Menstruation is viewed through a feminist lens in this nonfiction work by white, Swedish YouTube celebrity Henry.
An earnest, accessible take on getting and managing a monthly menstrual period is offered in this guide that uses both anatomically correct terms (“vagina,” “uterus”) and slang (“vajayjay,” “Down There”—as this is a translation, readers may wonder what the original Swedish terms are). It also refers to people awkwardly throughout as either “uterus-carriers” or “dick-owners,” a dichotomy that makes clear the audience is presumed to be a cisgender one. Segments explain in practical terms how ovulation and menstruation work and provide facts about such topics as cramps, PMS, endometriosis, and the various products available for absorbing the blood of a period, such as menstrual cups, tampons, panty liners, and sanitary pads. However, what sets this apart from other works that explain the basics of these processes is its extensive examination of the societal attitudes (including a short section that looks at these cross-culturally) that often cause shame around this natural bodily function and how it can be used in sexist ways to discount women who speak their minds: “Ooh, someone has her period!” Henry suggests many funny, razor-sharp comebacks to this kind of belittling.
Appealingly laid out in black and white with color washes and photos, comics-style graphics, and pull quotes, this chatty, frank, exhaustive exploration provides both solid information and plenty to think about. (Nonfiction. 12-18)