may otherwise put them in danger of being overlooked by academic scrutiny. AsCasey and Martens observe in their introduction to the volume: In characterising aspects of social life as trivial, a rationale is created for thesilencing of such experience, thereby creating gaps in knowledge. If aspects ofdomestic consumption have been silenced, any study that fills in the gaps shouldbe welcomed. (p. 5) From this perspective, Gender and Consumption is edifying in its representation and examination of less explored areas of women’s home-related experiences. Assome of the contributing authors note, feminist writing has yet to engage more fullywith this subject matter, and to recognize the role of relevant subjectivities in thecreation and expression of identity. The present volume, through its insightful papersand extensive bibliographies, constitutes a significant step in this regard.
Department of Psychology, University of Northampton, Park Campus, Boughton Elizabeth Arveda Kissling: Capitalising on the Curse: The Business ofMenstruation. London, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006,155pp. $39.95, £25.50, ISBN 1–5882–6310–X (hbk). Kissling examines the ways in which negative representations of menstruation arecreated by mass media and the way these in turn are manipulated to generate corpo-rate profits, particularly by the ‘femcare’ and pharmaceutical industries. She takes acritical feminist approach, drawing on feminist existentialism and cultural analysis to explore the ways in which menstruation is used to mark women as Other, anddemonstrates how media representations of menstruation ‘. . . reinforce and even helpto create negative attitudes towards menstruation and toward women’s bodies and thatthese attitudes are exploited to enhance corporate profits’ (p. 6). While there is littlethat is new here, the book’s strength is the way it draws together the different examples of commercial exploitation to provide a sound analysis of menstrual con-sumerism.
Kissling starts with the advertising of ‘feminine hygeine’ products. She provides an historical outline of the marketing of early disposable menstrual pads and the way inwhich the ‘feminine hygiene’ industry moved into providing menstrual education,thus becoming a key driver of a shift in the way menstruation is understood.
Advertising constructs menstruation as a hygiene crisis and feminine freshness can berestored by consumption of the products. A disturbing new product development isthe scented tampon, taking concealment and anxieties about odour to a new level.
Kissling notes: ‘This renewed marketing emphasis on scented tampons occurs in acultural moment in which the aesthetic contrast between femininity and femalenesshas never been greater’ (p. 20), linking it to depilation and dieting as products ofobjectification. I would have liked to see this discussion expanded. The next chapter 2008 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
deals with the portrayal of menarche in films and (US) TV comedies and effectivelychallenges the assumption that menarche-related storylines are progressive. Kisslingdemonstrates that much of the humour and role reversal serve to fundamentally reinforce gender stereotypes, for example: Both of these programs (King of the Hill and Something So Right) displayed theavailability of an ever-increasing number of menstrual hygiene products as amystery to men, emphasizing male ineptitude in this clearly female realm. Theyalso remind viewers that the key developmental moments are always marked byconsumer behaviours. (p. 29) She then examines the activities of the pharmaceutical industry around pre- menstrual stress (PMS) and menstrual suppression. This is an important analysisgiven increasing levels of concern around ‘disease mongering’ and the marketing oflifestyle drugs (e.g. Moynihan et al., 2002; Tiefer, 2006) and Kissling sets her argu-ments clearly within the wider context of the corporate construction of disease.
Chapter 4 deals with the construction of PMS/Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder(PMDD) as a disease and the marketing of anti-depressants to treat it. She offers afairly lengthy critique of PMS as a construct, including a detailed account of the con-troversy around the inclusion of Late Luteal Phase Disphoric Disorder (LLPDD) andlater PMDD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)appendices. While this provides a clear illustration of the process of creating a condi-tion, it has been very well and extensively addressed elsewhere (e.g. Caplan, 1995;Ussher, 1991; Walker,1997) and I’m not convinced it merits this level of detail here.
