Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

If Men Could Menstruate by Gloria Steinem

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Gloria Steinem’s essay “If Men Could Menstruate” is kind of self-explanatory. It presents the idea of what if we lived in a world where men menstruate, but women don’t. She is saying that because it is women who menstruate it is seen as weak, but if men did it it would be seen as a sign of strength. If men could menstruate it would make women seem inferior for not bleeding every month. The bleeding would be seen as a worthy sacrifice. In either world women are seen as weak and inferior.

One problem I had with “If Men Could Menstruate” is that the opening sentence doesn’t seem to belong. Another minor issue is that in the third paragraph she presents the main idea as if all along women menstruated, but suddenly only men do. The way she talks makes it seem as if in this world men have menstruated all along and therefore women couldn’t understand what it is like. It’s a bit of a contradiction. The way Gloria talks about male menstruation and how it would be perceived is extremely harsh, but it works very efficiently at getting her point across. You can feel her indignation. This article is extremely thought-provoking and powerful.

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