First, I want to thank all the participants once again. What a fantastic show of support for menstrual research! I am currently in the writing stage and will be presenting a paper at the Northwest Anthropological Conference on March 28th in Portland, OR. Here is the schedule in case anyone is in the area and wants to attend.
I'll post the abstract below, and after the conference, I will make another post with a link to the entire paper and presentation. Note: I have permission from the mods to post this update.
Abstract: Menarche—the first menstruation, and often the ultimate signal of puberty and impending adulthood—is sometimes perceived as empowering, a time for sisterhood and the passing of loving motherly advice. Alternately, from red tent gatherings to advertisements depicting laughing women running on the beach wearing white, menstruation is painted as benign and sanitized in popular culture. But there is also a darker aspect: the locker room scene in “Carrie;” misogynist jokes about animals that bleed yet don’t die; female politicians suspected of being incompetent because of demon PMS. In truth, menarche and menstruation experiences are just as different as the people who have them. Focusing on the ways in which gender and sexual identity impact menarche, as well as the intersection between popular culture and the menstruating body; this paper investigates menstrual experiences through 75 interviews, popular media, scholarly and not-so-scholarly texts, and observation of several Internet communities.