The most interesting part of the chapter deals with the marketing of the ‘cure’ –Sarafem (fluoxetine hydrochloride – the same active ingredient as Prozac) and in particular the analysis of the direct-to-consumer ad campaign for Sarafem. She thenturns to the marketing of menstrual suppression via drugs such as Seasonale.
Advocates of menstrual suppression argue that regular periods are a relatively recentphenomenon. This position has received enthusiastic and uncritical coverage inAmerican magazines despite the many arguments against and a real need for moreresearch. Moreover, Kissling shows that little publicity surrounds the potential sideeffects of these drugs, such as increased risk of osteoporosis and heart problems, andraises important questions about shortcomings of the clinical trials.
The next chapter tackles tampon safety scares (Toxic Shock Syndrome in the 1980s and dioxins in the 1990s) and examines the discourses used by both the industry andanti-tampon campaigners. Kissling argues convincingly that the arguments on bothsides are flawed, focused on the presence or absence of dioxins rather than the impor-tant question of ‘. . . what level of health threat is posed by the presence of dioxins intampons(p. 94). Nonetheless, anti-tampon activism has had some success forcing theindustry to explicitly address these concerns in the information they produce. The UKTampon Safety Campaign led to British manufacturers abandoning chlorine bleaching.
Kissling notes that ‘. . . anti-tampon campaigns in the United States have not been assuccessful or as visible’ (p. 81), but unfortunately she doesn’t consider why this mightbe. Another indication of success is the availability of alternatives such as ‘The Keeper’,menstrual sponges and so on. The openness and positive attitudes promoted in theirmarketing contrast sharply with those of mainstream products. This leads neatly into the 2008 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
next chapter, which takes a selective look at the (largely online) menstrual counter-cul-ture as a source of alternative ways of thinking and talking about menstruation and alsoalternative ways of profiting from periods. She reviews the two virtual menstrual muse-ums (MUM, Harry Finley’s Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health, andGeneva Kachman’s MOLT, Museum of the Menovulatory Lifetime), the MenstrualMonday holiday and discusses alternative consumer products. Important issues of own-ership are raised in relation to two high-profile men, Finley and Vinnie D’Angelo ofVinnie’s Tampon Cases. Essentially, though, this counter-culture remains marginal andKissling is not optimistic about the prospect of it’s becoming more mainstream giventhat the cultural and third-wave feminist positions that inform most of it are themselvesmarginal. In the final chapter, she concludes that ‘. . . within the current cultural logic oflate capitalism, a woman’s relationship to her menstrual cycle is largely defined throughconsumer products’ (p. 123). While this commercialization has been beneficial in someaspects, it forces women to literally buy into their own subjection. She finishes with anupbeat call for resistance, offering ‘voices and dollars’ strategies. Disappointingly,though, these are rather vague and limited to being ‘loud and proud’ and fairly basicconsumer activism on the part of individuals (contrast with those offered by Moynihanand Henry [2006], for example).
That menstruation is commercially exploited in capitalist societies is not surpris- ing; what is interesting is how and why it is successful. Kissling does provide a goodanalysis of the role of popular culture in enabling this and situates her analysis with-in the wider contexts of capitalist consumerism and increasing medicalization.
Although she does acknowledge the importance of social and economic structures,analysis of their effects is limited, which is a pity given their importance to under-standing the corporate construction of disease (Moynihan and Henry, 2006). Thebook is written from a very American perspective but there is no explicit considera-tion of the impact and context of US health care practices. Direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising is rightly identified as an important driver of lifestyledrugs, but the USA and New Zealand are the only developed countries that allow this.
While many comparisons are drawn with Europe, these are not followed through.
