Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Adventures in Menstruating cycles through New York

April 14th, 2010 by Giovanna Chesler
Sarah Thomasin at Bluestockings, photo by Chris Bobel

Sarah Thomasin at Bluestockings

Last Sunday evening, at the Lower East Side bookstore (and feminist Mecca) Bluestockings, Chella Quint attempted to begin her 5th installment of a performance built from her zine Adventures in Menstruating. However this piece, Here’s The Science Bit, was quite rudely interrupted by Mother Nature, in tweed, presenting a pink and red wrapped box. Mother Nature who typically appears in Tampax adverts, exclaimed “It’s your monthly gift!” Chella seemed pleased to accept it. This confused the woman. “But…but, she stammered. It’s your monthly gift?!” Chella reminded her that she was quite happy taking it, thank you very much, and proceeded to open up the box (wondering why boxes are a running theme in fem care advertising.) For the next hour, as the paper flew and big red bows zoomed around the room, the gifts kept coming from Chella and co-performer, Sarah Thomasin, now donning lab coats.

Chella (a contributor to this blog) and Sarah’s writing on the fem care industry is spot on. Since 2005, they have produced the zine and now a blog which attempt to poke and prod the hawkers of pads and tampons out of their shameful marketing strategies. This evening they re-examined ads from the 1950’s for Zonite, a douche so powerful yet “safe to tissues” (??!) and Modess, a menstrual product pre-wrapped (i.e. disguised) in plain brown packaging. Of course, as Quint pointed out, the only other product to be wrapped in this manner were bombs.

Chella Quint and Sarah Thomasin

Chella Quint and Sarah Thomasin

In another hilarious bit, Quint played a Mooncup while Sarah proclaimed “I’m a tampon!” They argued back and forth of their varying abilities to collect and discard menstrual blood. However, The Tampon had to leave the conversation mid-sentence, only to be replaced by another Tampon who had not been part of the initial conversation with Mooncup. This happened thrice over (though of course, this would happen thousands of times over in a 10 year period, the typical lifetime of a menstrual cup, wherein the average woman would cycle through approximately 2,750 tampons.)

Adventures in Menstruating on S.H.A.M.E., photo by Chris Bobel

Adventures in Menstruating on S.H.A.M.E., photos by Chris Bobel

To combat the side effect of pop culture’s representations of menstruation, S.H.A.M.E. (Shame, Horror, Ads/Media, Erasure) Quint presented a takeaway for the evening – The Stain. The latest in fashion, Stains are red felt blobs akin to blood stains which you adhere to the front of your clothing (at your crotch) or at the back side. As Chella and Sarah presented their gift they praised the product “The best defense against stains is a healthy dose of shamelessness!” Several attendees wore their stains out the door, proudly walking down the street impervious to shame-induced fear and carried forth the overall feeling of Adventures in Menstruating – high brow and low brow at the same time.

Red is the New Black

February 27th, 2010 by Elizabeth Kissling

Stains (TM)

Introducing Leak Chic.

Chella Quint celebrates Fashion Week, recently ended in London and New York, with clot couture.

StainsTM. A removable stain to wear on your own clothing as you see fit. A fashion statement that really says something, and that something is, ‘Screw you, Madison Avenue. I’m taking this one back. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve and my blood on my pants. I’m gonna reclaim the stain, reclaim my blood, and reclaim my period.’ Because people, I’m telling you red is the new black.

Read more at Adventures in Menstruating.

Win a Free Copy of Greenblooded!

January 12th, 2010 by Elizabeth Kissling

Sample panel from Greenblooded zine.Ariel of Cephaloblog is giving away five copies of Cathy Leamy’s “totally cute, funny and informative comic on eco-friendly solutions for that time of the month“. To win, you just need to add a comment to her blog post (first link above) explaining why you’re making the switch (or have already switched) to reusable menstrual products. She’ll select and post the winners on January 24.

You’ll also be helping with science: Ariel intends to post the top ten reasons given by age range, so we can see why women of all ages support reusable options during their periods.

I don’t want to horn in on re:Cycling readers’ chance to win, so I just zipped over to Metrokitty’s site and shelled out $2 for a copy.

Adventures in Menstruating LIVE in New York!

December 29th, 2009 by Elizabeth Kissling

If you’re anywhere near NYC, don’t miss this opportunity to see our friend Chella Quint perform tonight at Bluestockings. She will be reading from Issue #5 of Adventures in Menstruating, her awesome period-powered zine, at 7pm on Tuesday, December 29th, at the Women’s/Trans’ Poetry Jam and Open Mike. Bluestockings Radical Books is located at 172 Allen St., New York, NY 10012.

Readers should note that statements published in re: Cycling are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Society as a whole.