Professor Winkler Publishes Article Examining Popular Discourse on Menstruation in Feminist Formations

October 4, 2021

“17 of the Wackiest Myths & Taboos About Menstruation You've Ever Heard”... This and many other examples of popular discourse address cultural and religious beliefs and practices related to menstruation. Many such articles lapse into sensationalized or patronizing accounts of menstrual beliefs and practices that disregard and ridicule cultural and religious traditions. Jointly with Prof. Bobel at UMass Boston, Prof. Winkler analyzes in "Bizarre" and "Backward" - Saviorism and Modernity in Representations of Menstrual Beliefs and Practices in the Popular Media how these articles reflect the neocolonial trinity of victim, savage, and savior. These discursive formulations metaphorically cast women and girls as passive victims of their "savage" culture in need of "saviors" who have the authority and the resources to alleviate their suffering. In doing so, the articles largely fail to understand the complex and diverse meanings of menstrual beliefs and practices and to acknowledge women's and girls' agency. While we appreciate the increased attention to menstruation, as global menstrual community we need to do better to understand the diverse meanings of menstrual practices in their sociocultural, religious, and historical contexts. The article can be accessed here: