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From Menstruation to the MenopauseThe Female Fertility Cycle in Contemporary Women's Writing in French$
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Maria Kathryn Tomlinson

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781800348462

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781800348462.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Problematising a ‘universal’ female bodily experience

Problematising a ‘universal’ female bodily experience

The second-wave feminists and their critics

(p.19) Chapter One Problematising a ‘universal’ female bodily experience
From Menstruation to the Menopause

Maria Kathryn Tomlinson

Liverpool University Press

Through an examination of how menstruation, childbirth, and the menopause are represented in second-wave feminist texts, Chapter One contextualises the book’s cross-cultural approach to representations of the female body in contemporary women’s writing in French. This chapter emphasises that the second-wave feminists were the first to break the silence that surrounds certain female bodily experiences and sought to challenge normative and patriarchal discourses which paint the female body in a negative light. It focuses on three second-wave feminist texts, namely: Parole de femme by Annie Leclerc, Pouvoirs de l’horreur by Julia Kristeva, and Autrement Dit by Marie Cardinal. The chapter subsequently examines how the second-wave feminists have been criticised for their idealism and essentialism by feminists such as Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Audre Lorde.

Keywords:   Second-wave feminism, Intersectionality, Essentialism, Menstruation, Childbirth, Menopause

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