Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Weekend Links

January 8th, 2011 by Elizabeth Kissling

2 responses to “Weekend Links”

  1. In light of the events in Tucson, and reports that Glock sales were increased in the aftermath…I just wondered, about the demographics of gun ownership…isn’t that mostly men? And I remember Obama’s “misstep” about people “clinging” to their guns (among other things)…and then I thought of women and their pro-menstruation activities…guns and menstruation both serving as symbols of “masculinity” and “feminity,” respectively – I wonder, are women in some ways “clinging” to menstruation as a signifier of gender, or gender-based power, power based on gender, in the way that men are purported to cling to guns…as a symbol of their gender-based power…I hate guns, I wonder, is my hating and fearing guns something like men hating and fearing menstruation?

    And I was fascinated watching the Sarah Palin video – the way her chin was working up and down, pressing her lips together…I’ve never seen Sarah Palin do that before…”stiff upper lip” or lower lip or something…she was saying the words, but her chin was saying: “I caused this. I’m to blame.” While her lips idiotically formed the words (doesn’t she know what they mean?): “blood libel.”

    And then Rebecca Traister, writer formerly of Salon, with a book about women and politics…describes Congresswoman Giffords as “representing much that is hopeful and revolutionary” and it’s like, no, no she doesn’t…her policy positions and votes are not in any way “revolutionary” – where is feminism? Where’s the feminist video? I’d like to hear some feminist commentary. Deafening silence. Is there a feminist caucus in the House or Senate? Am I missing something. Ms. magazine, forget the magazine already, get a TV station and a radio station and start broadcasting.

  2. Elizabeth Kissling says:

    I don’t yet have anything particularly insightful to say about the events of last weekend, but there has been some feminist commentary: Gloria Feldt wrote a piece for Women’s Media Center, and Ms. published a short piece on their blog. For trenchant feminist commentary on pretty much every issue of the day, I recommend Melissa McEwan at Shakesville.

    It’s provocative to think about your analogy of guns and menstruation as symbols one clings to claim gender-based power, especially in light of an article I’m working on about advertising for birth control in the U.S.. As you probably know, much of this marketing encourages women to GIVE UP menstruation, and associates freedom from menstruation with greater social and economic power – perhaps political power as well??

    Just a few thoughts. I haven’t had the stomach to watch the Palin video yet, so no comments about that from me.

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