:00 AM

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Department

Women and Gender Studies

Faculty Mentor

Rosemary Cleary, PhD

Keywords

menstruation, periods, menstrual products, marketing menstruation, intersectionality, feminine hygiene

Abstract

In this presentation I will explore how historically menstruation has been weaponized against women in order to classify them as secondary citizens. This second-class dehumanization has been enforced not only through creating outright shame surrounding women declaring ownership and agency over their bodies, but also through the marketing of women’s menstruation products which are often referred to as sanitary products. Through the language associated with menstruation products, words such as “sanitary” implies there is something dirty and unnatural about the female bodies’ natural functions. By delegitimizing the agency of bodies with a female reproductive system, men were able to legitimize their claims that women were the “weaker” sex, and inherently inferior. Through scholarly articles, this presentation will explore specifically what kind of tactics were used against bodies with a female reproductive system, through the marketing tactics of menstruation products companies, the “scientific” medical research which claimed female hysteria made women unfit to care for themselves, and through the political policies made in order to enforce this subordination. This presentation asks specifically what makes these policies, tactics and medical information sexist and anti-feminist? It asks, how each of these issues work together to deny people with periods agency over their bodies? Finally, I will suggest an intersectional feminist approach to talking about menstruation that promotes confidence, empowerment and bodily autonomy.

TM2021_Day-T_transcript.txt (12 kB)
Marketing Menstruation: Female Hysteria and Sexism - transcript

Open Access?

1

Share

COinS
 
Apr 30th, 12:00 AM

Marketing Menstruation: Female Hysteria and Sexism

In this presentation I will explore how historically menstruation has been weaponized against women in order to classify them as secondary citizens. This second-class dehumanization has been enforced not only through creating outright shame surrounding women declaring ownership and agency over their bodies, but also through the marketing of women’s menstruation products which are often referred to as sanitary products. Through the language associated with menstruation products, words such as “sanitary” implies there is something dirty and unnatural about the female bodies’ natural functions. By delegitimizing the agency of bodies with a female reproductive system, men were able to legitimize their claims that women were the “weaker” sex, and inherently inferior. Through scholarly articles, this presentation will explore specifically what kind of tactics were used against bodies with a female reproductive system, through the marketing tactics of menstruation products companies, the “scientific” medical research which claimed female hysteria made women unfit to care for themselves, and through the political policies made in order to enforce this subordination. This presentation asks specifically what makes these policies, tactics and medical information sexist and anti-feminist? It asks, how each of these issues work together to deny people with periods agency over their bodies? Finally, I will suggest an intersectional feminist approach to talking about menstruation that promotes confidence, empowerment and bodily autonomy.

blog comments powered by Disqus