News & Politics

Academia's Latest Invention: 'Critical Menstrual Studies'

Oh, Leftist academia. The gift that keeps on giving has done it again.

Ethnic studies and gender studies and queer studies are pretty absurd — and definitely a waste of tuition — but this new adventure in stupid makes all others pale in comparison. It’s the kind of thing that should have been concocted by the folks over at The Onion, but reality simply surpassed them.

What am I talking about? The emergence of “critical menstrual studies”:

Academics intend to establish the field of “critical menstrual studies” with the upcoming publication of the first-ever scholarly handbook devoted to the consideration of menstruation.

The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstrual Studies, slated for publication in 2020, will be “animated by the central question: what new lines of inquiry, including research questions and social justice engagements, are possible when we center our attention on menstrual health and politics across the lifespan?” according to the book proposal.

The handbook will establish “‘critical menstrual studies’ as a coherent and multi­dimensional transdisciplinary subject of inquiry and advocacy, one that enables an exciting epistemological clarity and potential,” the book proposal goes on. “Attention to menstrual issues across the lifespan surfaces broader societal issues and tensions, including gender inequality, practices and discourses of embodiment, processes of radicalization and commodification, and emergent technologies as read through various disciplines and inter disciplines.”

Handbook editor Christina Bobel — associate professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and president of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research — said she began the project with Sharra Vostral, a history professor at Purdue University, whom Bobel credited with coining the name for the new subfield.

I’m sure the classes will be flooded with millennials in no time at all.

Job prospects for such a field, however, are a different matter. It seems assured that those who follow this course of study until graduation will leave fully qualified for the exact same jobs they could land at age 18.

When will academia stop pretending everything deserves its own course of Leftist-flavored study? Bobel notes: “In spite of increasing media attention to menstrual issues, menstrual stigma is powerful and enduring. If we treated bodily functions like menstruation as regular then we, our work would be done. But we don’t — we shame, silence, judge, contain, control, and so on.”

What? Who does that? Who’s “we”?

While menstruation is perfectly normal, so are all the other bodily functions they don’t bother giving the “Studies” treatment. Everything else the body does gets the hard sciences treatment.

There are no flatulence studies, for example, and there are no erection studies. Why is that? Nobody wants to hear about the “stigma” associated with being a man. Why is menstruation so worthy? Because, somehow, it’s one more chance to drone on about Leftism.

Meanwhile, here’s some advice: if you ever need to know something about menstruation, talk to an OB/GYN. Don’t go near a menstruation major.