- The Time of the Change: Menopause’s Medicalization and the Gender Politics of Aging
- International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
- Volume | Issue number
- 7 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This article discusses the moment in which normative ideas about aging and reproductive embodiment became conceptually linked in the mid-nineteenth-century medicalization of menopause. The reading centers on the first English book-length publication on menopause, written by E.J. Tilt in 1857, and Foucault’s concept of the medical gaze. I analyze mechanisms of observing, conceptualizing, and treating the body in relation to time and discuss their function in affirming and reworking social norms of age and gender. In doing so, I highlight the political work implicit in contesting conceptualizations of female reproductive bodies, their age-specific pathologies, and directives of (self-)surveillance employed in discourses surrounding women’s reproductive health.
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