|2006/155 pages/LC: 2005030836|
Although a regular occurrence for millions of women, menstruation is typically represented in US culture as an illness or a shameful episode—to the benefit of an entire industry. Elizabeth Kissling reveals how corporations capitalize on long-standing negative attitudes about menses to sell solutions for nonexistent problems.
The commercialization of menstruation, Kissling acknowledges, has in many ways been positive: women embrace readily available, reasonably priced, and easy-to-use products with good reason. But it has also been one of the worst things to happen to women. Documenting how industry advertising portrays women as "the weaker sex," Kissling explores the profound gender bias inherent in—and reinforced by—the business of menstruation.
Elizabeth Arveda Kissling is professor of communication and women's studies at Eastern Washington University. She has written widely on menarche and menstruation.