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Lottie Rhodes

Lottie Rhodes

Project title

Menstrual Justice: Listening to and Understanding Women’s Experiences of ‘Period Poverty’ and Menstrual Inequality in Newcastle Upon Tyne

Supervisors

Research clusters

Project description

My research explores women living in Newcastle’s lived experiences of ‘period poverty’ and menstrual inequality. Period poverty is commonly understood as the inability to afford menstrual products. However, financial constraints are only one barrier to getting hold of period products for the women I spoke to. I call for wider recognition of period poverty as experienced from more than a lack of money including from traumatic childbirth, abusive relationships and sexual assault. Academics and activists also call to understand period poverty as a lack of education and need to live free from menstrual stigma, as well as understanding that menstruation is not solely experienced by ciswomen.

I work with a feminist philosophy and conducted my fieldwork during the coronavirus pandemic. I conducted an ethnographic participant observation of volunteering at a foodbank and undertook telephone interviews with women living in Newcastle. In these interviews (better described as conversations!), the women participating generously shared their experiences of living in and managing period poverty. This research paves a way for menstruation research in Human Geography, as well as providing much needed insight into a severely under-researched area of adult women’s experiences of period poverty in the UK.

Presentations

Beginning to Think About Gender and Menstruation – presented at the Gender Agenda (organised by Newcastle University Institute for Social Science), January 2020

Negotiating and Managing Periods and ‘Period Poverty’ in Everyday Life: Methods for Sociological Research – presented to a cohort of Sociology students, February 2021

“I was in a shitty relationship... he wouldn’t let me have period products” Reconceptualising ‘Period Poverty’ to Better Understand Menstrual Inequality – presented at the NINE DTP July 2021 Summer School

Teaching

HSS8001 Thinking About Research (2019, 2020)

GEO1096 Geographical Skills (2020)

Academic Qualifications, Organisational Membership and Acheivements

FORTHCOMING: I am the co-organiser of a Leverhulme funded conference titled “Menstruation and the Media”, taking place in October 2021 (with Dr. Maria Tomlinson at the University of Sheffield)

 

You can find out more about Lottie and her research via her Twitter profile.