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MY LITTLE RED BOOK

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View Experience More Info. More Info. Another woman, of Catholic Mexican descent, burst into fearful tears--since she'd never been told about menstruation, and thought the blood meant something was dreadfully wrong. So in reading this unique and often poignant book of first-person menarche-memoirs, I kept an eye out for the nuances. Where and what age did it take place?

My Little Red Book

Who did she tell first? How did that person react? How did the girl feel? Did she receive outdated advice? It's Me, Margaret , was published in Girls' feelings ranged the gamut, as this anthology attests: Some felt fear ; some felt joy ; some felt overwhelmed ; some felt irritated ; some felt exposed ; some felt relief ; some felt ecstatic ; some felt annoyed ; some felt horrified ; some felt embarrassed ; some felt disappointment.

Et cetera. In short, there's no "normal" way to feel about getting one's period. It's almost an intriguing kind of Rorschach test, according to YA author Michele Jaffe: "I discovered that how you react to Your First Period lets you see the beginnings of personality traits that are magnified as an adult" page 25 The book contains a variety of experiences from different eras: Menarche during slavery page 41 ; the fear of "menotoxins" in the s page 21 ; a Depression-era orphanage pp.

Thanksgiving cranberry sauce page ; snorkeling in the Caribbean p. But while many girls are today given "The Period Talk" in gym class, this book reveals that so many questions often remain: Does a period happen only once? Does it only happen at certain hours of the day? How does one pronounce that tongue-twisting word "menstruation"? How can blood come out if you're a virgin--wouldn't the hymen keep it in?

My Little Red Book

Should you put off using tampons until after marriage because of the "virgin thing"? How much blood comes out during a first period?

My Little Red Book

Why is the stain rust colored--all the pictures in books show red stains! Where's the belt--Judy Blume's book from talks about a belt! Won't everyone notice this BIG pad--I can feel it! Won't this small tampon get lost inside me--I can't feel it! How do you dispense of used sanitary products? What if I go swimming and the tampon "floats out"? Will my dad still want me to mow the lawn? And along the way, women share the life lessons and morals they learned from menstruation: "What getting periods teaches you," writes Bita Moghaddam, "is that life will not be fair [ Boys don't have to deal with this!

But you can handle it as long as you know what to wear" page Kate Zieman "thinks that first periods would be easier if we viewed them as one of the many steps toward adulthood instead of as automatic womanhood" page And aren't the emotional markers far more important than the physiological ones? Even Britney Spears seems to have noticed this! It made me sad to see the word "embarrassed" occur in so many of these accounts Google Books counts 23 occurrences of the word.

I couldn't help but notice how much the issues surrounding menarche dovetail with the constellation of similar issues surrounding female, but not male virginity--compare, especially, Jessica Valenti's masterful work The Purity Myth. Because this view is so pervasive, it is easy to forget that it is not the only one possible. Apr 02, Cecilia rated it it was amazing Shelves: red-covers.

The contributors ranged from young to old, mothers to daughters to sisters. I especially appreciated those who had a terrible or disappointing "first period" experience with their parents and vowed to change that with their own daughters.

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I really enjoyed the older stories where "belted" pads were still in vogue - I had never heard of those before and sadly, I have not read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Or that French women cannot make good mayonnaise while they have their periods. I The contributors ranged from young to old, mothers to daughters to sisters. I really loved Gloria Steinem's essay "If Men Could Menstruate" - the updated version in my little red book truly kicked ass!

And I swear this entire book was chock full of really awesome quotables : Complete review on my blog Dec 16, Lewis Albert Stephen blower rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

I like this book because it helps me understand things that I don't know any more but sometimes i. Jun 22, Laura Cobrinik rated it it was amazing. I read Rachel Kauder Nalebuff's book as an older adult. It basically is a collection of short stories by various authors on their memories of when they first started to menstruate. A good book to give a girl as she starts her journey as a woman. Aug 29, Kate rated it it was ok.

Many stories repeated the same thing. Jun 15, Meridith Aronsky rated it liked it. I only read Meg Cabot's story:.

Aug 09, Liz rated it really liked it. To be honest, I had no idea what this was about and I picked it for the cover. It seems like a good book to get a young teen. May 03, Esmy rated it liked it.

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A cute little book :. Mar 13, Arminzerella rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction , young-adult-nonfiction , borrowed-from-the-library , women , womens-health , collection , menstruation. Rachel Kauder Nalebuff became interested in stories about first menstruation experiences after getting her period for the first time — after which women in her family shared their stories with her.

She was really fascinated by their tales, and felt that telling these stories was a great way to open up the topic of menstruation. She compiled this collection to share with girls and women of all ages. Maybe that commonality of experience will be the bridge that makes it easier and normal to talk about periods. While not all of the stories will move everyone to tears or laughter or horror, there are many that do just that.

The whole thing — cardboard applicator and all.