This is a missed opportunity, particularly given the influence of American popularculture. For example, Kissling contrasts the US preference for applicator tamponswith the European (not defined) one for non-applicator ones (p. 93), explaining thisin terms of US cultural messages that menstruation is dirty but without any referenceto cultural messages in any European country. She also compares US Food and DrugAdministration (FDA) rulings with those of the European Committee for ProprietaryMedical Products, which ruled that ‘. . . PMDD is not a well established disease andforced Eli Lilly to drop the alleged disorder from its listings for fluoxetine sales inEurope’ (p. 55). However, there is no consideration of how this does or might affectthe construction of PMS/PMDD as a disease in European Union countries. This isanother missed opportunity. Walker (1997) has made the point that English-speakingcultures are very influential globally and ‘. . . thus PMS becomes a universal ratherthan a culture-bound disorder’ (p. 162).
Nonetheless, this book makes an important and timely contribution to the menstrual cycle literature providing an integrated analysis of the many ways in whichmenstruation is commercially exploited.
2008 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.
Caplan, P. (1995) They Say You’re Crazy: How the World’s Most Powerful Psychiatrists Decide who’s Normal. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Moynihan, R. and Henry, D. (2006) ‘The Fight against Disease Mongering: Generating Knowledge for Action’, PLoS Medicine 3(4): e191.
Moynihan, R., Heath I. and Henry, D. (2002) ‘Selling Sickness: The Pharmaceutical Industry and Disease-mongering’, British Medical Journal 324: 886–91.
Tiefer, L. (2006) ‘Sexual Dysfunction: A Case Study of Disease Mongering and Activist Resistance’, PLoS Medicine 3(4): e178. Ussher, J.M. (1991) Women’s Madness: Misogyny or Mental Illness. Hemel Hempstead: Walker, A.E. (1997) The Menstrual Cycle. London: Routledge.
Department of Psychology, University of Westminster, 309 Regent St., London Iris Marion Young: On Female Body Experience: ‘Throwing like a Girl’and Other Essays. New York: Oxford, 2005, 188pp. £11.99, ISBN0–1951–6192–0 (pbk), $19.95 ISBN 0–1951–6193–9 (pbk). It wasn’t long after I received this book, which I had specifically requested to review,that I heard that Iris Marion Young had died of cancer, at merely 57 years old. Soreading this book was a poignant experience, especially as it contained some genuinesurprises for me that left me sad I hadn’t become better acquainted with her and herwork while she was alive. Dhanda’s (2006) obituary describes her as a philosopheractivist, engaged in practical, grass roots protests and campaigns as well as teachingphilosophy and feminist theory. She also comes over both in her writing and appar-ently as an interviewee (see Dhanda, 2000) as a funny, kind as well as clever woman,who understood the cultural-historical trajectory of feminist political theorizing shewas situated in, and made efforts not only to read feminist history sympathetically andwith generosity – with an appreciation of how this has shaped the conditions for subsequent critique – but not without criticism. Dhanda also notes that Young saw herwork as following two tracks – one concerned with political theory or philosophy(culminating in her later work in a critique of models of citizenship (Young, 1998,2006), with the second concerned with the phenomenology of female embodiment.
So, perhaps like other feminist psychologists, as someone whose only previous acquaintance with her work was the famous essay, ‘On Throwing like a Girl: APhenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment, Motility and Spatiality’ (originallypublished in 1980), that was the first surprise: that here was a theorist who spannedconcerns with female embodiment and global justice. The second was that she reallywas a phenomenologist – the chapters engage with Sartre, Heidegger, Merleau Pontyas well as de Beauvoir, Kristeva and Irigaray. And the third was that the essays in thebook, while sometimes addressing debates of considerable complexity, are refresh- 2008 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.

Source: http://drkissling.com/curse/reviews/FemPsych_May2008.pdf


Available online at www.sciencedirect.comEpilepsy & Behavior 13 (2008) 102–108Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and yoga fordrug-refractory epilepsy: A randomized controlled trialTobias Lundgren a,*, JoAnne Dahl a, Nandan Yardi b, Lennart Melin aa Department of Psychology, University of Uppsala, Uppsala, SwedenReceived 4 January 2008; revised 7 February 2008Objective. There is a n


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