© 2019

The Managed Body

Developing Girls and Menstrual Health in the Global South


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. Chris Bobel
    Pages 1-42
  3. Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 43-43
    2. Chris Bobel
      Pages 45-67
  4. Framing the Problem: Stories of Risk, Risk of Stories

  5. Framing the Solution: Developing the “Good Body”

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 323-351

About this book


The Managed Body is an invested critique of the discourses of ‘Menstrual Hygiene Management’ (MHM)--a growing social movement to support menstruating girls in low and middle income countries. Bobel shows how MHM organizations frame the issues by claiming menstruating girls encounter ‘a hygienic crisis’ that authorizes rescue. Faced by the challenges of capturing attention and directing resources, MHM advocates often inadvertently rely upon weak evidence and spectacularized representations to promote a product-centered, consumerist agenda that actually accommodates more than it resists the core problem of menstrual stigma.


Global South Postcolonial feminism Menstrual hygiene Women and girls Human rights Mixed methodologies Women-in-development

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality StudiesUniversity of Massachusetts BostonBoston, MAUSA

About the authors

Chris Bobel is Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston and past president of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research. She is the author of The Paradox of Natural Mothering, New Blood: Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation and co-editor of Embodied Resistance: Challenging the Norms, Breaking the Rules and Body Battlegrounds: Transgressions, Tensions, Transformations.

Bibliographic information


“The Managed Body would be a valuable addition to courses on gender and health, embodiment, critical development studies, medical anthropology, and reproductive health and rights. This book’s accessible style also makes it appropriate for a much wider audience, and The Managed Body belongs on the reading lists of development professionals, feminist activists and anyone else interested in gender, health, and development.” (Leigh Senderowicz, Gender & Society, Vol. 20 (10), 2020)

“This book will not only appeal to those interested in the topic but also to those who research race, globalization, transnationalism, rhetoric, feminism, public health, gender, activism, or economics.” (Berkley Conner, Affilia, December 6, 2019)

“The book is a timely, important and provides a fascinating read about contemporary feminism, activism and capitalism.” (Camilla Mørk Røstvik, Social History of Medicine, Vol. 32 (4), November, 2019)