Nada Sekulić

In this book, an analysis of narratives and life histories sheds new light on the subjective side of deeply private and intimate, but at the same time crucial phenomena concerning women’s life cycles. Several key stages in these cycles are identified, such as a process of gendering, referring to the social construction of gender and awareness of one’s own gender, sexuality related to the experience of the first period and first sexual intercourse, and the social status of motherhood related to the decision (or better, “duty”) to have children and the experience of giving birth itself. All these stages are conceptualized as rites of passage, and unfold within a context saturated by the patriarchal worldview. For this reason these processes are most frequently marginalized and become topics never talked about, with which women are left to wrestle on their own. This in turn results in a large number of highly traumatic experiences. This study thus seeks to expose these processes and thereby to deconstruct the patriarchal mechanisms of their normalization and naturalization.