Menstrual Meditations <sup>*</sup>

Iris Marion Young

in On Female Body Experience

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195161922
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786664 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

 Menstrual Meditations  *

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This essay examines the social oppression of women as menstruators in two major forms: the shame associated with menstruation that compels girls and women to conceal their menstrual events, and the misfit between women and public places such as schools and workplaces, which often refuse to accommodate women’s social and physical needs. Imagining away these injustices reveals not a glorious experience but a personal bodily process that causes many women some discomfort or annoyance some of the time. The process nevertheless carries emotional meaning for many women. The unfairness associated with the social response to menstruation is analyzed based on the accounts of women’s experience of menstruation derived from Simone de Beauvoir and contemporary feminist research. Mood and memory as menstrual events that mark a woman’s self-narrative are explored.

Keywords: women; menstruation; shame; oppression; Simon de Beauvior; feminism

Chapter.  12409 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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