Girls in Power: Gender, Body, and Menstruation in Adolescence / Edition 1

Girls in Power: Gender, Body, and Menstruation in Adolescence / Edition 1

by Laura Fingerson
     
 

Girls in Power offers a fascinating and unique look at the social aspects of menstruation in the lives of adolescent girls—and also in the lives of adolescent boys. Although there has been much research on other aspects of gender and the body, this is one of the few books to examine menstruation and the first to explore how it plays a part in power interactions… See more details below

Overview

Girls in Power offers a fascinating and unique look at the social aspects of menstruation in the lives of adolescent girls—and also in the lives of adolescent boys. Although there has been much research on other aspects of gender and the body, this is one of the few books to examine menstruation and the first to explore how it plays a part in power interactions between boys and girls. Talking openly in single- and mixed-gender settings, individuals and groups of high school–age girls and boys share their interpretations and experiences of menstruation. Author Laura Fingerson reveals that while teens have negative feelings about menstruation, teen girls use their experiences of menstruation as a source of embodied power in their interactions with other girls and with boys. She also explores how boys deal with their own reduced power. The book extends our theoretical and analytical understanding of youth, gender, power, and embodiment by providing a more balanced view of adolescent social life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791469002
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
08/28/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

Menstruation is . . .
Salient Body Experiences
The Teen Participants
The Interviewers
Analysis of the Data
Organization of This Book

2. Negative and Ambivalent Experiences

Concealment and Shame
The Horrors of Leaking
“Why I Never Carry a Purse”
The Body as Actor
What If It Gets Stuck?
Tampax Ads in a Room Full of Boys
The Checkout Boy
“Surfin’ the Crimson Wave”
“It’s Not a Big Deal”

3. Cultural Contexts

Cultural History of Menstruation
Concealment and Hygiene
Taboos
Contemporary Views and Advice
Historical Context of Health and Medicine
Schools
The Family
Media, Advertising, and Merchandising

4. Medicalization and Gender Politics of the Body

Medicalization of Menstruation
Fifth-Grade Health Class
Menstruation as a Reproductive Issue
What About the Blood?
Every Single Month Forever and Ever
Menstrual Suppression?
The Value of Female Bodies
What If Men Could Menstruate?
Understanding Gender
Living in Our Bodies

5. Girls in Power

Agency and Power
Creatively Responding to Dominant Social Norms
Forging Connections
“I Don’t Think Boys Could Handle It”
Menstruation Is Social
Getting “It”
Stories and Supportive Talk
What’s Normal
How Embarrassing!
But Adults Don’t Talk This Way!
Interviewing in Community Groups
Isn’t Menstruation a Personal Event?
“We Should Just Create a Women’s Store”

6. Boys’ Responses

Knowledge Is Power
Blaming Menstruation
“Grossing Them Out”
Menstruation as a Sexual Issue
Boys’ Jokes
Who Has the Power?
Embarrassing and Teasing Girls
Girls’ Advantages
Expressing Power: Second and Third Wave Feminism
Potential for Manipulation
Alternate Responses by Boys
“My Friend Kristin Explained . . .”
Beef Jerky

7. Conclusion: Bodies in Interaction

The Teens’ Concluding Thoughts
Different Interpretations
Social Interactions and Gendered Power
Menstrual Celebrations
Reflections on Research Methods
Conclusion

Appendix A: Participants in Individual and Group Interviews

Girls
Boys

Appendix B: Interview Guides

Individual Interviews
Group Interviews

Notes
References
Index

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