Flow. The Cultural Story of Menstruation

Flow is great book written by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim. Read it and you will add to your knowledge of how women’s issues have been treated by society over the years.

Flow begins thus:

‘Females make up more than half the world’s population. And at some point, every single one of us, all 3.5 billion – pop starts, housewives, nuns, Masai tribeswomen, journalists, pyschokillers, geisha girls, the queen of England, rocket scientists, cheerleaders, congresswomen, bag ladies- gets a regular period that lasts up to a week, about once a month, for forty years of our lives.

So why is menstruation still the ultimate taboo subject?’

So there in a nutshell is the essence of the book – it sets out to break wide open the last taboo with humour, facts, stories, anger and anguish. And it succeeds.

The book is part history (it’s crammed with illustrations from old adverts, UK and US), part fact, part rant against pharmaceutical companies and their biased research papers, and part sensible information. And all these parts make a great whole. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read which will make you laugh, cry, rage, and shake your head over the follies of man (& women).

The other factor which makes it pleasurable is the production of the book itself. You’d expect something good for a book costing this much and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s a good size and sits well in the hand, despite being hardback. It’s full of illustrations and colour, is printed on good quality paper and the 50’s model on the cover gives it a great retro feel too. You’ll want to leave it lying around!

Published by St Martin’s Press. Or you can purchase it through Amazon (please see here for book reviews policy)

You can read an interview with one of the authors, Elissa Stein by clicking  here. And you can order her book with free delivery here!


Posted on January 6th, 2010 by

2 Responses to “Flow. The Cultural Story of Menstruation”

  1. This book looks fascinating … especially the old advertisements! Wonder if it’s available in America?

    • Jane says:

      Absolutely! I believe Elissa lives in New York. It was simultaneously published in both UK and US and is probably more US oriented than UK. I think you’ll like it, Kelly! You can probably tell that I did. Thanks for the comment.

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