Hidden Histories of the Menstrual Body

Kathleen McPhillips


This essay considers the cultural meanings of menstruation with specific reference to the politics and discourses of the body in modernity. It explores the ways in which modernity symbolically and physically contextualises menstruation and the impact this has on women's  experience of living in bodies that bleed every month. An ethnographic description of a first Moon Ritual - in which the author participated - is recounted and discussed with particular attention to the meanings attributed to embodiment and spirituality. Notions of the sacred with regard to menstruation are pondered in the light of the ethnographic description.

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