Paper Title

[2.4] Time Periods: The Stigma of Menstruation Throughout Advertising History

Location

IB 1019

Start Date

January 2020

End Date

January 2020

Disciplines

History | Philosophy | Political Science

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Why is female menstruation continually looked at as an ultimate taboo subject matter? Why is menstruation seen as an unclean and shameful process? Why must we conceal our feminine products when we go to the bathroom? Why do we use language to tip toe around the presence of female menstruation? Why should we be told how and how not to behave when we menstruate? Why do we have to constantly validate our symptoms to others? Why are we and society embarrassed about female mensuration? Questions, such as these, and many more, have been asked and have either been inaccurately answered, or not answered at all. Without a doubt, these initial questions are difficult to pinpoint; however, all the questions encompass why female menstruation is steadily viewed as taboo subject matter and stigmatized. Though women’s menstrual cycles have been stigmatized, questioned, or simply ignored throughout history, women have been made to feel ashamed or embarrassed of their own bodies and processes that their bodies carry out. Consequently, women feel intense embarrassment about menstruation, especially due to societal influence. This was often a result because menstruation as a biological process itself was hidden from the public sphere and manipulated by advertising methods. Elizabeth Armeni argues “Advertisers understood well the potential threat menstruation posed to a woman's overall composure for they knew of the shame society held over this monthly process” and therefor utilized shame to their strategic advantage with presenting and promoting products for women and projecting such notions on to society. [1] Though, thoughts about menstruation and shame were already pre-existing, advertising strategies developed a deeper layer of taboo and stigmatization. By focusing on advertising methods that companies used in advertising female menstrual products, a closer look at manipulation and distortion can be revealed that influenced women and society.

[1] Elizabeth Armeni, “Menstruation Goes Public: Aspects of Women ls Menstrual Experience in Montreal” 1920-1975, 137.

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[2.4] Time Periods: The Stigma of Menstruation Throughout Advertising History

IB 1019

Why is female menstruation continually looked at as an ultimate taboo subject matter? Why is menstruation seen as an unclean and shameful process? Why must we conceal our feminine products when we go to the bathroom? Why do we use language to tip toe around the presence of female menstruation? Why should we be told how and how not to behave when we menstruate? Why do we have to constantly validate our symptoms to others? Why are we and society embarrassed about female mensuration? Questions, such as these, and many more, have been asked and have either been inaccurately answered, or not answered at all. Without a doubt, these initial questions are difficult to pinpoint; however, all the questions encompass why female menstruation is steadily viewed as taboo subject matter and stigmatized. Though women’s menstrual cycles have been stigmatized, questioned, or simply ignored throughout history, women have been made to feel ashamed or embarrassed of their own bodies and processes that their bodies carry out. Consequently, women feel intense embarrassment about menstruation, especially due to societal influence. This was often a result because menstruation as a biological process itself was hidden from the public sphere and manipulated by advertising methods. Elizabeth Armeni argues “Advertisers understood well the potential threat menstruation posed to a woman's overall composure for they knew of the shame society held over this monthly process” and therefor utilized shame to their strategic advantage with presenting and promoting products for women and projecting such notions on to society. [1] Though, thoughts about menstruation and shame were already pre-existing, advertising strategies developed a deeper layer of taboo and stigmatization. By focusing on advertising methods that companies used in advertising female menstrual products, a closer look at manipulation and distortion can be revealed that influenced women and society.

[1] Elizabeth Armeni, “Menstruation Goes Public: Aspects of Women ls Menstrual Experience in Montreal” 1920-1975, 137.