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|Other Titles: ||Coming out of the Taboo: Menstrual Period Hygiene of Women in Modern China, 1895-1949|
menstrual period hygiene;the evolutionary theory;female body;national race;sanitary napkins;bath
|Issue Date: ||2015-05-05 11:41:37 (UTC+8)|
Monthly menstruation is seldom mentioned in society in traditional China except for brief records in the medical books. In modern China due to the decline of the national situation, the intellectual class gradually perceives from the evolutionary theory the idea that “strong nations need strong people”, and greater attention is given to the relationship between the female body and the national race. Consequently, menstruation, which was viewed as an area of women health by the traditional medical books, has become a topic of conversation among people. Following the transmission of Western gynecology knowledge to the East, as well as the appearance of female magazines in Beijing and Shanghai, and the entry of Western medical knowledge on menstruation through these magazines, the concept of meridians and vigor in traditional Chinese medicine is being challenged day by day. The menstruation knowledge that is introduced in these magazines approaches the issue from the basis of anatomic physiology, and provides the opinion that menstruation is a normal physiological phenomenon, and is neither unclean nor evil. Furthermore, due to the inconvenience of using water in traditional China, and the fact that Chinese medicine asserts that during the menstrual period “cold conditions should be avoided”, many women do not bathe during their menstrual period. On the other hand, Western medicine views the matter from the perspective of preventing infection, and encourages women to clean their genitals. In addition, women in traditional China mostly use rags and rough straw paper to collect the menstrual blood, but with the introduction of new menstruation products from the West, such a situation is starting to change. In the beginning of the 1920’s, improved menstrual cloth that had been sterilized began to be seen in Shanghai and Hangzhou. Towards the end of the 1920’s new sanitary pads were seen in Shanghai that emphasized manufacturing through scientific methods and that were recommended by doctors, and which could be insertedAlthough these new menstruation products provided a more comfortable and safer choice for women in Chinese society, they were not used widely due to their high prices. Rather, it was the menstrual pad made from rubber and using fixed fabric or cotton that met the requirements of more women, due to its advantages of being washable and recycled for use, and it was the common recommendation of most magazines during the Sino-Japanese War period. In conclusion, following the introduction of menstruation knowledge by modern magazines, and after the entry and public sales of new menstruation products, the taboo attached to menstruation in the past has been gradually eliminated, and it is now a topic of conversation among the public.
|Relation: ||政治大學歷史學報, 28, 231-286|
|Data Type: ||article|
|Appears in Collections:||[歷史學系] 期刊論文|
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