Title: “Time of the month” on Twitter: Taboo, stereotype and bonding in a no-holds-barred public arena
Journal / Publication: Sex Roles
Issue: 1 – 2
Pages: 41 – 54
Authors: Thornton, Leslie-Jean
In tweets ranging from endearing to offensive, and in words expressing frustration, vexation, humor and sense, that “time of the month” is overwhelmingly portrayed on Twitter as one populated by irrational, moody, needy, suffering women and victimized, sometimes cruelly angry, men. This qualitative close study analyses 2,211 English-language tweets referencing menstruation (archived as a constructed week during April–May 2010). It explores the character and seeming purposes of the perpetuation of menstrual prohibitions and stereotypes in a global publication medium that allows unregulated self-expression. A social constructionist perspective, however, suggests that ready access to multiple realities in a transparent media environment might influence or alter how menstruation is positioned within various communities of knowledge.