About the Book
What’s with the men in menstruation? This is the question Men in Menstruation: A Social Transaction sets out to answer. From earliest times men have been puzzled and perplexed by the menstrual cycle and have constructed elaborate taboos, superstitions, and practices attempting to explain why women have a periodical emission of a fluid that resembles blood but is not the result of an injury or affliction. In other words, men want to know why it is possible to bleed and not die. In order to understand what goes on between men and women in the presence of menstruation, this book examines a variety of encounters, referred to as “menstrual transactions.” From the three women in the Bible who are identified as menstruating to contemporary films, advertising, TV programs, and literature, the book explores a wide range of transactions, even including Prince Charles’s close encounter of a menstrual kind. The book will appeal to anyone interested in gaining insights into the mystery of menstruation as well as students of gender and women’s studies or media theory and history.
A book on menstruation by a man? The clear answer, in this case, is YES. Readers, men and women alike, who can bypass doubts and the impulse to joke will find a treasure of information and wisdom in this fascinating, beautifully written account of how both sexes, together, invent the meaning of menstruation and their responses to it. The witty introduction (“Menses and Me”) is worth the price of the book alone, but Linton goes on to show how menstruation is dealt with in film, TV, ads, books, songs, and humor. “Guys are really clueless!” one student told him. This book will clue them in. Women, too.
— Carol Tavris, Ph.D., author of The Mismeasure of Woman and Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion; coauthor of Estrogen Matters and Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)