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The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo: Menstruation Paperback – May 24, 2000
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“Karen Houppert's fierce and witty examination of menstruation shows how the natural workings of women's bodies--from our periods to our sexuality--are medicalized, sanitized, taken from us and sold back at a profit.” ―Peggy Orenstein, author of Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem, and the Confidence Gap
“Provocative journalism . . . on a subject that impacts all girls and women, plus their teachers and physicians.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Any women reading Houppert's book will bristle with anger at almost every page, but the intellectual rigor and vivacity that mark The Curse throughout come with a good dose of humor.” ―Kathleen O'Grady, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Houppert is a reporter with the investigative cojones to take on a seldom-questioned industry and a science journalist able to gracefully guide us through confusing medical studies; she's also an astute critic.” ―Liza Featherstone, Newsday
“This funny, alarming, and well-researched book belongs on women's and girls' bookshelves between those two classics: Our Bodies, Ourselves and Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.” ―Meema Spadola, director of Breasts: A Documentary
About the Author
Karen Houppert is a freelance journalist who writes on a variety of feminist topics. She lives in New York City.
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Anyway, it's a good read - I especially like the euphenisms on the endpapers, most of which I never heard of in my life. I grew up in a house with 5 other females, so there were no cute little names for "that time of the month". As a matter of fact, when I got my first period, I was sick as a dog and my dad said "Now you are a woman" and I told him "If this is what being a woman is all about, you can keep it."
M's Houppert explores the whole feminine hygiene industry, bringing up such bad memories as the "Rely" tampon (remember toxic shock syndrome?) and how dioxin is used in creating the various napkins / tampons most women use at sometime or another.
I found this an extremely interesting book. From the extensive quotes from parts of Anne Frank's diaries to the MUM (Museum of Menstruation, located in New Carollton, Maryland and run by Harry Finley, M's Houppert's extensive research makes this book worth a spot on your bookshelf. I recommend it highly.