Taboos Concerning Menstruating Essay by thingone

Taboos Concerning Menstruating
The paper seeks to determine why women in world religion are viewed primarily in terms of their menstrual cycle and how it pollutes and contaminates societal order, and whether this is a legitimate approach to understanding women in world religion.
# 28059 | 2,165 words | 8 sources | APA | 2003 | US

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The first section of this paper illustrates how "sexuality" is a social construction and a link to "power" which results in the notion of normative versus deviancy. The androcentric nature of this form of power is also identified. This paper also attempts to identify, through use of the Purity and Pollution paradigm, the relationship between a specific symbolic construction of the feminine and cultural practices that marginalize women. The third section focuses on the Zoroastrianism faith and whether or not it complies with the paradigm. The final section seeks to challenge the Purity and Pollution paradigm by pointing to some of its primary weaknesses, especially its inability to make audible the female voice by seeking women's self-perception.

From the Paper:

"The existence and continuation of cross-cultural taboos concerning menstruating women has sparked an interest in the field of anthropology by scholars who have noticed such a phenomenon. These taboos result from a specific symbolic construction of the feminine with the potential to pollute, which result in cultural practices that publicly marginalize women. Anthropologists have noticed the cross-cultural occurrence of menstruation taboos and, consequently, sparked the formation of an analytical lens. Focusing on purity and pollution, the notion that menstrual blood is polluting and contaminating to societal order and women, consequently are the polluters, has become a universal analytical lens through which to view women in world religions. The following seeks to examine the reason for this phenomena and its legitimacy as a tool with which to examine women in world religions."

Cite this Essay:

APA Format

Taboos Concerning Menstruating (2003, June 20) Retrieved April 22, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Taboos Concerning Menstruating" 20 June 2003. Web. 22 April. 2021. <>